Behind the Scene • Brad North from USA

Lower Lewis River Falls, Gifford Pinchot NF, WA, USA • Nikon D750, Nikon 24-120mm f/4, f/18, 6sec, ISO 50
Lower Lewis River Falls has always been on my list to photograph since moving to the PNW last May. It's a very popular scene and choosing to check it out on a dreary fall day, I figured I would have to battle for a good spot to shoot.

Fortunately, my car was the only vehicle in the parking lot. Having never been to this spot, I took my time wandering around and immersing myself in the area. Immediately after seeing the falls I was reminded of all the past images from this location and their vantage points. When arriving to scenes as popular as this, I find it important to try and walk away with an image that stands out over the rest.

Since I have a great fear of electronics near water, it took me a good deal of time to make it this close to the edge. The ice cold water and slick rock were a tricky combination, as pins and needles and numbness started to take their toll. I walked as close to the edge as I possibly could, secured my tripod legs as best I could and began to frame up my picture. The pool is so deep that the water turns black almost immediately. The falls were so well reflected that I started to compose around that feature. Using a polarizer, the beautiful rock in the foreground worked as a wonderful foreground to frame the scene. As the falls would tumble, a collection of foam and bubbles would build up and be carried away with the current. I saw these streaks in a few frames and began to vary my shutter speed until I was able to capture a sense of motion that I found was complementing the composition.

Once I was happy with the image, I noticed how numb my feet had become. After securing my gear back into my bag, I found walking to be somewhat difficult, as if my legs had fallen asleep. Each step back towards solid ground sent a shooting pain up my legs but I considered the agony worth it once I was able to get home and review the images, being transported back to that same spot.

I am a photographer from St. Louis, MO with a strong passion for and emphasis on outdoor landscape photography. In sharing my visions and stories with you, I hope to impart some of my joy and conviction I have for this earth and all it has to offer.
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