Best viewed on black.
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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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