Jeld-Wen Field in Portland, OR

[/caption] Since I wasn’t able to find a ticket to a Portland Timbers MLS game I decided that I would attend a Portland State football game in order to have the chance to check out the new and improved Jeld-Wen field. I was hoping to photograph the stadium during a sold out soccer match but this was going to have to do. However, I was pretty happy since the tickets were only $17.00 for general admission and I was able to walk around the entire SW to NE part of the stadium while I took several photos at different vantage points. I will even have to say that I had a better time taking photos here than I have had at Autzen stadium or Reser stadium. I think its mostly due to the fact that you can see some of the high rises in and around the stadium as well as a very new and old feel of jeld-Wen. After doing a little research I was pleasantly surprised to find out just how much history there is. Elvis Presley performed one of the first outdoor stadium rock concerts in music history on September 2, 1957. Even some of the bleachers in the stands are the original benches from when the stadium first opened in 1926. I decided to post this particular photo since the clouds and sky are awesome as well as the buildings behind the stadium create a fantastic feel. If you look in the bottom right of the photo you can see the tables on the field. Not a bad place to have a beer and watch a game. You can also see how the newer part of the stadium blends very well with the original grandstands. It’s also almost impossible to find a bad seat since I walked along the upper parts of the stadium and only the seats that are directly behind the steel beams obscure your view. I took this shot while using my Sigma 17-70mm lens and had the focal length at 17mm in order to get the most panoramic photo that I could.

Silver Falls State Park, OR

[/caption] The best time to visit Silver Falls State Park is either in late Spring, when the water level is at is maximum or during Fall when the leaves are peaking. I always try to visit during the middle of the week since the crowds can be unbearable. It’s also impossible to get a photo of the waterfalls without ending up with several hikers in the photo. This is especially frustrating when you are trying to set your shutter priority at 15 seconds. You will also find crowds of photographers on weekends. I normally get here as early as possible and leave just before dark. I also plan my trips when the weather is overcast and is calling for rain showers. This ensures the best photos and keeps many of the hikers at bay. You will need to plan on doing some serious hiking since you may end up wanting to hike to the waterfalls during the morning and then again in the early evening since the sunlight is dramatically different. I usually end up hiking up to 12 miles so I usually take a power nap in the afternoon since the lighting isn’t as good and I’m exhausted during the ride home. This photo of 93 foot Lower South Falls is one of the most photogenic since it’s fairly wide and has lots of foliage surrounding it but without hiding the waterfall. There are several areas to set up your tripod but you just need to be aware of hikers since the trail cuts directly behind the falls. I was using my Sigma 17-70mm lens and attached my ND4, CIR-PL and warming filter in order to get the movement of the water. The camera was in shutter priority and I set the shutter at 4 seconds. The aperture was set at F-16 since I had the ISO at 100 and the white balance at -0.3. I wanted to get the most panoramic photo so I had the focal length at 19mm. I also made sure to use my tripod, bubble level and remote switch. The lighting was pretty low since it was well overcast and it was about 4:20pm. I actually took this photo on 6/10/11 and the vegetation was absolutely brilliant. The foliage was incredibly neon green due to the insane amount of rain the Willamette Vally had received during Spring. I also made for an above average amount of fast moving water cascading down from the Cascade Mountains. This is a must place to visit for all photographers.

Secret Beach along the Southern Oregon Coast

[/caption] Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor, along the Southern Oregon coast, offers some of the most amazing viewpoints in the state. You will be amazed at the solitude and scenic beauty found throughout this protected area. This photo was taken at Secret beach which is a hidden beach access that you need to look for on a trail map. The trail starts from Hwy 101 and gradually winds its way to the beach. The views are amazing and the beach is rich with tide pools, waterfalls, wildlife and offers pristine beaches with several rock islands in the close distance. I took this shot of the tall and skinny rock because it created such a dynamic photo opportunity. It looks like an alien ship that had crashed landed on the beach thousands of years ago with only its shell remaining. The rock islands are framed in the background with the moon hovering in the far distance. The intense blue sky creates a magical contrast with the perfectly manicured sand in the foreground. I was using my Sigma 17-70mm lens and had the focal length at 17mm. I was standing pretty close to the rock but I wanted to ensure the field of view was good in order to have everything in focus. The camera was in Program/Normal mode so the aperture was at F-3.5 and the shutter speed at 1/64 second. I had the ISO at 100 and the white balance at -1 in order to eliminate any glare and ensure that the blue sky was well saturated but avoid any grainy texture. It was about 11:05am and the sun was high in the sky but I was able to stand near a massive cliff that was hiding much of the suns glare. I also attached my CIR-PL and warming filter and also made sure to use my tripod, remote switch and bubble level in order to avoid any camera shake or blur.

Fall Creek, OR

[/caption] Fall Creek is located just off the Cascades lakes highway and offers one of the most scenic hiking trails in Central Oregon. The trail starts just feet from where I took this photo and I was actually standing just a few yards from the picnic area. I was pretty lucky to get this shot since I had the shutter speed at 3.2 seconds in order to get the effect of the moving water and without having too much glare and overexposure. I had to make sure to eliminate the sky since it was the middle of July and several hours before sunset. I made sure to attach my ND4 along with my CIR-PL and warming filter. I was fortunate to have the aperture at F-25 in order to avoid complete overexposure.

Sunset in the San Juan Islands, WA

[/caption] If you like sunsets then I would recommend visiting the San Juan Islands in summertime. You will want to drive to the NW side of the island and I would get there about an hour before sunset since you may be able to spot bald eagles diving for their dinner as well as watch sea lions swim within feet from the shore. I’ve been photographing the sunsets at this very spot for two summers and every time I visit the sunset is always different. You can expect each sunset to be different from the day before and that’s pretty much guaranteed. To get this shot I set the shutter speed at 30 seconds in order to have the water completely flat and increase the contrast since the sun had already set. This caused the sky and water to be engulfed with the orange hue caused by the intense sunset.

Mt. Washington and Big Lake, OR

[/caption] Mt. Washington isn’t the tallest mountain in the Cascades but at 7,794 feet it’s one of the most photogenic. Big lake offers some of the best swimming during the summer months and during winter it completely freezes so you can cross country ski or snow show over the entire lake. There are several hiking trails that traverse the Mt. Washington Wilderness area as well as endless snow-shoeing trails available during winter.

Metlako Falls in the Columbia River Gorge, OR

[/caption] Metlako Falls is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the Gorge but unfortunately it’s also one of the most difficult to photograph without having any blur or camera shake in the picture. This is largely due to the fact that you have to climb over the guard rail and set up your tripod and hold on to the only tree while you hover just inches from the 200 foot canyon wall. The tree is literally hanging from the edge of the canyon and the creek is 200 feet below. As you can see in this photo you’re also in a very precarious spot since the waterfall is behind the vegetation but the forested trees blanket the entire photo. It’s very hard to get the camera to focus on the waterfall and the vegetation without causing the camera sensor to blur. It also doesn’t help that Metlako Falls is positioned deep in the canyon with trees elbowing for the camera. The viewpoint is about 200 yards from the 100 foot waterfall and you have to position the camera at a slight 30 degree angle since you’re standing above the falls. I was using my Sigma 17-70mm lens and attached my warming, CIR-PL and ND4 filters in order to reduce the glare and increase the shutter speed. I had the shutter speed at 4 seconds and the aperture was at F-16 since I had the ISO at 100 and the white balance at -1.7. The weather was rather cool and the skies were raining so I lucked out on the exposure. I had the focal length at 50mm in order to take advantage of the lighting and the neon green forest. The water level was especially incredible since it was early Summer and the winter had some of the highest snow pack in decades. I made sure to use my tripod, bubble level and remote switch since you can’t get this waterfall to be in focus without a tripod.

The Summit of Mt. Hood, OR

[/caption] Winter is almost here and the snow is already falling in the Cascade mountains. Even though the vegetation has just begun to change to it Fall colors in Oregon, I’m already thinking about the many snow storms we hope to get. I actually took this photo in 2010 but it was one of my best days photographing the summit of Mt. Hood. In fact, I took this photo on 10/27/10 which is incredibly early but it just goes to show that we may be lucky enough to get another early snow this year as well. I took this shot with my Canon 55-250mm telephoto lens and had the focal length maxed out at 250mm in order to get the best close up shot of the summit. It’s hard to imagine that the mountain had this much snow in the month of October. I made sure to use my tripod, bubble level and remote switch in order to avoid any camera shake. The field of view was very shallow but it didn’t matter since the only subject is the snow-capped mountain and its pretty sharp. I had the camera mode at Program/Normal mode and the aperture was at F-6.4 and the shutter speed at 1/332 second. I attached my CIR-PL and warming filter and had the ISO at 100 and the white balance at +0.3.

Jefferson Park and Mt. Jefferson, OR

[/caption] Early Fall at Jefferson Park is sure to provide the best photography opportunities since the late Summer wildflowers are still in bloom as well as the red huckleberry leaves blanketing the alpine carpet. Since many of the trails have been closed in order to try and restore the park, you have to really look for opportunities to photograph Mt. Jefferson with the foliage in the foreground. There are still dozens of trails to suite your needs but you do want to stay focused since its easy to miss a terrific photo opportunity. It’s especially true since you will find yourself immersed in the sheer beauty of the area. I almost missed the opportunity to take this photo since I was heading towards the opposite part of the park in order to hike above the alpine lakes and I was worrying about running out of daylight. This photo was taken between Russell Lake and the mountain and I really liked the view of Mt. Jefferson with the foliage, trees and rocks in the foreground. I was using my tripod, bubble level and remote switch but placed it low to the ground in order to get as much foliage in the photo without reducing the field of view. I was using my Sigma 17-70mm lens and had the focal length at 17mm in order to get a panoramic shot so I could include as much of the mountain and foliage as I could. Since I had attached my CIR-PL and warming filter as well as set the ISO to 100 and the white balance at -1.3 the aperture was at F-5.7 and the shutter speed at 1/128 second since the camera mode was in Program/Normal. The photo was taken at about 1:20pm and the sun was at about a 90 degree angle above the mountain so the saturation was nice.

Fall foliage at Champoeg State Heritage Area, OR

[/caption] One of the best places to pay homage to the Fall colors in Oregon is the Willamette Vally. You can photograph the vineyards, trees, agriculture as well as the forested hills. I normally like to head out on a sunny, cold, dry and foggy morning and drive along the agriculture or winery areas and then look for the best possible photography opportunity. However, Champoeg State Heritage Park is a great place to visit if you want to do a little hiking along the Willamette river and photograph the many trees changing colors. It’s a huge park and is absolutely crazy during the summertime but Autumn and early Fall is almost completely void of anyone. There is even an area where you can camp with a tent or RV. This particular photo was taken just before the tree peaked. However, you can see just how dynamic and brilliant the colors are. What really drew me to this photo was the color of the sky. It’s so blue and well saturated that it looks great with the yellow in the foreground. I made sure to include the sky in the upper part and right hand corner of the photo in order to show the brilliant color of the blue sky. This tree probably peaked the very next day but unfortunately A huge rainstorm was supposed to be moving in and this was my only shot at getting these photos. I was using my Canon Rebel T1i along with my Canon 18-55mm lens. I had the focal length at 29mm and I made sure to use my tripod, bubble level and remote switch in order to avoid any camera shake. I actually took this photo two years ago but I wanted to post it since Autumn/Fall is almost here. It was taken at about 4:00pm and the sun was just behind the trees. I attached my CIR-PL and warming filter and set the ISO to 100 and the white balance at -0.7 and with the camera mode at Program/Normal the aperture was automatically set at F-5 and the shutter speed at 1/50 second.