Sunrise?

I took off early in hopes of catching a nice sunrise, but the clouds that catch all of the color and drama decided to sleep in. I arrived at the location, this time being the Women’s Forum site along the old Columbia River Highway.  As early as I was,there were a few before me already lined up.  None were at the spot I usually like, so I set up  my gear and waited for the light show.  It was a nice morning, cool and crisp.  One of the other photographers was taking engagement shots for a couple.  Just the right amount of color for that.  With only a few shots to keep, I stopped at another favorite place on the way back.  The Sandy River Delta usually has some good opportunities as well,  and there was a lot of ground fog.  Some of these images are similar to ones I have posted before.  Not to many folks were out yet at just past sunrise, so the few that were out, had the place to themselves.  I saw the local coyote, but not soon enough to get a shot of him. He was bounding through the tall grass and brush probably looking for breakfast.

Sorry for not posting much lately, we have been working on  a photo exhibit and other projects.  I have not been out taking as many photos as in the past.  I will work to remedy that in the future.

 


More Water – Punchbowl Falls

Punchbowl Falls, Columbia River Gorge.

So yesterday was a bright sunny warm day, something new to us this year.  We have not had any nice weather since last summer, for more than a day at a time.  We got about three this time around.  We enjoyed every minute.  I took off for a falls that was new to me, left early in the morning.  It is about a four mile walk round trip.  Some of the trail can be a challenge, some of the spots are narrow, one person narrow, but there is a cable guide anchored to the rock face if you need support.   There is not a lot of elevation gain, according to a map I found, no more than 700-750 feet.  I connected up with a couple of other photographers on the way in and we had a good time discussing the good day and the available photo conditions.  To get the shot of the falls dropping into the bowl, it is necessary to be in the middle of the river.  Well, there is still snow patches on the other side of the river, so i was not about to wade out into the water.  One of the other fellows did.  He spent more than a half hour in the water, with no boots, just waded out out into the river.  The other fellow and I found a way to “walk on the water” and  managed to move from rock to rock and found a dinner plate sized rock to stand on and get images of the falls. The falls themselves are about 35 feet high.  All in all, a good day.   There is a day use fee of $5 to park in the surrounding lots, so if you wander up the river, be prepared.  There are numerous falls on this route, and if you travel farther up the trail, you can take in one that has a tunnel behind the falls, and many others if you have the time.


Spring saw the light

It appears spring has finally arrived in full force.  I went for a walk/hike and took my point and shoot just to keep in practice.  It was a nice warm day, at least for this time of year.  I say walk/hike because although I live in a city, the experience was not on level ground.  As I have mentioned before, Mt. Tabor is an extinct volcano.  Moving around its grounds can become a challenge for some.  Many go here for their workouts and just to get out to prevent “cabin fever”  (maybe “cubicle fever”)  from setting in to deeply.  It was a good time for whatever reason.  Even got in a couple of bees doing their thing for the program.  It is now raining off and on, washing away all of the winter mud that has been carried in and  around.  I suppose the term “April Showers” is in order?

 


Lots of Water – Upper McCord Creek Falls

The weather cleared for the first time in many days (for us, anyway), and it was on the cold side.  Frost when I left home, 37 degrees at the trail.  We have had record amounts of rain this year. That and taking up other projects has kept me away from my camera.  With the one clear day and another not predicted for many more days, I decided to take a trip out to a falls I had not been to before.  It seemed to be somewhat off of the beaten path, so I figured I might have it to myself for a bit.  That worked out well as I did not run into anyone else until I was almost off of the trail to go home.  Early morning is always the best for trips like this.  The trial was only a mile or so long back to the falls.  The condition of the trail was damp (wet) and muddy, but we were still in the last day of winter.  I was glad I took my work boots and not just my hiking boots.  As you can see in the images, one section of the trail actually has guard rails.  250 feet or so to the bottom.  The trail to the lower falls has been washed out for now, or I would have images of the upper and lower falls. Maybe later in the year.  One of the images shows the lower falls as viewed from above.

I had mud scattered on everything when I got back to my vehicle, but that’s part of the fun, right?  My camera bag top was soaked because of all the runoff from the cliff face where the guard rail is. Naturally that would be where I needed to take a photo.  The layers of rock with which the mountains and valley’s are formed around here are very interesting. Must be time for a geology book.  I will return to this spot, maybe when it is more green and not still in the winter brown camo colors.  And the parking lot was full when I left, with a couple of cars cruising for a parking space.


So with the weather bad (wet, soggy, muddy, swampy, still more wet, or cold and frozen), I stayed inside longer and worked on other art projects. I’m not opposed to the wet, soggy, muddy, swampy stuff, but the cold and frozen takes it’s toll now days.  My daughter and I are getting ready for an art show next month, so matting and framing have been at the top of the list.  I dug around and found some photos I have probably used here one time or another, but not all at once that I could  track down, at least within the last year.  The panoramas are fun to do, and show off an area in a whole new way.  They should enlarge well enough if you click on them, and they all looked good on my screen (that always seems to be the case). Hopefully, they will look good on yours as well.   Have fun!

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Chinese New Year

We have a good sized Chinese community here, and they have celebrations throughout the year.  A couple of years ago, they brought together all of the parts to present a dragon to celebrate the new year.  I have missed previous years, but this year I found out about the parade just in time.  So as we all collected to watch the fun on our cold morning,  they started off with the ribbons of firecrackers and the drum and cymbals.  The dragon and the lion dogs all started across town.  Most of the people that came up for the show joined in the procession and we all followed them on the journey.  It took about an hour, and everyone got their exercise; especially the folks with the dragon.  So if no one has said it yet,  Happy New Year!!


Half and Half

I won’t go on anymore about our snow.  It was a record breaker for us this last week, but it seems the storm carrying it from here will hit other folks harder than here. As I was out and about catching images for fun, I started catching shadows, then other loose marbles started colliding around in my head and a new idea fell out.  So going against the “rules” about splitting your images in half, or putting the horizon in the middle and such, I’m going to do it anyway.  All of the pucker marks in the one image were made by crows looking for their popcorn. I left the color as blue as it was.   Enjoy your snow day.

 


Fog Banks

Well it is that time of year when fog happens.  We get a fair share of it here in the Pacific Northwest, and it one of my favorite times to search out photo opportunities.  I had not been down along our city’s water front for quite awhile, so with the fog approaching, off I went.  It was also cold, just above freezing by one or two degrees. not enough for ice or frost, but close.  It was a lot of fun, even in the cold.  We have a very active bicycle community here, so a lot of folks commute to work on bicycles, and this waterfront route gets a lot of that traffic.  There was also a large number of folks on foot for their morning walk, and also heading for work.  We also have a lot of bridges to the heart of the city.  Ten in the downtown area, one more on the outlying edge of the city and then one more that gets you into Washington state (or back if need be). There are a few more out around the edges as well.  I have included a good portion of those in previous editions on this blog, at different times of the year.  The images also lend themselves to black and white conversion quite nicely.  Some you cannot even tell the difference unless it is made dramatic. I did that on a couple just for fun.  The shapes and patterns are the challenge in many of these.  I do not go onto all of the bridges, the freeway bridges do not have pedestrian access.  It’s all fun.

 


Snow Day

My camera grabbed me the other day as I was on the way by and said  “it’s been days since we went out, grab your coat, we are leaving.”  As I have mentioned before, I live in the Pacific Northwest of the states.  Snow for us is not always a definite thing unless we got to the ski areas.  For the most part, our area shuts down in the snow.  The local folks are not used to operating in those conditions, so it can become a challenge to navigate around.  I took to the sidewalk and wandered over to a local city park to watch the people and the kids sledding on the hills.  It’s fun and the kids have a great time.  Our bit of snow was early this year, and for us almost a record amount.  I know it is no way comparable to what some of the other folks are getting in the midwest and the east, but for us it was good time. So after wandering around, I gathered a few images.  If you have followed this blog for a bit, you may recognize some of the landscape.  The park is actually a dormant volcano.  There is a basketball court in the old caldera.  Sorry, didn’t think of it soon enough, I would have taken a photo.  The court is made up of those ground up track shoes.  Cushy.  The bike riders continue, as do the runners.  And the ducks enjoy the reservoirs and the dogs love the snow, and their sweaters (I think).  I hope enjoy our bits of snow, we do.

 

 


Still Life Stuff

I have worked a bit with still life type of images and will likely work a bit more in the future.  It is an interesting field, fun to explore and test your knowledge, and try new things.  It will put new life into some old objects.  One of these images was an actual assignment for a class I took.  The rest are just took the trial and error route – “let’s try this and see what happens”.

So a bit of history for what you see.  The washboard was my grandmothers.  I remember her using this when I was little.  She also had an old crank type wringer washer.  She was constantly warning me  to keep my fingers away from the rollers on the wringer.  I always did, I never got pinched. It was a challenge to round up the old clothes pins, no one uses those any more.  The old bleach bottles are ours as well.

The fold-up camera was hers as well.  It is an old Agfa.

The chess set belonged to my wife’s folks, it used to set in the living room on a small table.

The red and yellow daisy’s were decoration in my daughters bathroom in Bolivia.

The frog you may have seen here before.  He is an easy target, and sets in our window.

The yellow tulips are also ours, this is one of those “lets try this”  images. And the room is not that yellow or yellow at all. It is a very pale green.  But the vase and tulips are true to color.

The mug is another “lets see what happens” image.  That was taken at a coast retreat, the mug is actually from one of our favorite restaurants on the way to the beach.  And they do sell the mugs in their store.  So give all of this a shot and see what happens.  No special gear was used for any of these images.  Camera, tripod, and a flash and flashlight.