Tag Archives: tula

New on 500px : House of Worship by tulatop by tulatop

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Falls Creek Falls · Falls Creek · Gifford Pinchot National Forest · Carson · Washington · USA

A rare view of the always awe-inspiring Falls Creek Falls from its egress through Volkswagen-sized boulders and snarls of downed trees downstream. My brotog TJ Thorne unwittingly provides some sense of scale here, standing smack-dab in the middle of the spray zone fronting the 60-foot-tall lowest of three tiers. He’s not just a fellow photographer–one of the hardest-working dudes I know–but a true friend, and our views on life are more often similar than not. I’m pretty sure I speak for both of us when I say that being out in nature, free from the confines of human constructs physical, political, and philosophical and well away from the business of bean-counting and bureaucratizing, is more than just a pastime for us: It’s a soul-fueling necessity. Here, the office walls are draped with lichen and mosses and ferns, the ceiling is limitless, and deadlines, discord, and derisiveness dissolve away in spring-fed streams.

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New on 500px : Golden Eagle by tulatop by tulatop

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Punch Bowl Falls · Eagle Creek · Columbia River Gorge · Bonneville · Oregon · USA

Morning sun gilds Eagle Creek and Punch Bowl Falls in resplendent aureate light.

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New on 500px : Mystic River by tulatop by tulatop

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Lower Lewis River Falls · Lewis River · Gifford Pinchot National Forest · Cougar · Washington · USA

A warm midsummer’s day ends with a spectacular bang as the sky explodes in a kaleidoscope of sunset colors above always-amazing Lower Lewis River Falls. I’ve seen some pretty righteous sunset shots from this location before, but invariably they’re shot from the top of the falls looking toward the light, rather than from downstream and in the opposite direction as it is here. In fact, in the full-resolution image you can see a photographer with his tripod set up at the top left corner of the falls shooting in my direction. Wouldn’t surprise me one bit if it was someone I know through Facebook…and perhaps has since de-friended me for getting in his shot… 🙂

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New on 500px : Relic by tulatop by tulatop

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South Sister and Broken Top from Sparks Lake · Deschutes National Forest · Bend · Oregon · USA

Parched driftwood languishes on the shores of Sparks Lake like some mastodon tusk from a bygone ice age, watching as a cloudless sky ushers in the day in the chill of a late October morning–as if I needed further evidence of my sucky cloud mojo. Still, the beauty and serenity of the lake cannot be denied regardless of the lack of dramatic atmospheric conditions.

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New on 500px : One Morning in Paradise by tulatop by tulatop

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Mossy Grotto Falls · Ruckel Creek · Columbia River Gorge · Bonneville · Oregon · USA

Exceptionally low flow on Ruckel Creek brought a rare opportunity for a long-coveted reflection shot of the falls, lending added serenity to the verdant glen of Mossy Grotto Falls.

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New on 500px : Asylum by tulatop by tulatop

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Ramona Falls · Mt. Hood National Forest · Rhododendron · Oregon · USA

I’m not certain this is the most original take on Ramona Falls, but I really wanted to make an image that captured the sheer grandeur and mystique of the 120-foot-tall tessellated cascade and believed a slightly underexposed monochrome approach was the way to go. If this doesn’t quite do it for you, then all I can suggest is for you to lay eyes upon it yourself someday. 😉

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New on 500px : Lean On Me by tulatop by tulatop

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Tamanawas Falls · Mt. Hood National Forest · Parkdale · Oregon

It’s three years on since the time I first visited this guardian spirit and caught one unforgettable show of light and shadow. The phenomenon is easily explained enough, and I would bet that it occurs to varying degrees on a regular basis any time there’s direct afternoon sun shining down on the basin. But that fact in no way diminishes the awe that bearing witness to it inspires.

And so it was on a rare weekday off that I rolled with my brotog in crime TJ Thorne to pay Tamanawas another visit…not with any express prospects of catching the light show again, but just to get away from the things that are becoming all too familiar (e.g., work obligations, the hustle and bustle of city life, the news, and so on). As it turned out, the show indeed was happening, albeit to a relatively muted degree compared to the first time around. Still, I wanted to take the opportunity to recapture the scene and leverage the 3 years of photographic experience I’ve since accumulated to render it a bit more cleanly and accurately. The differences may be subtle to most eyes, but in this rendition I’ve managed to significantly reduce the motion blur in the surrounding foliage (not easy given how breezy it was) and taken a more natural, less contrasty approach to the overall processing.

But whatever incremental steps I’ve managed to take forward with my photography, the sense of accomplishment was tempered when I later learned a friend of mine was going through some pretty dark times recently. I don’t think I was able to fix anything nor do I fancy myself a savior for anyone by any stretch of the imagination, but perhaps just talking things out with someone familiar was helpful. Sometimes just being there is all that’s needed.

Just like Tamanawas was for me.

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New on 500px : Softly by tulatop by tulatop

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Ramona Falls · Mt. Hood National Forest · Rhododendron · Oregon · USA

The blocky columnar basalt walls of 120-foot-tall Ramona Falls make for a dazzling stage for the dance of light and shadow that occurs when clear skies prevail over the surrounding forest cathedral. Despite the anticipated crowds reveling at various volume levels in her dazzling presence, Ramona Falls also manages to bring the soul into a harmonic resonance like few other places can. To better portray this, I used a 5-second exposure here to silken the water and soften the contrast from the sun’s intense spotlighting.

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New on 500px : Gather ‘Round the Pony Show by tulatop by tulatop

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Ponytail Falls · Horsetail Creek · Columbia River Gorge · Dodson · Oregon · USA

Sometimes I forget how stir-crazy Oregonians get during the cold winter and wet early-spring doldrums. But we’re rather tough ol’ birds at the same time, and as soon as the rate of rainfall drops to less than an inch an hour, you can expect the Gorge parking lots to fill up faster than Walmart’s on Black Friday. So it was with a little bit of shock and dismay when, while on an entertaining hike with photog friends Steven Michael, Kay Martin, and Gulnara “GiGi” Peek, we returned to Ponytail Falls to find a throng of ogling spectators after having been turned back by trail crew clearing a landslide directly above the boot path to Upper Oneonta Falls. But who could blame them, really, when the falls traces such a graceful arc in the belly of a such a beautifully verdant canyon? I usually don’t care to include people or manmade objects in my landscapes if I can help it at all, but I figured this time I’d just go with the flow and resist the urge to Photoshop them out in post-production. I think they lend a dual sense of scale here rather nicely–both in terms of Ponytail’s beguiling size and its growing popularity with the locals.

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New on 500px : Toward Enlightenment by tulatop by tulatop

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Horsetail Falls Trail #438 · Columbia River Gorge · Dodson · Oregon · USA

Pacific forest moss- and licorice fern-flocked red alder flanking the zigzagging trail to Ponytail Falls seem to clamber relentlessly upwards in their determined quest for sunlight, raked even as they may be in the throes of a slow but graceful death.

Parallels in my line of work as a palliative care and hospice physician? Yeah, you might say that.

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