Signs you're in Portland

Signs you're in Portland

Portland Oregon is a great town!  While we were in Oregon this summer, we spent a long day there exploring quite a bit of it.  Here are some photos of some cool signs I spotted while there.  Enjoy!

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Portland's Japanese Garden

Portland's Japanese Garden

This Japanese Garden in the heart of Portland, OR is absolutely gorgeous!  I spent some time there with a few friends a couple of years ago (yep, Jim's a little behind in processing my pics!) and boy did I ever come back with some winners!  Sadly, it's taken me over 2 years to get around to sharing them...but they are!  Hope you enjoy the view!

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Horsetail Falls

Waterfalls are one of my favorite subjects!

There's just something about photographing a waterfall that just gets to me.  Obviously I love the beauty of nature, and feeling the mist on my face is pretty awesome.  I love standing there and just taking it all in too.  It's hard to beat.

As you probably know from previous visits here, I also love to shoot in HDR.  I do that a lot - it's one of the things I just love about photography.  So naturally I like to put the two together - waterfalls in HDR.  I will admit though that sometimes I will just do a single long exposure of a waterfall, so that I get that pure silky magic that only a slow shutter can give you.  But that only works for me in the right light conditions.

In this scene, I went with a straight up 7 exposure HDR and then made some more adjustments in Color Efex Pro.  This was actually shot at the end of summer 2012 outside of Portland, OR and everything was just incredibly GREEN.  It was way too green.  So when I was in Color Efex Pro I started toying with the idea of turning this into a Fall image, since I was dreaming of Fall at the moment.

In other words, while this looks like a Fall shot that happened when the leaves were just the perfect colors, in reality it was summer and it was all green.  I like green, but needed a break from it this time around.  Hope you like it!

Blue hour on the Portland skyline

Portland, OR is a beautiful town, or at least the parts of it that I saw are beautiful.  I met a bunch of other photographers up there for a photo weekend, and the first evening out we hit this spot to shoot the skyline.  I am not sure how many pics I took in this area, but it’s a lot!  One of my favorite things to shoot is skylines and reflections, specifically during blue hour.  So in this case, I got both.  :-)

Rockin' at Multnomah Falls

I loved shooting at Multnomah Falls.  It’s huge, popular (read: crowded) and everyone shoots it, but I just didn’t care.  Last August, I came all the way out to Portland, OR from Texas, where we couldn’t even get a slight chance of rain, much less witnessing a waterfall this majestic.  It’s truly a sight to behold in person (and this was my 2nd visit, the 1st being ~10 years ago).  It’s just beautiful.  Go. See. It.

Given the chance, I would go back and shoot it again.  I believe that you can improve your photography by shooting the same thing many times, because each time is different.  In this case, due to the crowds, I had to work for creative compositions so that I didn’t have a thousand tourists in my shoots.  That just ruins the whole thing for me.

So, after taking a few shots from the lower falls, I walked up to the bridge which gives you a nice view of the upper falls.  I put on the zoom lens and opted to focus in on the bottom of the upper falls.  Finding that big rock sitting there was just a bonus.  :-)

Step up the stairs

The vision must be followed by the venture.  It is not enough to stare up the steps - we must step up the stairs.   - Vance Havner

I love that quote - just love it.  It's so true, and I think fitting for a lot of us in several ways.  Personally, in my photography work I have some things I want to accomplish, and I am in the process of stepping up those stairs to get these things done.  More on that soon!

For all my US readers, enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday and thanks everyone for stopping by!

(if you are curious, I shot this at the Japanese Gardens in Portland, OR)

Horsetail spray

Just a post and run today - this is Horsetail Falls along the Columbia River Gorge, just outside of Portland, OR.  On our recent photo expedition up there, we spent a good while exploring all these waterfalls.  They are all beautiful, and so much fun to photograph!

Multnomah closeup

Back from the UK!

As some of you may know, I was recently in the UK and in addition to hosting a great photowalk in London, I also got out and shot a whole lot in London and Dublin.  It was an incredible week and I have about 3000 images to get to at some point, and some fun stories to tell.  I'll be sharing that stuff with you all soon!

Daily photo - Multnomah closeup

I captured this image at Multnomah Falls, which is on the Columbia River Gorge outside of Portland, OR.  If you are ever even near Portland, I highly recommend this area for photography or just general tourism.  It is beautiful and along the Gorge there is an entire stretch of waterfalls - it's quite a lot to enjoy!

Portland reflected

Here's another Portland skyline shot from my recent trip out West. The golden hour that day was fabulous and led into a nice serene blue hour as well. All around a great evening to shoot!

Wispy Multnomah

Ok everyone, hope you are enjoying the Oregon posts so far this week - I sure am enjoying reliving these moments.  I love that about photography - it really takes me back and I feel like I am there all over again.


Today, I am moving onto a waterfall (and no, there is not really an order to the shots I am sharing this week).  But this isn't just any waterfall, it's Multnomah Falls!  If you aren't familiar with Multnomah Falls, just know that it is the tallest waterfall in the state at a total height of 620 feet (though it is split into 2 sections).

I had seen this waterfall years ago when I was in Portland, and knew it was at the top of my list of shots I wanted when I visited recently.  The thing is that at 620 feet it's pretty hard to get the whole thing in a shot, not to mention that the area is incredibly crowded most of the time.

So, I did the sensible thing and walked up to the mid-way point and out onto the footbridge.  I set up my tripod and leaned against the stone railing, in hopes of avoiding getting bumped by all the tourists.  I got bumped anyways. :)

But, I also got quite a few shots of the upper falls, from various angles.  I wanted to start with this one, just because I like it!