Tunnel Falls

I went on a fairly long hike this weekend up Eagle Creek trail, which is about 50 miles East of Portland. This trail passes several waterfalls, the most impressive of which being Tunnel Falls. So named for the tunnel carved through the rock face behind the waterfall, continuing the trail. Why/when did we, as a people, lose the urge to drill holes through natural wonders (have you ever driven through the Chandelier Tree?). Anyway, it's hard to make a unique image of Tunnel Falls, because there's only one decent vantage point--a corner in the trail just past the falls. Everyone stands here and composes the same picture. You have no control over the subject (unless, of course, you happen to have a hiking partner to stand and wave from the tunnel), and no control over the point of view. The angle of view of the lens, the length of the exposure, and the time of day are pretty much the only variables at hand. When I was leaving, I passed several photographers. A couple of retired people with Canon G11s, an Indian couple lugging a huge LowePro bag probably containing $10,000 in gear, and a Japanese couple with an antique Rolleicord TLR and a rickety tripod. They will all go home with basically the same image, none of which is likely to capture the awesome experience of just being there. Oh well, Tunnel Falls, you win again. That is, until I come back with a grappling hook, zipline, climbing harness, and--wait for it--crew of Chinese dragon dancers.

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