Photographing Abiqua Falls

Abiqua Falls is a surprisingly large and inspiring waterfall located in a basalt bowl close to Oregon City.

Hiking directions are found here.

The hike is extremely steep and muddy; be prepared on the way down to do some slipping and sliding.

As I reached the river and hiked along the bank I could hear the Falls but still didn’t have a visual. I donned my water shoes and continued on. It’s a wonderful site when it finally comes into view, with an incredibly powerful and silky smooth ribbon of water cascading over the edge in a very clean and uniform manner. It almost feels staged, it’s that perfect.

For my first and ultimately my favorite image, I chose a vertical composition highlighting the Falls and a lone rapid in the foreground, complimented by the basalt columns surrounding the Falls. An advantage to this angle was the ability to keep the sky out of the frame.

For the horizontal composition, I chose to make the rapids a much more important element to the scene.

It can be fun to play with fall foliage. In this image, I strategically placed leaves on the rocks to create a compelling foreground.

Thanks for viewing my images of Abiqua Falls, one of Oregon’s best!

I usually don’t spend time writing about driving directions as they are easy enough to find with a google search, but I there are some tips I can offer. For driving directions I used:

The second paragraph has some inaccuracies which I will fix with my own words in italics.

Drive 0.1 miles down to an open area, going straight and passing through a gate. there wasn’t a gate Continue downhill, always going straight and downhill at other junctions. The last junction has a turnoff that’s a huge parking lot for trucks bringing in their ATVs. The road deteriorates a bit after the second or third junction, but it’s drivable in any family car at low speed. The road is awful, extremely rocky and narrow. A higher clearance vehicle can make a little better time. The rough gravel road winds downhill through lots of ugly clearcuts I didn’t see a single clearcut, until you reach a locked gate about 2.5 miles from where you turned off Crooked Finger Road. Park on the left at a wide spot in the road. Sure enough at 2.5 miles there’s the gate and a place to park. It wasn’t until that moment did I feel as though I was on the right track.


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