Photography and photojournalism in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest

Portland

Blue Hour on the Willamette

Morrison Bridge-4

I really enjoy shooting cityscape images during the blue hour. Portland is one of the best places around for this, because the fantastic – and numerous – bridges spanning the Willamette River lend themselves to endless compositions. And because of the many old docks, pilings and other remnants of Portland’s past littering the east bank of the river, the place has history to spare. At least by the relatively limited standards of the western United States. But I digress.

In this shot, I found a solitary piling sticking its head above the water in between the concrete chunks that once formed the ferry landing. It made a nice compositional anchor for my foreground, while I used my iPhone to paint the concrete and rocks with light to give it a little extra glow and bring out detail. I’m enjoying this kind of subtle light painting recently, as it gives a nice touch to foreground elements at night that otherwise might be lost or missed.

Thanks for viewing, and please feel free to leave, commentary, critique or suggestions on where to shoot in the future. I love finding new – to me – spots and scenery, so don’t hesitate. Thanks!


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Fire up the waterfront

Fire up the waterfront

Steel wool spinning creates some intriguing images, especially when you’re already in an interesting environment. This shot was taken on the east bank of the Willamette River in downtown Portland just north of the Morrison Bridge. With the last remnants of the blue hour in the sky, the flaming wool makes for some really colorful light painting.


Portland’s Favorite Japanese Maple

I took a journey up into Portland’s South Hills last week to photograph the city’s most beloved Japanese Maple, which can be found at the city’s Japanese Garden at Washington Park. It’s an iconic tree and location for Portlanders, and on a typical fall day this time of year it’s easy to find dozens of photographers at a time wandering the grounds. In the week since I shot this photo the tree has since turned more red and I’m finding more and more photos online each day as this week progresses.

I don’t have a lot to say about this photo, other than I shot it with an ultra-wide angle Tokina 11-16mm lens, which really makes the tree appear much larger here than it really is. It’s striking, actually, because from where this is shot I am kneeling next to my tripod looking up into the tree’s canopy at roughly a 45-degree angle. If the only view one has seen previously is the one above, it’s easy to walk right past and miss the tree entirely if you haven’t been to the Garden before. It’s a must-see spot for visitors to Portland, however, and is open year-round. It’s also photogenic year-round, with some of the nicest photos I’ve seen of this spot coming with snow on the ground.