With rain in the forecast for the next few days I talked Dave in to going with me for a morning shoot on Sweet Creek which is just 10 miles southeast of Mapleton, OR. It is one of my favorite places to shoot in the Oregon Coast Range and is a short drive from Eugene. I have photographed this stream in the winter, autumn and spring and they all have their charms. Autumn is so colorful with painted big maple leaves scattered along the stream edges. Spring is a season of lush green and winter means high flows and stark vegetation. Today was lush.
Foot access is easy with a well maintained trail and some offshoots that lead down to the stream banks which in many places are bedrock and can be quite slick as we both found out, taking a tumble. The flow today was about the best I have experienced in years of shooting these waterfalls. Dave and I stopped by last winter but the flow was extreme and was very difficult to photograph.
Leaving the parking lot you walk upstream and are met with a series of falls, pools and cascades all of which make for interesting shots. The one below is the first one you come to and the succeeding ones were taken as we made our way upstream. (These images were all taken with a Canon 5D4 fitted with a 16-35mm wide angle lens equipped with a circular polarizer filter in order to cut the glare on the water.)
Just a short walk uphill and around a couple of curves you come to a streambank access trail that leads down to the channel bedrock. Just doing that little bit of off trail walking allows for framing interesting shots. IMHO
Up the trail we went to another small gnarly access trail and while you would think some embryo of discretion or simple common sense would have served us well but NO! – down the hill we went to again frame up what we hoped would be interesting shots. The bedrock was steep, wet and slick in spots and we both took a spill. I landed on my well padded butt which I am sure will be quite colorful tomorrow morning. Dave went down also and I think damaged some camera gear, adding to the pain.
The image below is another in this series and is as far up the stream as we went. There is a waterfall at the top that I do not find very interesting so with rising sunlight in a blue sky we headed downhill.
If you are looking for a beautiful and relatively easy walk I sure do recommend Sweet Creek and if you are in the mood it is an additional easy drive to Florence and the Coast.
As usual if you click on an image you can get a larger view. I am grateful for any comment you wish to pass along.