Burnside Bridge in Portland, OR

[/caption] The Burnside Bridge was originally opened in 1894 and it was a slow-opening swing-span bridge. The newer bridge was opened in 1926 and was constructed as a Three steel deck truss spans with one double-leaf Strauss bascule movable main span and two fixed side spans. The main span length is 252 feet and the height above the water is 64 feet. It’s the only Willamette River bridge in Portland that was designed with input from an architect. This led to the Italian Renaissance towers and decorative metal railings. However, the two towers were only built on the south side of the bridge and this photo was taken from the north side. Street cars crossed the bridge until 1950 but now it’s used by automobiles, pedestrians and bicycles. It a great bridge to walk across and the Burnside skatepark is located underneath the bridge on the east side of the river. Some of city’s best views are from the south walkway of the bridge.

Steel Bridge in Portland, OR

[/caption] Portland’s Steel Bridge was opened in 1912 but its precursor was built in 1888. This bridge is the only double-deck vertical lift bridge of its type in the world and it’s one of the most multimodal in the world. It has three steel double-deck truss spans and two fixed side spans. The lower deck of the lift span was built for trains and may be lifted independently, telescoping into trusses of the upper deck that was built for street railways, pedestrians, automobiles and horse-powered vehicles. Eventually, the light rail train travels over the upper deck and pedestrians and the Union Pacific Railroad use the lower deck. However, both decks may be lifted together. This makes it one of the most amazing and spectacular bridges in the world. An it’s hard to imagine that it was built in 1912. Its main span length is 211 feet and the center height above water is 72 feet. The Steel Bridge is what most people use to cross the Willamette river when they are jogging, walking or bicycling around the city. There are also several Osprey or Hawks that can be seen resting on the tops of the bridge. This photo was taken from the east side of the river with parts of downtown Portland in the picture.

Hawthorne Bridge in Portland, OR

[/caption] The Hawthorne Bridge was first opened in 1910 but it’s precursors were built in 1891 and 1900. It’s the oldest vertical lift bridge in operation in the United States as well as the oldest highway bridge in Portland. It’s also the busiest bicycle and transit bridge in Portland. However, sometimes having one of the oldest bridges can come with some baggage since it can be raised as many as 200 times per month. The bridge is only 49 feet above the river and even less during spring runoff. The Hawthorne bridge was one of the first vertical lift bridges built and is now the oldest of its kind surviving in the United States. The bridge literally lifts straight up unlike a drawbridge. It’s an awesome thing to watch and bridge buffs will stare in awe as it slowly climbs towards the sky. The vertical lift is 110 feet and the horizontal clearance is 230 feet. Some of the best city views can be seen while walking or biking across. There are several great views of the bridge but the most photographed spot is from the east side of the Willamette river. You can choose the best views from either the south or north side of the bridge. They’re both awesome and I’ve spent hours taking pictures of the city with the Hawthorne included.

St. Jonhs Bridge in Portland, OR

[/caption] The St. Johns bridge is the Willamette Valley’s only major suspension bridge but at the time of its opening in 1931 it had the longest span of any suspension bridge west of Detroit’s Ambassador bridge. the main span length is 1,207 feet and the tower height is 400 feet above the water. The St. Johns is also the tallest bridge in Portland. There is pedestrian access for both joggers and bicycles and you have a pretty nice view of the Port of Portland and downtown Portland at about the mid point of the bridge. It’s worth making the walk and make sure to bring your camera and tripod. You can get a good view of the bridge from either side of the river. Forest Park, on the west side, has several vantage points and the St. Johns neighborhood, on the east side of the river has great views from the park. You also have a good chance of seeing Osprey, bald eagle or Hawks near the bridge.

Broadway Bridge in Portland, OR

[/caption] The Broadway bridge was the longest double-leaf bascule drawbridge in the world when it opened in 1913. It is a “rolling” lift span and has one of the most complicated and rarest opening methods of any movable bridge type anywhere else in the world. Now that the city of Portland is almost done extending the max line train service over the bridge, it will allow pedestrians to travel over the bridge without needing their automobile. The Broadway also offers one of the best views of Portland when standing or walking on the north side of the bridge. There is ample room to walk, jog or ride your bike and there are staircases that allow pedestrians to climb down in order to avoid the automobile congestion on either end. This photo was taken from the east side of the Willamette river and the buildings seen here are of the Pearl district. You can make the loop around the waterfront and the Broadway bridge is the northern most bridge that connects the loop system. You may catch an Osprey or Hawk standing on the top of the bridge or flying under or over it. You can also see snow caped Mt. Hood on a sunny day.

Portland bridges, OR

[/caption] Portland is one of the World’s best bridge cities and the cities core is defined by one or more rivers crossed by bridges. Only a few other cities from around the world have as many spectacular bridges as Portland. It’s almost impossible to take a photo of downtown Portland without trying to include at least one of it’s bridges. However, it’s also hard to choose between them since they all are so spectacular and photogenic. This photo was taken just below the Burnside bridge with the Morrison in the distance. I was standing just north of the Burnside bridge and saw this great photo opportunity. The best viewing area is along the east side of the Willamette river along the esplanade that will take you past 8 bridges and provide you with access on either side of the river. However, there are several more bridges, from as far north as the Suavie Island bridge and as far south as the Oregon City bridge. All are worthy of a quick visit since they all have some historical value to them that only select cities can match. You can also watch as several Osprey and Hawks fly over the river and sometimes land on the arches or steal beams high atop the bridges.

Lewis River, WA

[/caption] The Lewis River offers several views of some of the most amazing and scenic waterfalls in the Pacific Northwest. There are at least 5 waterfalls along the easy 7 mile round trip hiking trail, which is located along the Lewis River. There are also two other waterfalls that are worth a short trip from the main road. However, plan on getting up really early and getting home really late if you plan on making it a day trip. The drive is about 100 miles, one way, from Portland and even further from Seattle. The Lewis River Campground is just yards from the river and it’s worth staying in order to have more time to enjoy the outdoors. You can hear the water from your campsite and its also pretty peaceful and clean. I didn’t camp there but I noticed that there were hardly any campers and even less tourists since it’s so far out and only a few people know about this jewel. The entire trail follows along the river and there are several viewpoints available to view the waterfalls. However, some of the falls are hard to view due to the vegetation and the steepness of the canyon. There are a couple of beaches that allow you to stand in front of the falls and photograph them as well as go for a swim. I visited the Lewis River on 5/12/10 and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. I was using my Canon 18-55mm kit lens and I made sure to attach my ND8 and warming filter. The sunny skies made it challenging to leave the shutter open so I was only able to leave the shutter priority open for 2 seconds. That was enough to get the flow of the water and stop the movement just enough to create that wispy look. I was standing along one of the more popular viewing areas since the water was too high to hike along the river bank. I set the focal length at 24mm and adjusted the ISO to 100 and the white balance at -2 in order to reduce the exposure. My only place to hide from the direct sunlight was behind some trees. The waterfall was completely exposed to the sun. Due to my filter choices and settings, the aperture was at F-25. Plan on seeing some wildlife since you are likely to see some small herds of elk grazing in the meadows as well as seeing osprey and even bald eagle along the river as well as the lakes along your drive.

Mt. Rainier National Park, WA

[/caption] There are so many waterfalls within the Mt. Rainier National Park that it would be impossible to count them all or even visit all of them. However, some of the most beautiful waterfalls are just a short hike or found near the main road. This particular waterfall was coming from the Tatoosh Range and was just a few yards from the road. I attempted to hike along the cascading water but the rocks were so slick that I ended up positioning myself along its edge and took several photos. The sun was already behind the Range so I was able to set the shutter priority at 8 seconds and the white balance at -0.7. Since I had my CIR-PL attached the aperture was at F-16 since the lighting was so dark. The sun was just enough in the foreground that I was able to stand in the sunlight as the majority of the waterfall and vegetation were completely in the shadow’s. The forest was teeming with so many creeks and small waterfalls that you could spend an entire season photographing just the water.

Light dusting of snow in the Oregon wilderness

[/caption] Mid morning view looking up along the ridgeline near Mt. Hood. Winter offers some spectacular and interesting photos in the mountains. Sometimes you just need to turn around in order to find a great photographic opportunity. This photo made for a great Christmas/Holiday card. The sun was at about a 90 degree angle and the skies were filled with blue. A dry snow had fallen the night before and parts of the snow were being blown off of the cliff and trees so I had to wait for the wind to die down before I could take this shot.

Mt. Rainier National Park, WA

[/caption] Mt. Rainier offers so many photo opportunities that sometimes you can get a great photo without even having the summit of Mt. Rainier in the scene. This photo shows the summit of 12,660 foot Gibraltar Rock with Cowlitz Cleaver just below. If you look closely you can see two adjacent waterfalls in the middle of the photo just below the snow covered area of Cowlitz Cleaver. Mt. Rainer is just to the left and you can see parts of Nisqually Glacier hovering in the distance. There are probably dozens of waterfalls in this photo but you really have to look hard. That’s the most amazing aspect of Mt. Rainer! It’s so massive that you can stare at the glaciers, crags, summits, waterfalls, creeks, wildflowers, trees, forests, cliffs and lava rocks four hours. I took this photo near The Bench, which is a great place to view the mountain. It’s on the south side of the park and is right off the main road. I was using my Sigma 17-70mm lens and had the focal length at 70mm. I attached my CIR-PL and warming filter and made sure to use my tripod, remote switch and bubble level to get the best photo without having any blur. I had the camera in Program/Normal mode so the aperture was at F-5.7 and the shutter speed at 1/166 second due to the fact that I had the ISO at 100 and the white balance at -0.3. It was about 5:40pm on a mid August day and the sun was at a 90 degree angle so the exposure was almost perfect since there are just enough shadows to create a great scene.