Columbia River Gorge Tour & Workshop

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Learn the latest in high-end panoramic photography technologies while exploring the beauty of Oregon.

We’ve put together a hands on, in the field course, that is the antithesis of institutionalized on-line photography e-learning. We are making a leap of faith that folks prefer learning techniques in the field while enjoying the splendor that the Pacific Northwest has to offer.

Who we are: Mike & Gavin are explorers and technology futurists

What will you learn?

  • A solid understanding of manual/robotic pano heads and in what conditions they are most applicable
  • Beginner/Intermediate introduction to Stitching software (PTGui, Autopano Giga, Microsoft ICE, Gigapan Stitch)
  • Introduction to HDR & VR software (Photomatix, Oloneo, Panotour Pro, KRpano, Pano2VR,, etc.)
  • Image output formats and storage options (.psb, .tiff, .kro, photosynth, gigapan, 360cities, etc.)
  • Basic workflow (set up, image capture, post processing, stitching, final edits, VR processing, sharing online)

What you'll get out of this?

  • Develop a new skill set to add to your photographic arsenal
  • Keep relevant with todays growth and technology in the industry
  • A solid foundation and understanding of gigapixel photography
  • Your own interactive images online
  • Significant discounts on panoramic hardware and software
  • New friends and great memories!

COLUMBIA RIVER GORGE April 19th - 27th

We will guide our group through one of Oregon's Seven Wonders, the magnificent Columbia River Gorge! Just a short drive from Portland, you’ll find the amazing views from Crown Point, where you can see the mighty Columbia nestled in the Gorge unfurl before your very eyes. US Congress recognized the unique splendor of the Gorge and designated it a National Scenic Area, the largest in America. And when you see it for yourself, you’ll understand why it’s one of the 7 Wonders of Oregon. Multnomah Falls and dozens of other falls like Horsetail, Ponytail and Bridal Veil line the way along the Historic Columbia River Highway. You have to go over a log mountain and wade through water to get to Lower Oneonta Falls – but once you get there, you’ll see why it was worth the trip


April 19th:  

Arrive at the Portland International Airport and transfer to a Hotel in Portland. Get settled and refreshed because we have a Welcome Dinner planned at one of Portland's fantastic restaurants.


April 20th:

The morning will be spent exploring some of the magnificent sites of Portland and we will spend the afternoon teaching you all about workflow and processing to help get you prepared for launch on Tuesday.

April 21st:



Latourell Falls is usually the first waterfall seen along the Columbia Gorge Scenic Highway. Because of this, it usually leaves quite an impression on first time visitors. The falls plunge 224 feet over a massive wall of columnar basalt - some of the best formations in the Pacific Northwest - before cascading hastily towards the Columbia River. This waterfall is usually most recognized for the large patch of bright yellow lichen adorning the cliff face to the right of the falls, and this characteristic has led many famous photographers to give this location their treatment. (Hiking difficulty: Lower Falls - Easy & Upper Falls - Intermediate

Oneonta Falls takes some effort to see, but it's totally worth it. Tucked away in Oregon's Oneonta Gorge (a slot canyon in the Columbia River Gorge), the falls are the adventurous photographer's finest reward. The entrance to the Gorge looks simple but after a short wade through shin deep water, you'll find the infamous logjam. It's simple enough to navigate as long as you take your time. Making your way over you enter the slot like chasm, wading through a waist-deep creek one will encounter Oneonta Falls. The hidden gem clocks in at 100 feet, and is surrounded by lush green moss. The sight is                                                                                                                                                                                          magical. (Hiking difficulty: Intermediate - The hike is flat but you will need to                                                                                                                                                                            navigate a log jam at the beginning of the hike.) 


April 22nd:



Multnomah Falls plummets 620 feet in two major steps. The upper fall plunging 542 feet the lower fall 69 feet distinguishing Multnomah Falls as the highest waterfall in the state of Oregon and second highest in the nation. The water flowing over Multnomah Falls water is supplied by natural underground springs that originate on Larch Mountain. In springtime, snowmelt additionally supplies the falls, greatly increasing the flow, width and intensity of the falls’ powerful roaring sound.

Wahclella Falls is one of the most powerful waterfalls in the Columbia River Gorge. It consist of two tiers, dropping 48 and 79 feet out of a very narrow gorge, into a large pool. The plunge pool has a picturesque quality due to the surrounding natural walls that form a semi-circular rotunda extending from the falls to the main vantage point.


April 23rd:

Hamilton Mountain provides up close and personal experiences with the mighty Columbia Basalt cliffs, decorated in bright green lichen. The hike is full of the best things the Columbia Gorge has to offer: easy access, well-maintained trail, wildflowers galore, two waterfalls, and views to knock off your sweaty socks. It’s a long journey at about 7.5 miles, and steep in places, but nothing a healthy dog, child or senior citizen can’t do.You’ll encounter incredible old-growth Douglas fir along this stretch. Wildflowers love this mountain, and you might want to check the trail sides for tasty wild strawberries in the late spring. When you reach the top of Hamilton Mountain three miles up, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of the photo-worthy Cascade peaks.  (Hiking difficulty: Moderate/Difficult)

Beacon Rock State Park is a 5,100-acre year-round park with historic significance dating back hundreds of years. Located in the heart of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, Beacon Rock is the core of an ancient volcano. The mile-long trail to its summit provides outstanding panoramic views of the Columbia River Gorge. The park includes 9,500-feet of freshwater shoreline on the Columbia River. (Hiking difficulty: Short but moderate)

Angels Rest is an exposed bluff on the Western end of the Columbia River Gorge. This summit is characterized by a long, rocky spine surrounded on three sides by cliffs, boasting a striking 270 degree view! While you can't see any of the Cascade volcanoes from the top, you do get great vantages of Beacon Rock, Silver Star Mountain and many other landmarks. Hiking difficulty: Moderate)


April 24th:


Tamawanas Falls:  Explore a diverse old-growth forest along the crystal clear Cold Spring Creek leading up to the spectacular Tamanawas Falls. One hundred foot tall Tamanawas Falls is less known than its rivals in the Gorge, but is equally as breathtaking. he Tamanawas Falls area has remnant old-growth Pondersa pines along with a mix of Western Red Cedar and Douglas fir trees.

Hood River, a scenic wonderland of natural beauty in every season. Here you’ll discover a world of year-round outdoor recreation, dramatic vistas, historic landmarks, fantastic food, wine and beer—and best of all, warm, friendly people. Located at the crossroads of the spectacular Columbia River Gorge and the magnificent Cascade Range

April 25th:

Mt. Hood is the highest point in Oregon and the fourth highest in the Cascade Range. In addition to being Oregon's highest mountain, it is one of the loftiest mountains in the nation based on its prominence. Home to six ski areas in the, it is the surrounding area's go to place for Winter fun. Places like Timberline Lodge (noted in film for serving as the exterior of the Overlook Hotel in The Shining), Ski Bowl and Mt Hood Meadows are at the top of all skiers lists. The area also offers camping, hiking and a wonderful Adventure park that keeps people coming all year round.  Several lakes surround the picturesque mountain including Trillium Lake, Timothy lake, and Mirror Lake


April 26th:

The Zigzag River runs westward, for about 12 miles (19km) form Mt. Hood's Western slope into the Sandy River. Tall pines, beautiful scenery, and a shallow rocky river make this a picturesque retreat for several Oregonians. Close proximity to Mt Hood and hundreds of hiking trails only add to the popularity. A Seventy-five-foot (23 m) Little Zigzag Falls on the Little Zigzag River is one of the three most popular off-road locations in the Zigzag basin

Return to Portland for Farewell Dinner

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April 27th:

Transportation back to Portland International Airport

WHAT IS INCLUDED in your tour

  • All accommodations
  • Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Transportation to and from the airport
  • Transportation to all photographic locations
  • 2-3 Experienced panoramic photographers at all locations the entire time


  • Airfare
  • Hotels prior to or following the tour
  • Beverages or additional items ordered during meals

Gear Requirement/Recommendations

  • Laptop computer capable of running photo editing software, stitching software and VR tour software. Please have all software (trial/full versions) we will be discussing, preinstalled on your laptop prior to the workshop. (A full list will be provided upon sign up/request)
  • Tripod capable of supporting up to 15 pounds (6kg)
  • We encourage you to have a DSLR or newer mirrorless camera, but as long as your camera has a manual mode or exposure lock, focus lock and white balance lock we should be able to accommodate you 
  • Since we will be exploring several waterfalls, you should have a waterproof bag for carrying your camera gear
  • Chest waders are also recommended for the Oneonta Falls hike. You will get wet on this hike. Water levels vary but can be anywhere from 2-6 feet (.6-1.8m) in depth. We also recommend a dry set of clothes with you this day
  • The weather can fluctuate greatly in Portland, The Columbia River Gorge and Mt. Hood during the Spring please make sure that you check the forecast frequently prior to your departure.


The tour costs $6,250 for a single occupancy room . To book your place, please pay the reservation fee of $1,000 per person by credit card, Paypal or bank transfer. The tour fee balance is payable 3 months before departure.


If you cancel your reservation the following charges will be payable:

  • Cancellations 2 months before the tour start date are fully refundable*
  • From 8 weeks to 4 weeks before the tour: 25% of your balanceFrom
  • 4 weeks to 1 week before the tour: 50% of your balance
  • From 1 week to 72 hours before the tour: 75% of your balance
  • If you cancel within 72 hours of the start of the trip, no refund can be paid

* Transaction charges incurred on accepting and refunding payments will be deducted from the refund amount

We highly recommend that you take out travel insurance to guard yourself against monies lost due to unavoidable cancellation by either party.


To book your space, click the "Book Now" button below. 

 We control the number of remaining spaces within the shopping cart, so if you can book the number of places required, you’re in!


Insurance is not required but we highly encourage you to purchase it to protect your self against unfortunate circumstances

  • Travel Insurance — If you fall sick or have an accident or fall ill during the course of the trip, you will miss part of your tour, and hospital fees and other expenses can be expensive. We strongly advise you to take out travel insurance for yourself for the entire length of the trip in advance of departure
  • Cancellation Insurance — This is often included in your Travel Insurance, but if for any reason you have to cancel your tour after the refund cut-off dates, cancellation insurance can help you recuperate your costs
  • Camera Equipment Insurance — We also suggest that you insure your photography equipment and belongings if not included in your home or travel insurance. If you already have your gear insured, double check that you are covered for international travel too, if you are visiting Iceland from another country


If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. We look forward to seeing you in Portland, and are thrilled to be sharing this wonderful part of the world with all of you! 

— Michael Franz & Gavin Farrell