Another Try at Hanging Rock

December 27, 2015

A few days ago, I tried to take a Trek out to Hanging Rock to photograph some waterfalls.  As luck would have it though, I got rained on and was unable to even pull the camera out of the bag.  I came home, a victim of the weather.  A couple of days later, I was finally able to photograph a waterfall, but it was not one of the ones I had intended at Hanging Rock...and I still got rained on.  Today, the weather was looking promising for waterfall photography once again, so I decided to try the park once more.

When I arrived at the park, the clouds were starting to thin, but I was pretty sure that I could salvage the good light as the clouds would periodically cover the sun.  I made quick work of the hike out to the Upper Cascades, and found the waterfall filled with families and pets.  This just wouldn't work...not at all.  I stuck around for a moment to see if any of them were looking like they would be leaving any time soon.  When it became obvious that they were here for the long haul, I made my way back up the trail in search of other intimate scenes to work.  The only place I found with promise was what was known as the "Rock Garden."  There are some pretty large boulders that appear in the landscape, but there are quite a many trees around them, and the scene is rather cluttered.  I figured that I might as well see what I could do since I was here and had my camera.

Meditation Place
Having never really paid much attention to this part of the trail, I wasn't quite sure what compositions were available to me.  This made it a fun little challenge for me as I tried to organize the random nature of the rocks.  I happened to find this one view that captured my imagination, if for no other reason than it was utilizing the light in the best way.  I set the camera up, and started framing shots.  Most were haphazard at best, but this one particular composition seemed to capture a harmony in the scene that I enjoyed.  It was enough to get my creative juices flowing at least.

Braided Knot
After exhausting my compositions with the rocks, I moved down the trail a little further and found a fallen tree which I had hiked by many, many times in the past.  As always it caught my eye, and I tried to frame a picture in my mind.  Since the camera was out, when I started to see some promise, I framed things up in the viewfinder of the Canon and found that at about 70mm, I was able to isolate the tree well enough from the background.  The existing light on the scene was also quite helpful.  I worked out my exposure and fired off a few frames.  Just to be sure I was on the right track, I swapped my lens with my telezoom, and tried at an even tighter focal length.  I didn't like that as much, so I decided stick with my original concept which appears here.  The textures in the old wood are fascinating to me, and something that I could look at for hours.

Once I was satisfied with the tree, I decided that the sky was clearing up too much for any further work on intimate landscapes.  It was time to pack up and head on to another subject I had in mind.  The other day, when I was driving by the park, I decided to come home the back way which took me by a barn I had photographed once before.  It was still there, and looked like it was a little more visible now. Of course, the rain prevented me from stopping and working it, but that wasn't going to be a problem today.  In fact, the clearing sky was going to be a great backdrop for this barn.  That was going to be my next visit.

Bared Soul
When I arrived, the conditions were nearly perfect.  The clouds were stretched out like cotton, the light was falling on the cabin in just the right way, and the grass still had a good bit of green in it.  This was going to work out even better than the waterfall!  Wanting to take full advantage of the sky, I decided to fit my 16-35mm lens and get in close to the barn.  That way, I would be able to capture the wonderful clouds above.  I tried many different compositions, but found that those that were up close were the best ones.  I started to play a game with the sunlight as it changed every few seconds as the clouds passed by to my right.

As the sun finally dropped beneath the trees, I decided it was time to call it a day.  I packed up and headed home.  I was very curious to see what I had captured from the day.  As I was culling the images in the computer, I was satisfied with the ones from Hanging Rock, but when I saw the barn pictures, I was blown away.  Everything just worked for that scene.  Now it was time for the hard part, picking out which one I liked the best.  I actually found two that were very similar that I liked.  Of those, I had Toni pick her favorite one.  The one that appeared above was her pick.

As I was editing the photograph, I was very excited about the sky, and thought that it would do well with a monochrome conversion, using a red filter.  When I started to do the conversion, the photograph was literally transformed.  I think my heart skipped a beat when I saw it.  It was a whole different image with that conversion.

Bared Soul in B&W
For just a few hours out this afternoon, I had added several new pictures to my catalog that I really enjoyed.  I'll mark this Trek down as a success!


  1. Great photogrpahy-well calculated and executed! My fave ones are the tree and b&w old house. Nice detail in all!

    1. Thank you Juanita! You picked Toni's two favorites as well. I guess there is something to those images.