Columbia River Gorge

[/caption] A panoramic view from the Oregon side looking across the Columbia River into Washington State. This photo was taken at a viewpoint spot along the Oneonta trail that’s just down the road from the Horsetail Falls parking lot. The parking lot is on the old Columbia River Highway but just west of the Oneonta Gorge. You can get to triple falls much quicker if you start from this part of the trail head but you will miss the majority of the waterfalls unless you double back towards horsetail falls. However, the viewpoint is well worth the short hike since you get a birds eye view with unlimited views of the Columbia River and Washington State.

The Gorge, Oregon

[/caption] This may be the last photo showing a sunny and cloudless day along the Columbia River Gorge until next Spring! This photo was taken at the Women’s Forum, which is just above the Vista House and on the Oregon side of the Columbia river. The foothills of the Cascade mountains were dusted with snow and just a few days after I took this shot, the foothills got hammered with lots of snow. There are only a few more days left to view the fall foliage, along the Gorge before the leaves are completely gone, so now is the time to enjoy them.

Portland, OR

[/caption] One of the best places to stand in order to view downtown Portland is up on the hills of SW Portland. You will have the opportunity to not only get some great views of the cities buildings and green parks but as well as views of four volcanic mountains and the Cascade foothills. Whenever I’m taking photographs I’m always looking for ways to change up some of my photos and one thing I’ve noticed is that you can zoom in close and eliminate any views of the hills or sky but only the buildings. This allows me to put Portland in a whole new realm since I can include several different buildings, including the many church steeples and trees. This photo is a perfect example of just how beautiful and diverse downtown Portland really is. The fall coloring of the trees jut out in the foreground and the old church steeples poke out amongst the towering highrises.

Portland, OR

[/caption] One of the last remaining sunny days in Portland just before the rains started! However, the snow had already started pounding the Cascade mountains and Mt. Adams is living proof of that. Just a few days earlier, the mountains were suffering through some pretty hard times but the early snow in the mountains brought some needed relief for the mountains as well as my photography. I took this photo last week, which was the last official sunny day in the Pacific Northwest and I decided to visit the SW part of Portland in order to include some of the mountains. However, Mt. Hood was shrouded in clouds and Mt. St. Helen’s had only a dusting of snow near its summit. I was very impressed with the changing of the vegetation and felt pretty lucky to catch this on digital film since I was able to keep nearly a hundred photos from different angles and positions. I decided to post this shot since it includes Mt. Adams as well as a somewhat panoramic view of the city. The clouds were also pretty cool with a mixture of cold weather clouds and contrails from nearby Portland International airport.

The Columbia River Gorge, Oregon

[/caption] If you’re looking for a great hiking spot along the Columbia River Gorge that offers some of the best views, Angels Rest might be the one place to visit. The hiking trail is only about 40 miles from Portland and there is ample parking available. The trail is about 4.5 miles round trip and there is about 1500′ of elevation gain. The views at the summit are amazing with a panoramic view of the entire area, including views of Mt. Adams and even downtown Portland. However, you can only see portions of the summit of Mt. Adams and you might want to carry some binoculars in order to get a good view of the city. The summit literally looks straight down and you could spend hours taking in the fresh air and the occasional heavy winds. I took this photo from the summit and I pretty much pointed my camera almost straight down in order to include portions of Washington state, the river, sand bar, old pilings and old burned out tree stands on the Oregon side. I didn’t bring my tripod so I had to keep a steady hand an turn on the IS since I wanted to keep the ISO at 100. If you hang out long enough you can photograph some of the massive barges steaming by. You may also want to bring along a backpack full of food since you won’t want to come down anytime soon. The gorge is known for it’s amazing waterfalls but unfortunately you won’t see any on this hike. However, there is a waterfall that you do cross but its well out of sight and you only hike across the foot bridge that crosses the creek. You can view the upper portion of the waterfall but it’s only a few feet high and you want to avoid getting too close to the edge since it looks deceiving and you could fall over. I normally stop to let my dog play in the creek but I always make sure he’s on his leash. You can also hear a waterfall from the 1500′ summit but you can’t see it.

Portland, Oregon at night

[/caption] Another perfect sunset along the Willamette River with downtown Portland and the Hawthorne Bridge. It’s pretty hard to get a shot of a somewhat smooth and calm river when there are dozens of outriggers and small boats motoring around the river. This is especially true if your trying to get your first opportunity to take advantage of a good glare of the city and its lights for the first time in 5 try’s.

Portland, Oregon

[/caption] Another sunny October day in Portland, Oregon! I never thought I would say this but can we please get a few months of rainy weather! Enough with the smoggy and hazy skies that make me feel like I’m in the Southwest. Can we please water the suffering vegetation that’s beginning to look like tumble weeds that are ripe for an inferno. And if the Willamette river gets any lower, you will be able to see all the trash that’s been sitting at the bottom of the river over the last 100 years. Seriously though, it’s great that we’ve have had 81 straight days of sunny and rainless weather but I’m ready for some true fall weather. I took this shot while standing directly under the east side of the Hawthorne bridge. I was able to walk out pretty far onto some old concrete pilings that I had never seen before due to the shallowness of the river. I set up my tripod and tried to get a good angle of the bridge and the city in the background. The personality of the sky and river are somewhat bleak due to the hazy smog but at least you can see that the weather was nice. I was really hoping to get a good glare of the buildings reflecting off the river but as you can see I was disappointed. I wanted to get a good panoramic view so I set the focal length at 17mm and set the ISO at 100 in order to remove some of the over exposure caused by the poor air quality. I also attached my UV, warming and CIR-PL filters so I could avoid too much noise from the sun and glare from the river.

Portland, Oregon

[/caption] Another picture perfect sunset along the Willamette River in downtown Portland, Oregon. The best thing about this type of sunset is that it’s October but it feels like July. This shot was taken just a few minutes after the sun had set with the intense glow of the sun just behind the Wells Fargo building and the KOIN Tower. I took several other great shots with the shutter exposed but I wanted to get a photo with the outriggers on the river so I set the shutter speed at 1/3 second. I was using my Tokina 12-24mm ultra wide lens and in order to avoid any vignetting I had to remove the CIR-PL. I made sure to set up my tripod, bubble level and remote switch to avoid any camera blur or shake. I was lucky that the outriggers were taking a break and kept very still long enough for me to get off a few shots. I kept the ISO at 100 and the white balance at +0.7 in order to reduce some of the suns glare.

Portland, Oregon

[/caption] The Willamette river and the waterfront with some of the buildings in the background of a beautiful sunset. This photo includes Big Pink, with the Burnside bridge just below. The majority of the taller buildings are to the left but there are many smaller but much older buildings hidden behind the downtown corridor. This shot was taken just after sunset with many shades of pink being cast throughout the clouds in the background. I left the shutter open for 4 seconds in order to enhance the lights and capture the ghosting effect of the river.