Warren Peace by Tula Top

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Warren Creek · Columbia River Gorge · Cascade Locks · Oregon · USA

  • Canon 5DII · 16-35mm f/2.8L II · CPL
  • 35mm · f/16 · 1.3s – 5s · ISO 50
  • Five images fused in Photomatix Pro · highlight detail recovery in CS5
    (Best viewed large)

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

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  • Tula Top
    Tula Topover 2 years ago

    The trials of real life were getting a little taxing. The bureaucratic red tape of work, wearisome. And the thought of waking up each day to more of the same, dispiriting. In dire need of rejuvenation, I set off on a quest for outward introspection, so to speak, by way of a solo February hike to explore a section of Warren Creek upstream from its crossing at the Starvation Ridge Trail. The alluring promise of an unnamed 100-foot falls about three-quarters of a mile up only added to the incentive, but the aftermath of heavy winter rains and winds left the trail in shambles in many places, requiring some manageable but time-consuming four-limb scrambling and butt-sliding over sometimes massive and entangling blowdowns. Footing was sketchy at times to say the least, as rain-saturated soil clung loosely to the slope in places, while decaying leaf litter and the decomposing wood of downed tree trunks belied the insubstantial terrain below. In addition, stride-long sections of the very steep trail up were outright missing as the rootballs of trailside trees simply could no longer resist the torque imposed upon their trunks by erosion, making the going more than a little bit harrowing for someone who hates precarious heights as much as I do.

    But persistence paid off as I climbed through, over, and around each obstruction, and a growing sense of peace and contentment crescendoed from within by the time of my arrival at Warren Creek. The trek up the charming stream was soggy and slow going, but it was just what I needed to clear my thoughts, as every footstep entailed deliberation that carried me that much farther away from the demands of everyday life. Although dwindling time and a dicey-looking scramble up a wet canyon wall ultimately kept me from the big falls on this particular day, there were still myriad visual and spiritual delights like this stretch of little cascades all along the way. As it turned out, the leaf litter I’d been cursing for its disequilibrating effects also helped beautify the softly-lit scene—a metaphor, perhaps, for the opportunities afforded us by the tribulations we all have faced and that will continue to punctuate our lives. Without degeneration, there can be no regeneration.

  • Andrew Paranavitana
    Andrew Paranav...over 2 years ago

    Wow man.. not too sure what else I can say! This is amazing! :)

  • Thanks, man, really appreciate that!

    – Tula Top

  • Mel Brackstone
    Mel Brackstoneover 2 years ago

    What a fabulous story to go with this fantastic image, Tula! Impressive! I am glad the trip was rejuvenating!

  • Thank you, Mel, it was. But it’s kinda like a drug…it’s like I need to go on bolder and bolder adventures to get the same rush!

    – Tula Top

  • Kymie
    Kymieover 2 years ago

    Absolutely beautiful

  • Thank you so much, Kymie. :)

    – Tula Top

  • Donna Keevers Driver
    Donna Keevers ...over 2 years ago

    :) Love the title! Perfect for the image and your experience…

    Gorgeous capture! Great thoughts and writing! Thank you for sharing…!

  • Thank you for viewing and reading, Donna!

    – Tula Top

  • bazcelt
    bazceltover 2 years ago

    amazing, and that description – wow! Yes, gotta luv that bureaucratic (or should that be bureaucrapptic) stuff. I emphathise so well, as a new cohort of students come in, and all the usual shambles ensues!

  • Thanks, Barry. What is it about the world? It’s like if something makes sense, that’s exactly what bureaucracy strives to confound with burdensome regulation. So frustrating…

    – Tula Top

  • Donovan wilson
    Donovan wilsonover 2 years ago

    Excellent work mate i see you have mastered the art of fusing imagers and i am amazed you can get the foliage in the foreground so sharp when merging so many pics ..well done.

  • Thanks a ton, Donovan…f/16 seems to work well for me at keeping everything in focus without incurring too much blurring diffraction. As long as the wind cooperates, I can usually get the foreground acceptably sharp.

    – Tula Top

  • Benjamin Young
    Benjamin Youngover 2 years ago

    Beautiful…. I feel ya man…

  • Wish you didn’t have to, man, but I appreciate the empathy. Thanks for the comment. :)

    – Tula Top

  • Dieter Tracey
    Dieter Traceyover 2 years ago

    Blimey! that’s magnificent :)

  • Thanks, my friend! Great to see you… :)

    – Tula Top

  • Tim Devine
    Tim Devineover 2 years ago

    Awesome color and comp Tula! Love the stillness in the branches, it must have been nice and calm.

  • Thanks, Tim. Yes, the winds died down the deeper I went into the canyon. Would’ve been nice to have gotten there sooner so I could just linger in isolation longer. It felt great. :)

    – Tula Top

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