[/caption] One of the most interesting and impressive buildings doesn’t include any of Portland’s high rise buildings. This is a photo of a very old building with a mural that gives the illusion that you’re looking at a flat apartment wall. However, you can see the windows in the middle that show that it really bows in where the windows are but you can never tell without really studying it. The rest of the windows shown are just a facade. I never get tired of admiring the artwork on this historical building. I have seen several photos from other photographers but I’ve never really been impressed. Either they are taken from a bad angle or they include other buildings or vegetation in their shot. I believe the best way to photograph this building is by standing directly in front of it. However, I do have to admit that I could have included more in the left part of the photo in order to include more of the people. To get this shot I stood about 50 feet from the wall and crouched down so I could angle my camera so I could include as much in the frame without having any distraction in the photo. It’s surprisingly difficult to do this since the building is much taller than it is wide. The building also has a tight angle on one side and a very large tree on the other side. I was using my Canon EOS T1i along with my Canon 18-55mm lens. The FL was at 37mm. I had the camera in Program/Normal mode so the aperture was at F5.6 and the shutter speed was at 1/64 second. Since I took this photo in February the light was low but the glare was pretty intense and it was early in the afternoon. Therefore, I set the ISO to 100 and the white balance to -1. I also attached my warming filter and my CIR-PL in order to bring out the colors of the building and filter out some of the afternoon glare.
[/caption] As the rain continues to hammer the Pacific Northwest I find it almost impossible to have the opportunity to take any note worthy photographs. I decided to post one of my photos that I took last November when the city was under siege from all the fall colors that enveloped the city. During fall, when the sky’s are clear and the temperatures are cold and brisk, the city comes alive with all of the wonders of autumn. This is especially true when you put the Willamette river in the foreground of your picture. Anytime you add water to a fall picture when the sky’s are clear, you can really express the beauty of autumn. the colors become more vibrant and the overall quality of the picture is enhanced. I took this photo while biking along the Willamette river on 11/3/10. I was using my Canon Rebel EOS T1i along with my 12-24mm wide angle lens. I attached my UV, warming and CIR-PL filter in order to bring out the blueness of the sky and the colors of the vegetation and man made objects. The camera was set on Normal/Program mode so the aperture was at F7. I had the focal length at 14mm so I could include as much of a panoramic view as possible. However, since I had the filters on the lens and the lens hood attached, I couldn’t use the 12mm setting. This is the only problem with using a lens hood and filters. Since I took this photo at 1:10pm and I was facing north west, the glare was fairly intense. I was able to set the ISO to 100 but I had to set the white balance at -0.7. I didn’t use a tripod when I took this photo. This photo really shows just how beautiful Portland can be during autumn. A combination of the water, marina, boats, buildings, blue sky’s and the vegetation really enhance the overall scene.
[/caption] The Fall colors are finally starting to dominate the downtown Portland landscape and the weather was sunny and warm. I can’t think of a better way to spend the day than biking along the Willamette river and the many bridges that span the river. One of the best ways to really get a good look of the city is by bicycle. There are miles of paved paths that travel on both the west and east sides of the Willamette river. Most of the bridges also have pedestrian paths that allow walkers, joggers and bikers to safely cross. Normally I walk along the river so I can spend a lot of time photographing the city. However, this time I decided to try something a bit different by traveling as much as I can while photographing several different areas throughout the city. You pretty much have to ditch the tripod and only pack a few lenses but it’s well worth it. There are plenty of free 2 hour parking spots throughout the city which makes it easier to travel by bike. Especially since you can quickly get back to your car before you get a ticket. Biking through the city can be tricky during the early afternoon on a warm sunny fall day but it’s a great opportunity to get people in your photos. This photo was taken just north of the Burnside Bridge with the Ben Franklin building in the background. You can see the rich colors along with some of the still green vegetation lining the river near the city. I like this shot of the wispy cloud almost directly over the top of the building and with the Made in Oregon sign next to it. It almost looks like a giant chimney billowing out smoke from its top. This photo really shows just how much personality Portland has. The combination of several bridges, the Willamette river, vegetation and the buildings create a fantastic atmosphere. To get this shot I was using my Canon T1I Rebel along with my Tokina 12-24 wide-angle lens and the focal length for this photo was at 15mm. I had my UV, warming and CIR-PL filter attached to my lens. Because I was riding my bike, I wasn’t carrying my tripod. The glare was fairly intense since I took this photo at 12:25pm and I took this photos almost due south. I usually just put the sun in the upper left or right of the frame in order to avoid sun spots or too much exposure. However, my warming filter and CIR-PL always eliminates this problem. Again, I can’t stress the importance of using these filters anytime you are taking pictures during full sun. I had the camera in program mode so the shutter speed was at 1/64 second and the F stop was at F-5.6. I set the ISO to 100 and adjusted the white balance to 0. I always make sure to set my camera to the histogram setting so I can quickly review the photo and make immediate adjustments if needed. I highly recommend a bike trip in the city if you really want to get a great opportunity to get some great views of the downtown area.
[/caption] Downtown Portland Oregon on the last day of summer 2010. The cloud formations in Portland had been creating some dramatic shapes so I decided to take some shots at sunset and twilight. September and early October always seem to be the best times to get great sunset shots throughout Oregon and This time was no exception. The sun set at about 7:25 and this shot was taken at 7:54, just after sunset. Since the glare was still pretty high, I attached my ND4 along with my CIR-PL, warming filter and UV filter. Since the clouds were moving pretty fast I reduced the shutter speed to only 13 seconds. This allowed me to smooth out the river movement but also capture the clouds without getting too much blur effect. I was using my tripod, bubble level and remote switch during the whole evening since the light was too low. I had the ISO at 200 and the F stop was at F8. I was using my 18-55mm Canon lens and had the focal length at 24mm. I also had the white balance at only -0.3 since the ND4 filter had darkened the shot pretty well. Whenever I want to get the best panoramic shots of Portland I almost always go the the east side of the Willamette river and stroll down the jogging and biking path that parallels the I-5. There are several great places to set up your tripod and several areas to stop along the way.
[/caption] Recently I’ve had the opportunity to shoot Portland at night. I’ve been photographing the downtown area for several years but I had never been given the opportunity to take a photo at night looking east and at an elevated position. This spot puts me just over I-5 and just east of the Willamette river. This provides me with one of the best vantage spots in the city. I wanted to set my shutter long enough so I could get the best flash movements of the headlights and tail lights of the traffic moving about the city. The colors of the bridges as well as the many other on ramps and roads really gives this photo a lot of personality. To get this shot I was using my 12-24 wide angle lens. I had the focal length at 24mm in order to get as much in the scene as possible. Since the sun had set over an hour ago, I made sure to remove my warming filter and CIR-PL. I was using the shutter priority and had the shutter set at 30 seconds in order to capture as much of the streamers from the cars as possible. The F stop was at F11 and the ISO was at 400. The Exposure Compensation/White Balance was at -.3.
[/caption] I wasn’t sure the name of this flower but I believe it’s called a tulip tree flower. Most of them weren’t open but there were a few that had. I took this at the Portland International Rose Garden on Friday. However, while driving near my house I noticed that there were 5 of the same trees just 800 feet from my front door. I will be photographing more of flower since it’s so interesting. I can’t believe that I never noticed this before. Sometimes you can’t see the forest through the trees. I took this with my 18-55mm kit lens. I removed my CIR-POL so I wouldn’t have camera shake since I didn’t use my tripod. However, I did use my warming filter to bring out the vivid colors. I had my lens at 55mm focal length and I was about 6 inches from the flower. I kept my camera in Auto Exposure with an F-stop of 5.6 and my ISO was at 100. I had taken several pictures while in Flower mode but this one was taken in Auto.