Sticks and Stones I by Tula Top

Currently unavailable for purchase

Panther Creek, Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Carson, Washington, USA

  • Canon 5DII · 16-35mm f/2.8L II · CPL
  • 16mm · f/14 · 25s – 30s · ISO 200
  • Two images layered in CS5 to preserve highlights
    (Better viewed LARGE)


landscape, nature, forest, panther, creek, stream, flow, water, subdued, moss, timber, bedrock, washington, tula

Physician and passionate nature photographer based out of Portland, Oregon, USA.

For unframed prints and other products, please visit my portfolio and store here.

View Full Profile


  • Tula Top
    Tula Topalmost 3 years ago

    Words will never hurt me. Not with scenes like this out there to center and soothe the soul. After a decidedly fun but soggy, cloud-socked romp to Observation Peak in southwestern Washington, we stopped by Panther Creek Falls to partake in not only the falls itself but also the beautiful drive in, which meanders through a tall forest of Douglas fir cushioned by a vibrant understory of yellowing vine and big leaf maple. It was late in the day and the light was fading fast, but there was just enough of it left to capture this scene, which I’ve been wanting to get since two or three visits ago (I rarely shoot above ISO 100 for long-exposure water captures, but didn’t want to fumble with a cable release in the rain and fading light). This tangle of mossy fallen logs is situated just a few yards upstream from Panther Creek Falls, which was roaring with water replenished from a brooding grey sky. The creek is wide enough here that the overhanging and often aslant old-growth western red cedars can’t completely seal off the towering canopy and impede light emanating directly from above. The cloudy and late afternoon conditions spotlit the scene with such a sublime glow that the mosses seemed suffused with iridescent phosphors, and the spent pine needles peppering the bedrock added a nice dash of warm spice to the foreground.

  • Julie  White
    Julie Whitealmost 3 years ago

    Stunning capture Tula.

  • Thank you again, Julie. :) :)

    – Tula Top

  • Mark  Lucey
    Mark Luceyalmost 3 years ago

    Really like the dark tones here Tula!

  • Thanks, Mark! I tried my best to preserve the deep shadows that drew my eye to this scene in the first place.

    – Tula Top

  • fazza
    fazzaalmost 3 years ago

    great capture mate,fazza

  • Tremendous thanks, my friend. :)

    – Tula Top

  • bazcelt
    bazceltalmost 3 years ago

    Awesome work mate.

  • Thank you, my friend. Happy shootin’! :)

    – Tula Top

  • Warren  Patten
    Warren Pattenalmost 3 years ago

    Superb work..just love the composition Tazza..cheers.

  • Much appreciated, Waz…cramped up a bit trying to find solid purchase on the slick rocks, but was well worth it, I think. :)

    – Tula Top

  • AnnDixon
    AnnDixonalmost 3 years ago

    BEAUTIFUL work

  • Thank you, Ann!

    – Tula Top

  • peter  jackson
    peter jacksonalmost 3 years ago

    Beautiful photo Tula the colour and lighting is spot on, i wish i was there my self you seem to have the nack of taking that perfict photo every time well done.

  • I don’t know about that but I do tremendously appreciate the generous words, Peter. This is the kind of place I know you’d go nuts at exploring all the possibilities…in fact, I really need to just plunk down here for an entire day and not tack it on as an ‘afterthought’—always find myself rushing in the fading light.

    – Tula Top

  • Karl Williams
    Karl Williamsalmost 3 years ago

    I like the combination of highlights and shadows here, Tula .. extremely effective!

  • Thanks, KW! I experimented with lifting the shadows a bit, but it didn’t work at all and looked too different from the actual scene. Mother Nature constantly reminds me to leave well enough alone…she knows what she’s doing. ;)

    – Tula Top

  • sunscapes
    sunscapesalmost 3 years ago

    Beautiful comp and mood here Tula, really love the pockets of orange leaves in the foreground, gorgeous work as always!

  • Thanks, Simone! I liked the dash of warm colors the needles provided, too.

    – Tula Top

desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait