columbia-river-gorge

Flection, by TedGore

Join me on FACEBOOK Here is a shot that is a bit experimental, but ultimately I think it’s successful! Positioning the lens of my camera literally less than an inch off the surface of the water allowed me to capture a unique view up the Oneonta Gorge, that may not quite make sense upon first glance. What you are seeing is a disturbance in the water flow over rocks just millimeters under the waters surface, causing the reflection to bend back, contradicting the natural shape of the canyon walls and creating a nice S curve in the process. There was a very small margin for movement, as any slight shift in the cameras position caused the reflection to change. Your first impression may be that it was warped this way, but I promise, no warping was done here! Trying to capture an image this close to the foreground caused all sorts of problems from an impossible focus stack(the FG is not completely in focus), to water on the lens which eventually fogged up the interior element, making getting a clean exposure almost impossible(massive glow/flare around the light). This was the best I could manage with the situation, and it’s not an ideal result(just not all that clean of an image), but I wanted to follow through with it because I think it’s a pretty dang interesting and unique composition. Possibly the most difficult blend I’ve ever put together consisting of multiple focus points, several shots for dynamic range, and select exposures for the best reflections. In the end I had a total of about 25 layers for JUST blending! Difficult undertaking. Here’s a screen shot of some of the layers if you want a BTS view!

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Oneonta Gorge and Lower Oneonta Falls - Columbia River Gorge, Oregon

As an avid historian I’m always excited to learn something new about something old and to share it with like-minded folks. My mother is a native of New York state so whenever I said “Oneonta” she would go on about how it’s an Iroquois name and that it was strange to have something on the opposite coast named for a Northeastern Native American tribe so I looked into it. Oregonians; here is some little known history about our region:

Oneonta Falls, Oregon

The beautiful and truly unique Oneonta Falls and Oneonta Gorge in Oregon’s Columbia River Valley was first photographed by Carleton Emmons Watkins, a native of Oneonta, New York. Carleton Watkins went west with Collis P. Huntington at the time of the 1849 California Gold Rush to seek his fortune.

Watkins lacked interest in both the railroad and mining business, but did discover that he had a talent for photography. He would go on to become a world-renowned and award-winning photographer, having taken some of the first photos of Yosemite, the California Giant Sequoia, and the Columbia River Gorge.

Oneonta historian Ed Moore wrote, “Watkins named Oneonta Falls after his beloved hometown of Oneonta, New York.” Today the falls and gorge remain a popular attraction for visitors to Oregon’s Columbia River area about thirty miles east of Portland.

The entire Columbia River Gorge is a rare geological formation not seen anywhere else in North America. A series of dramatic events of nature, including unusual volcanic eruptions, severe glacial ice flows and huge floods have all played a major part in the formation of this scenic area.

Oneonta Gorge is also the home of many rare mosses, ferns, lichens, and hepatics.

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