Timberline at Mt. Hood, OR

[/caption] Who’s ready for the ski resorts in the Pacific Northwest to open already? After we received our first snow storm in late October we have been patiently waiting for the intense pounding of the fresh white stuff. However, we have been getting a mixed bag of rain and snow in the higher elevations. It’s only a matter of time before winter comes in full force but I’ve already completed my first snow-shoe journey and I’ve eagerly taken out my snow-board gear. I took this shot a few weeks ago while visiting Trillium lake. You can see Timberline lodge in the lower right side of the photo and you can see just how awesome Mt. Hood can look once it’s covered in snow. To get this shot I was standing on the far end of the lakes edge and made sure to use my tripod, bubble level and remote switch in order to avoid any shake. I was using my Canon Rebel T1I and my Canon 55-250 telephoto lens. The focal length was set at 131mm in order to keep the mountain in the foreground without showing any of the green vegetation showing in the lower elevations. I was using my UV, warming and my CIR-PL filter since I took the photo at 11:20 am and the sun was fairly bright even though the edges of the lake were shadowed by the trees. The F-stop was at F-8 and the shutter speed was 1/400 second. I set the ISO to 100 and the white balance to 0. I again had the camera set in the Program mode. The best thing about this photo is that there are only a few shadow’s showing along the mountain. This allows you to see all of the crevices and little peaks near the higher elevations. You can see where the Palmer lift ends as well as the vapor vent in the upper right side of the photo.

Fall colors in Portland, OR

[/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.

Oregon Cascades

[/caption] The best thing about snow-shoeing in fresh powder is that you can always find some great photo opportunities. I always try to include the snow covered trees, the untracked fresh powder and a mountain or hill in the distance. It’s also beneficial if you have a sky with a great personality in the background of the mountain. The is a great shot since it includes everything that I just mentioned. The sky is really cool since the blue sky had just given way to some high clouds that were moving in from the north. I was snow-shoeing up near Mt. Hood when I turned around to see this great view of the snow and clouds. I was lucky enough to not have tracked through this scene and was very impressed with the color of the clouds moving in. I’ve been to this spot several times but I’ve always been disappointed with the clouds in the background. However, this time I was very impressed. To get this shot I was using my 18-55mm Canon lens along with my Canon T1i Rebel. I wasn’t using my tripod since the lighting was pretty good. I had the camera in Program mode with the ISO set at 100 and the white balance at -1.3. The F stop was at F-9 and the shutter speed was at 1/160 second. I was using my UV, warming and CIR-PL filter and the focal length was at 55mm. The snow was so awesome that I could have spent all day photographing within just a 1/4 mile radius of where I parked. There is something magical about being the first person to snow-shoe during the first snow storm of the year. There is nothing better that knowing that you can just point your camera in any direction and know that you don’t have to worry about finding unwanted snow-shoe prints in your scene. Unless of course it’s of your own snow-shoe tracks.