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Picture of the Day - September 25, 2009

Franklin Falls

A gorgeous photo of scenic Franklin Falls in Washington State.
Photo and narrative by Winston "Rocky" Rockwell.

Franklin Falls, located just west of Snoqualmie Pass in the Washington Cascades, is less than an hour's drive from my home. A favorite spot for hikers and photographers, it's reached by a short, 1-mile hike (or 400 yards, if you know the shortcut!), and in summer, when the river is running high with snowmelt, it's a popular destination for people seeking to escape the heat. In June and July, the gravel bar on the right is nearly all underwater, and the falls throws up a cloud of spray that soaks pretty much everything in the basin. Later in the year, when the river level is down, the waterfall is more docile, and in many ways, prettier to photograph.

On this afternoon in late September, however, there are no crowds. I have the place to myself, and spend a relaxing time photographing the falls and enjoying a peaceful picnic lunch alongside the river below the falls. It's one of those places where I can just "sit a spell" and revel in the beauty of nature - the falls, the crisp mountain air, the rich colors of the rocks and trees, the first hues of gold and scarlet in the vine maple leaves that signal the approach of autumn...I hate to leave places like this, but I always take home memories that make me just a little richer than when I arrived.

As I fold up my tripod to leave, a gentleman and his daughter, or perhaps a niece, make their way down the trail onto the gravel bar. They're the first people I've seen here all afternoon. We exchange greetings, and I head up the trail, pausing halfway up to look back at the falls one more time. This scene makes me unfold my tripod for one more shot, a wonderful end to a most pleasant visit...

This photograph was taken with a Canon EOS 5D and Tamron SP 24-135 lens at 37mm, 1/6 second @ f/18. You'll find more of my images in my online gallery at
Visitor Comments...
    Name: Rick Rouse
    Town: Abingdon, VA

    I can see why it's one of your favorite places to visit and photograph Rocky. Beautiful!!!
    Name: Phyllis Mangrum
    Town: Seaford, DE

    Mr. Rockwell, your images are the cream of the crop of all those featured on this most wonderful site, and that's really saying something given the quality of the photos published here day in and day out. I really love your work.
    Name: Phyllis Helton
    Town: Bristol, VA

    A magnificent end it is!!!
    Name: Ron Trees
    Town: Spokane, WA

    Excellent Rocky!! I really like this one a lot. The detail is outstanding, the color is magnificent and the composition is very nice. I can see why you stopped and took out your tripod again and I am glad that you did. I never tire of seeing your amazing work! Thanks for taking the time to share it with all of us.
    Name: Gordon Brugman
    Town: Gatlinburg, TN

    Another stunner, Rocky. Of course, I expect nothing less from you. So glad you took the time to reset the tripod and grab this shot with the couple in frame. It gives us a good visual reference to appreciate the height of the waterfall, which is truly gorgeous.
    Name: Ed Morrison
    Town: Dunwoody, GA

    Name: Robert Schwarztrauber
    Town: Buffalo, NY

    Another fine photograph by Mr. Rockwell today. The people in the photograph make it truly unique. I'm always amazed by how adding or subtracting one simple element can make all the difference. Not just in our photographs but in life as well. Often we're so close to greatness, but are too much in a hurry to let it come. Mr. Rockwell has shown us time and again, he has an eye (and the patience) for greatness.
    Name: Tammy Munday
    Town: Spring Hill, TN

    Very well done Mr. Rockwell. Excellent perspective.

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