Salt Creek Falls, Oregon, USA by Ted Forman

Picture Story

As a nature photographer and long time resident of the Pacific Northwest region of the United States, I am well aware of the wealth of magnificent natural features this area has to offer. One of my favorite subjects to photograph are waterfalls, and this region has plenty of great ones. Now that I am based in Bend, Oregon, I have discovered that this state has some of the finest waterfalls in North America, if not the entire world. I enjoy photographing them in all seasons, but lately I have come to prefer capturing images of them in winter. There is just something special about seeing the ribbons of water flowing down from up high, surrounded by snow and ice.

Like many other photographers these days I have been seeking out landscapes close to home, as it doesn’t make sense to travel during a pandemic. Recently, I decided to take a day trip to visit and photograph Salt Creek Falls in the Oregon Cascades. With a drop of 286 feet it is the third highest waterfall in Oregon, and considered one of the most beautiful. The water here plunges into a gaping canyon, with a pool at the bottom that is about 70 feet deep.

The hike to the falls from the parking area was short but covered in snow and ice. The first glimpse was from above and did not provide a pleasing composition as far as I was concerned. It was better to continue on down the trail to reach a point that gave me a direct head on view. I used a four stop ND filter and a small aperture to achieve a slower shutter speed during this daylight hour. This allowed me to create an image that displayed the waterfall as a curtain of soft silky ribbons surrounded by the snow and ice of winter.

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