3 hr |  $399

Historic Columbia River Highway

private tour 1 -2 people

Landscape photography is one of the most popular forms of photography, enticing many people to want to learn photography. But learning how to create powerful, crisp landscapes takes practice and skills. Learn the tips and tricks of mastering the light, composition and exposure of landscape photography in the beautiful Columbia River Gorge.

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Where We'll Go:

Multnomah Falls - The "Granddaddy" of Oregon's waterfalls. This will be our first stop and we'll arrive early enough to beat the crowds, capturing the majestic falls from multiple levels and angles including Benson Bridge. It is a short .4 mile round trip hike on a paved trail to the Benson Bridge with a few switchbacks and incline. 

Latourell Falls - A unique Columbia Gorge waterfall, in the way that it drops straight down from an overhanging basalt cliff. Most of those falls tumble to some degree. Best known for the chartreuse colored lichen covering the columnar basalt formations surrounding the falls. A short .3 round trip with a gradual decline.

Horsetail Falls - It's hard to believe a waterfall this lovely is located right off the Historic Columbia River Highway. Park your car and we are there!

What You'll Learn:

Upon arrival we'll scout the locations, exploring lighting and conditions. We'll discuss lighting quality, lighting direction, metering, exposing for the highlights, composition and perspective. This photo tour does not deep dive into basic camera settings. If you are interested in learning camera basics, F-Stops and Shutter Speeds 101 is for you. However, we will discuss the exposure triangle (aperture, shutter speed and ISO) and how to apply it when shooting landscapes and waterfalls.


We'll cover how to find the sweet spot of your lens and discuss the difference between being "sharp" or "in focus". We review how to use manual focus, white balance and a cable release or self timer. If you are not already shooting in manual mode, I will help you make the transition easy. We work with a neutral density filter to create a desired blurred effect of the water and we discuss the use of other filters in landscape photography. This photo tour also covers how to capture the unique details of an Oregon forest.

At the end of the photo tour, you will be sent an invite into Portland Photo Tour Forum. This is a group open only to those who have participated in a Portland Photo Tour and are interested in learning, inspiring and having fun with photography. Tag me on the images you post in the forum and I will give you feedback!


Landscape + close up photography

Lighting direction & quality

Using a self timer or cable release

Using filters + a tripod


Exposing for the highlights

Sunbursts (dependent on weather)

Composition + perspective

Shooting in manual mode

Discussion about focus stacking and composite images


DSLR or mirrorless camera

Wide angle lens - 28mm or wider is preferred (18mm on crop sensor)

Tripod capable of holding the weight of your camera

6 or 10 stop Neutral Density Filter for your wide angle lens -  necessary if you want the water to looked very blurred

Polarizing Filter (optional)

Cable release (optional)

Capable of walking 1.5 miles carrying your equipment. There is an incline up to Benson Bridge. Please read the above location descriptions to assess if this photo tour is appropriate for you.

Meeting Location:

Multnomah Falls Lodge

53000 East Historic Columbia River Hwy, Bridal Veil, OR 97010. Meet at the concession stand in front of the lodge.

Participants should plan on using their own transportation to drive east from Multnomah Falls on the Historic Hwy to Horsetail Falls, then back west to Latourell Falls. All the falls are all located on the Historic Hwy and very close to each other. Parking in the upper lot of Multnomah Falls (off the Historic Hwy, not off Interstate 84) is best.

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Minimum age requirement is 18.