Photospheres from Silver Falls State Park

One of my five-year plans is to get into 360-degree photography. These days, this is incredibly easy to do–pick up your smart phone, download a Google app called Photo Sphere Camera, and start snapping pics. I'd actually recommend that you download the app for viewing as well, especially if you have an iPad. In addition to photography, it allows you to use the tablet as a viewer, and you can look around a photosphere by moving the iPad around. Photos take a while, and it'll make you look a little bit like a goofball as you stand in one spot and take about 30 consecutive photos—at least one guy glared at me—but the result is worth it. I've taken a couple trips to do this in the past month, one a teaser for a much longer journey that's part of a mapping project I want to put together. The more recent, a trip to Silver Falls State Park, was much more spectacular. I've never been to Silver Falls, and I shy from heavily trafficked natural areas for reasons I have trouble defending, but I'm telling you, this is one of the most amazing places in Oregon. On a good day, after we've had a lot of rain, the falls are roaring. We were lucky enough to visit on a day when the park was relatively deserted. Aside from a time commitment that forced us to speed up a leisurely pace, it was one of the best hiking days I've had in a long time.

Anyway, I took a lot of photospheres, found out that "photosphere" is a cumbersome word that sounds really nerdy when you say you're about to take them, and emasculated myself on a huge log that blocked the trail. Be forewarned that the photos aren't perfect, so any floating heads, arms, or other human appendages (which you'll find) are merely technological defects and not the evidence of gratuitous violence. In time, the technology will improve and the task will become less demanding. In the meantime, here are some of my favorites. There are around 15 of these. You can look a few here, but for best viewing, check out my profile on Google Views.

Double Falls
Middle North Falls
Middle North Falls from inside
North Falls

I shot a video, too:


And how about a few more photos for posterity:

In what felt like old growth, Doug Firs like this had to be 150-200 feet tall. Some of them were double trees with trunks that split a quarter of the way up.

Panorama taken at the entrance to the park, facing west toward Silverton and I-5. The valley is shrouded in fog.