Snoqualmie Falls
Snoqualmie Falls and River.  Long exposure photographs

Snoqualmie Falls are probably best known for their role in David Lynch’s “Twin Peaks”.

I had visited the falls several times previously but had not taken the half mile hike down from the upper viewing platforms to the river level. This was one of two mistakes. The first mistake was not viewing the falls from the lower boardwalk. The other mistake was not parking in the far less crowded lower parking lot in the first place.

After all, it’s a far better strategy to start your hike heading uphill. That way you’re walking downhill and not cursing your 40 year old legs and back as you slog up one of Washington State’s insanely steep switchback trails when the time comes to head back to the car.

Tips for shooting the falls?

The lower boardwalk does not offer an unobstructed view of the falls if you’re using a wide angle lens (I use a 10-24mm on a APS-C sensor so I’m shooting ultra-wide most of the time). The viewing platform is also not terribly wide and there’s only one corner that offers a good view of the falls themselves. If you’re planning on shooting using a tripod its best to shoot quickly and move out of the way to share the space with others. There will be others, as it is a very popular destination.

Also… night photography at the falls is difficult.  The falls are illuminated by a very powerful spotlight and the Salish lodge adds its own illumination.  The platforms closest to the falls are hazy with the spray from the falls but there are slightly lower platforms that provide a better view.   I’d suggest HDR if you’re into the kind of thing.