The Majestic Waterfalls of the Columbia River Gorge
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Immerse yourself in the majestic waterfalls of the Columbia River Gorge and capture timeless images that will forever encapsulate the spirit of this extraordinary destination.
The Columbia River Gorge, a breathtaking destination nestled along the Columbia River in Oregon, is a true paradise for landscape photographers. Steeped in history and significance, the Gorge has been a cultural and geographic landmark for centuries. Formed by cataclysmic volcanic events and shaped by the mighty Columbia River, this awe-inspiring Gorge is a testament to the power of nature. Its deep canyons, towering cliffs, and lush forests create a dramatic backdrop for any photographer seeking to capture the essence of the region.
As you embark on this workshop, prepare to be enchanted by the world-renowned and hidden waterfalls that adorn the Gorge. Among these natural wonders, Multnomah Falls enthralls with its powerful cascade of water plunging into a serene pool below. The majestic Punchbowl Falls, resembling a shimmering silver curtain, is a sight to behold. Spirit Falls, Ponytail Falls, Wahclella Falls, and countless others contribute their own unique charm to the tapestry of this mesmerizing landscape.
Embracing the grandeur of the Columbia River Gorge is the magnificent silhouette of Mt. Hood. Standing tall as an iconic symbol of the Pacific Northwest, this snow-capped volcanic peak completes the picture-perfect landscape. The juxtaposition of the rugged Gorge with the majestic mountain creates a captivating and awe-inspiring composition.
Beyond its picturesque beauty, the Columbia River Gorge is pivotal to hydroelectricity generation and fish hatcheries in the region. Home to numerous dams harnessing the power of the Columbia River, the Gorge generates clean and renewable energy, fueling the surrounding communities. Fish hatcheries nestled along the riverbanks ensure the preservation of diverse aquatic species, adding to the ecological significance of this remarkable area.
Join me as we explore the majestic waterfalls of the Columbia River Gorge, where history, natural wonders, and scenic landscapes converge.
Itinerary & General Information
- Arrival – Arrival at the hotel in Portland / 5 PM Meet-and-Greet and group dinner.
- Day 1 – We will start our first day with sunrise at Multnomah Falls, perhaps the most spectacular and famous waterfall along the Gorge. We will spend several hours shooting the nuances of the golden light as the sun comes up and explore a second smaller waterfall nearby. We will then spend the remainder of the morning at Ponytail Falls, one of the prettier waterfalls in the Gorge. We will use the remainder of the day for classroom lectures & instruction, working on our images, one-on-one guidance, or time to relax. Most importantly, we will carefully evaluate what worked and what didn’t work that day so that we can make adjustments out in the field the next day.
- Day 2 – Our second day will start with sunrise at Punchbowl Falls, one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the Gorge. Our day will also include Mossy Grotto Falls and a stop at the Bradford Island Visitor Center. We will use the remainder of the day for classroom activities using this time to once again evaluate what worked and what didn’t work that day so that we can make adjustments out in the field the next day.
- Day 3 – We’ll start our third day at Spirit Falls, a thrilling and magical spot hidden in one of the many ravines in the Columbia River Gorge just north of the Washington border. This location is one of the most beautiful and powerful falls in the Columbia Gorge area. After a stop at the Columbia River Gorge View Point, we’ll head back across the Columbia River to photograph Mt. Hood – the iconic snow-capped volcanic peak and symbol of the Pacific Northwest. After a stop at Buzzard Point, we’ll conclude our day with sunset at Trillium Lake.
- Day 4 – We’ll start our last full day with a visit to the renown Japanese Garden in Portland. The Portland Japanese garden is one the most authentic Japanese gardens outside of Japan with many great photo opportunities. We’ll also stop at the Jonsrud Viewpoint for one of the best daytime views of Mt. Hood.
- Day 5 – We’ll spend our final morning critiquing our images in the classroom before concluding our adventure.
John Bosma Fine Arts Photography is an Authorized Permittee of the National Park Service.
What to Expect
The majority of our days will start early, before sunrise. After a quick coffee or tea, we’ll be off to get into position at a location in the best light of the day with breakfast in the field to maximize our shooting time. We’ll often continue until mid-to-late morning before heading back to Basecamp. Back at Basecamp, we’ll have time for off-loading memory cards, classroom lectures & instruction, working on our images, one-on-one guidance, or time to relax.
More important than just getting you to some of the best and most remote locations at the best times of the day, this five-day landscape photography workshop will teach you how to visualize an image, how to plan your shoot, how to capture your image in the field, and how to bring your image to life using a variety of post-production techniques.
In the Field:
We’ll learn how to scout and visualize a scene, compose a ground/sky/sea landscape to show scale and tell a story, how to manage complex highlight and shadow scenes, how and when to use filters, how to plan your images for a blended blue hour composite, how to focus your camera at night to capture pin sharp stars and foreground, and how to use apps like PhotoPills to plan a shoot. We’ll also use techniques such as dynamic bracketing and exposure blending, focus stacking and focal length blending, neutral density filters, and stacking for noise reduction.
In the Classroom:
We’ll spend time developing your post-production workflow – learning when Lightroom is enough and when you need to move your work into Photoshop. We’ll learn how to use techniques such as luminosity masks to create and solve contrast, color, and blending issues; how to blend multiple images together in Photoshop to create blue hour blends, focal length blends, and exposure blends; how to use start stacking to create pin sharp starry night skies; how to create Orton glows and sharpen your final image; and how to use apps like ProPanel to increase your efficiency.
You’ll benefit from hours of capture time in the field with an instructor by your side, and classroom instruction as you learn new techniques and strategies for creating dynamic images.
Tuition & Payment Terms
What’s Included in Your Tuition:
- 5 nights lodging / 4.5 training days
- Field meals and snacks
- All ground transportation during the workshop
- Workshop course materials
- In-the-field photographic training
- Online prep & orientation classes prior to the workshop
- Post-production classes and techniques during the workshop
- Online post-production classes after the workshop
What’s Not Included in Your Tuition:
- Transportation to/from your home to our Basecamp in Brookings, Oregon
- Lodging beyond the 5 nights included in the workshop
- Alcoholic beverages
- Travel Medical and Trip Cancellation Insurance
- Personal expenses, gratuities, and anything not listed as included
What to Bring and How to Prepare for Your Workshop
Please see our How to Prepare For Your Workshop page for guidelines on workshop prep, gear, and packing. Approximately 90 days before your workshop, you will be sent a PDF with more specific instructions.