6 hr |  $399

private tour for 1-2 

Includes transportation from Downtown PDX

Silver Falls State Park is often referred to as the "crown jewel" of Oregon state parks and when you walk behind the impressive curtain of water of South Falls you'll understand why. Learn how to capture these stunning PNW waterfalls and dense forest details in a way that displays their immense beauty.

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Where We'll Go:

South Falls 177 ft stunning waterfall that we will walk behind. We start by shooting the waterfall from a viewpoint on the rim trail and then descend a paved trail, shoot around and behind the waterfall and then back up again. 1 mile hike, 280 ft moderate climb. You have the option of remaining on the rim trail until we return.

North Falls -  138 ft waterfall which has carved out a cave behind it from erosion. First we hike (0.8 miles round trip) to Upper North Falls, a 65-foot plunge into a pool. Then we descend a series of stairs with easy to moderate elevation change from the rim tail (0.6 miles round trip) to North Falls cave. You have the option of remaining on the rim trail until we return.


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 covers how to capture sweeping landscape imagery of the waterfalls and the small details of a quintessential PNW forest.

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 close up details.


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.

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)

Any standard lens you may have. 

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

Cable release (optional)

Capable of hiking 2 miles with elevation change carrying your equipment. The trails have some moderate incline/decline. Please read the above location descriptions to assess if this photo tour is appropriate for you.

Meeting Location:

Hotel Lucia, 400 SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97205

Meet in the back of the lobby by the David Hume art collection.

More Info:

You can sit back and relax while I drive you to Silver Falls in my commercially insured, all-wheel drive, SUV. Hours are consecutive and include drive time from Downtown Portland. Participants can meet me there if preferred.


Submit a PRIVATE TOUR INQUIRY FORM. Scheduling is flexible!