Photo tips, tricks and my latest captures

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My Best images of 2014

It has been a great year and I am looking forward to next year for good photo opportunities. Here are my favorite images of the year. (Go to my website for larger versions. http://www.harshaj.smugmug.com)
Happy New Year
1. Rise above the clouds_ Mt Rainier, Washington USA

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2. Wildflowers_ Columbia River Gorge_ Oregon
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3. Ruby Beach Sunset_ Washington
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4. Proxy Falls, Three Sisters Wilderness, Oregon
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5. Snowy Owl Hunting, Minnesota
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6. Great Fountain Geyser. _Yellowstone NP
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7 Yellow Hoodoos_Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah Wilderness , New Mexico
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8.Star Trails, Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah Wilderness
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9. Elk_ Yellowstone NP
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10. Hawk Owl
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Ruckel Creek Falls_ Columbia River Gorge

This is one of my favorite images from 2012.

Last June I spent a week exploring the beautiful Columbia River Gorge Wilderness in Oregon. My friend Mark suggested that the we hiked to rarely visited Ruckel Creek falls. He tried it once but lost his way and never made it to the falls.
We left the motel at 3.30AM and started the hike using our head lights. We want to be at the top of the mountain at sunrise  so the most  dangerous part of the hike could be done during day light. The day turned out to be overcast, windy and rainy. The trail is unmarked, steep and not for the faint of foot. The decent to the river was  treacherous on loose lava rocks  but with good hiking poles and help from Mark I made it to the bottom of the creek. Then we hiked along the river upstream hoping to find the falls. It reminded  me of a Jurassic forest. The greenery was out of this world. After about an hour hike I could hear the waterfall. Once we reached the spot,  the challenge was to find a composition that I liked. Wind and the constant drizzle didn’t help. We first took few test shots and decided on this particular angle. I took many frames. After each shot I had to clean the front element of the lens to get rid of the water drops. The umbrella that I took was a great help to protect the camera from the constant slow down pour.
Here is the final result.

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