Columbia River Gorge, April 25-29, 2018

Waterfalls and more

With Rod Barbee
April 25-29, 2018
Cascade Locks, OR
discount available if paying by check
Limit 7, minimum 3
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Notice: Due to the huge Eagle Creek fire that has engulfed much of the Gorge, this workshop may not happen. Feel free to send a deposit but do so with the knowledge that I may have to cancel this trip. As we get into the winter months I'll be better able to know what's left to photograph and to determine if the workshop is still viable.

If you love to photograph waterfalls, then Oregon's Columbia River Gorge in the spring is one of the best places to do it.
The Columbia Gorge, home to the famous Multnomah Falls, is like a full cookie jar for waterfall lovers. There are falls right beside the road and there are falls that require short walks, and there are falls that require longer hikes.
In other words, there are a lot of waterfalls. And along the way to the waterfalls you'll find lots of spring flowers and ferns and forest scenes to tempt you.

On this workshop I'll share landscape photography tips, show you ways of capturing flowing water, and teach digital photography techniques to help you control the light and areas of focus in your images. And we'll spend time in the classroom for image critiques as well as Lightroom and Photoshop tips.

We'll also visit some areas where we usually find fields of poppies as well as the scenic Tom McCall Preserve. If the weather cooperates we might even see Mt. Hood.

metlako falls

Metlako Falls along the Eagle Creek Trail


You need to know that there is some hiking and walking involved with this trip. Waterfall country, by definition, has some elevation changes. We'll be hiking uphill and downhill on just about every trail. The longest hikes ares likely to be a trip to Punchbowl Falls, which is about 2 miles one-way, and possibly a trip to Triple Falls, about 4 miles round trip.
While these hikes are rated as easy to moderate in any hiking guide, if you have any difficulties with hiking any distance or hiking uphill or downhill, or if you have any problems with footing on rough terrain or slippery rocks, this may not be the trip for you.

Did I mention there is hiking involved? Possibly more than one hike a day? And did I say the trails go uphill? Though not overly steep by most standards, these trails do climb. And all that camera gear on your back will make it seem even steeper.

But if you're in average to good shape, or you already do some hiking, these trails should pose no problem. If you don't do much hiking at all, they may be a bit daunting. So fair warning!

Elowha Falls

Elowha Falls

Some gear suggestions

You can dramatically improved your waterfall and stream pictures by photographing from the stream. This means wading. I'll be bringing along a pair of chest waders as well as some 15 inch tall overshoes. The overshoes are the easiest, lightest, most packable option. I'm using the Neos Adventurer overshoes.

But if you really want to get into it, chest waders are the way to go. Take a look at the Cabela's site for many options.

Another piece of gear you'll probably find useful is a neutral density filter (not to be confused with a graduated neutral density filter). A neutral density filter blocks light without changing the color of the scene. It's mainly used to allow for longer shutter speeds.

Chances are that in the Gorge, just using a polarizer. a small aperture opening, and a low ISO will allow for slow enough shutter speed to get the silky water effect, but having an extra few stops of ND often helps. I carry 2-stop and 6-stop neutral density filters.


We'll be staying at the Best Western Columbia River Inn at Cascade Locks. Details on making your reservation will be sent to you upon registration.

We'll meet at 5 p.m. on the afternoon of the 25th for introductions and orientation. The tour ends after the morning shoot on the 29th.

Getting There:

Cascade Locks is about 40 minutes from the Portland airport on Hwy 84.


$980 ($950 if paying both deposit and balance by check)
The price includes personalized instruction, honest evaluation of your work, location expertise, and of course, ample teasing.
Prices do not include lodging, meals, or transportation.

Trip Insurance

I understand that sometimes folks need to make last minute cancellations due to illness, family, or business matters. Unfortunately, I am unable to make last minute refunds or provide credit to future workshops due to these last minute cancellations. I therefore highly recommend travel insurance. See this page for some resources.


Many of your questions may already be answered on my FAQ page.

Workshops and Tours in planning

  • Silver Falls in the autumn, October 2018

Trip insurance

We understand that sometimes folks need to make cancellations due to illness, family, or business matters. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide refunds or credit to future workshops for cancellations less than 60-days out from a trip (75-days for international trips). We therefore highly recommend trip insurance.

Highly recommended. This is my go-to Lightroom book. Click on the book image. (affiliate link)

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