Photography and photojournalism in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest

Posts tagged “tokina 11-16mm

Don’t forget your boots!

Spanish Head-8

This image was taken last weekend at the Oregon coast while visiting the family in Lincoln City. That visit coincided with some unusually nice weather that provided two straight outstanding sunrises and sunsets. To take advantage of that, I headed on several occasions to Spanish Head at the south end of the town and walked out to the remains of an ancient lava flow that extends from the beach out into the water. It’s a gorgeous spot with a ton of rocks, both individual and in clusters, that provide foreground interest, while the main lava flow can be used as a background or as the main focal point of the shot. In this image, though, I found a nice rock on my way back home and stopped to take a few extra frames. The water flow of this wave, which was less than a foot high, proved to be perfect for the shutter speed I was using. It also overflowed my boots, but since that already had taken place earlier in the morning it wasn’t too much hassle.

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Elowah Spring

Elowah -5

Elowah -6Elowah Falls in the Columbia River Gorge is one of the most easily accessible of the major waterfalls near the Portland metropolitan area. You still have to get your feet wet to take full advantage of this spot as a photographer, though, which is where things get really fun. On this day, though, I was kind of stuck for compositional ideas and ended making compromises that I didn’t like with regard to placing different elements in different spots. Plus, this waterfall always is a challenge to expose properly because of the tree cover shading the creek below this huge boulder to the left. That relative window into the amphitheater of basalt and lichen, though, is one of my favorite views in the entire Gorge and I never tire of seeing it.

Thanks for viewing, your feedback is always encouraged and welcome.


The Rush of the Gorge

Multnomah Creek-2

Does anyone else run out of interesting, yet descriptive names for landscape photos? This image shows Multnomah Creek just below Dutchman Falls. It can be found less than a half-mile from where Multnomah Falls pours 600 feet over a rock ledge to the Columbia River below, and  it’s one of the most beautiful spots on the entire creek.

The three mini-cascades team up to form a powerful current that is actually pretty brisk when you’re standing in its midst. Friend and fellow photographer Gary Meyers and I enjoyed a recent morning on this creek and came away with a portable hard drive’s worth of nice images, thanks to the perfect shooting conditions. This past week has been prime waterfall shooting weather in Oregon, and I’d like to think we took full advantage of it.

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A Spanish Head Thanksgiving


Thanksgiving Day at the central Oregon Coast involved heading down to the beach at Spanish Head in Lincoln City and shooting a fantastic sunset. It looks a bit far away in this image, but that’s because I’m shooting with an ultra-wide Tokina 11-16mm lens. It’s one of my favorites for this type of work, and it’s steadily become a workhorse for me even when I’m not shooting landscapes.

In this shot, the tide is coming up a bit, providing me with a steady supply of gorgeous water motion flowing over the basalt that decorates the beach at this spot. The reflection of the sunset on the wet sand is the icing on the cake, kicking off what turned out to be a great Thanksgiving holiday. I’m going to be shooting more at the beach as the new year comes around, weather provided, so this is a little taste of what the future holds in store.

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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.

Shooting the Milky Way

This is my first try at shooting the Milky Way, which fortunately presents itself nicely to us here in Oregon if you’re willing to travel away from urban areas. In this case, Mt. Hood provides a perfect backdrop and setting for long exposure night shots, despite a bit of light pollution from Timberline Lodge further up the mountain. This was taken last week during one of the last dry days we’ve had since then. I borrowed some settings from some more experienced astrophotographers and set off to see what I could capture with my aging D300S.

I was surprised by the results, actually. I didn’t expect to really come away with recognizable photos of the Milky Way, but 30 second exposures with my Nikkor 10.5mm f/2.8 fisheye lens did the trick here, albeit not fantastically. This lens worked slightly better than my Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 wide-angle in capturing starlight, but I still am not sure why it was so noticeable. This image was shot on the road up to Timberline using my D300s at ISO 3200,  and the 10.5mm fisheye at f/2.8 and 30 seconds’ exposure.

The photo at right was taken with the 11-16mm lens, also set at f/2.8 and using a 30 second exposure at ISO 3200. For the age of the camera, I think it turned out fairly well for a first try, although the way these photos display on Word Press doesn’t seem to be the best. What do you think?

The Old and the New


This is Portland’s Hawthorne Bridge just after sunset last night. We’ve got a fantastic skyline for photography for a relatively small city here in Portland, and the bridges are a big reason why. Many of them date back a century or more, and the construction of that period always has been a photographer’s delight. More so in Portland, when you add in features like these ancient, rotting pilings. These are a great foreground element and they also highlight the remains of the city when it once contained buildings spilling out into the Willamette River. This is a 30-second exposure at f/11 and 400 ISO with a polarizing filter thrown in for good measure.