[/caption] Some of the best photographic opportunities are along the walking and bike trails that span between the Hawthorne bridge and the Steal bridge on the east side of the Willamette river. However, you have to get a little help from the light and the season. That’s because some of the hardest photos to get are also along the same exact stretch of walking/biking trails. I find that early Fall and late Spring offer some of the best opportunities since the sun is lower in the sky and the vegetation is at its best. I took this shot near the steal bridge and I was riding a bike so I didn’t have a tripod. The lighting was excellent and it was late spring so I was lucky enough to have the best photo opportunity. The sun was at about a 90 degree angle and the date of the photo was on 5/20/11 and the time was 10:33am. The sky was perfectly saturated and the buildings had a warm glow with very little overexposure. I also attached my CIR-PL and warming filter in order to take advantage of the lighting. I was using my Sigma 17-70mm lens and had the focal length at 38mm. I had the camera in Program/Normal mode so the aperture was at F-7 and the shutter speed at 1/200 seconds. I also set the ISO at 100 and the white balance at -0.7 due to the brightness of the morning.
[/caption] Mt. Tabor may be a few miles from Downtown Portland but if you have a descent telephoto lens you can take some pretty spectacular photos of the city. I would recommend bringing along a tripod in order to avoid any camera shake. However, even with being this far out from the city you still can’t photograph all of Portland’s high to medium rise buildings in just one frame. You would need to stitch 3 photos as well as crop out parts of the sky and foreground. In this photo, you can’t see the South waterfront with its 7 highrise condos or the gigantic cluster of massive hospitals in the west hills. You also don’t see the many medium rise condos in the Pearl district or any of the high rise commercial buildings in the Lloyd district. This truly shows that Portland is a very stretched out city. In this photo you can see the trendy Hawthorne district in the bottom left as well as Washington and Forest Park in the right corner of the photo. The amount of lush green trees and vegetation in the neighborhoods of east Portland can really be seen from Mt. Tabor park. I found that there are 3 really good places to view the city as well as a great place to catch a view of Mt. St. Helens. There are far less hiking and biking trails as Forest Park but the views are stunning and can’t be matched by any park that I’ve visited. I would recommend visiting the park on a weekday if the weather is nice since it is far less crowded. I took this shot while using my Canon T1i along with my Canon 55-250mm telephoto lens. I arrived at the park around 8:30am but the clouds were much heavier which caused the landscape to look very gray with little personality. By about noon the sun had appeared and the clouds were giving way to some sunny areas around the city. I took this shot at about 1:35pm when the clouds were a bit thinner and the sun was dancing around the landscape below. I watched for the sun to move around the city as well as the trees below so I could find the best lighting. I made sure to use my tripod, bubble level and remote switch in order to avoid any camera shake. I had the focal length at 79mm an attached my warming filter and CIR-PL. I had the camera in Program/Normal mode so the aperture was at F6.3 and the shutter speed at 1/160 second. I was wanting to have my ISO at 100 but speed up the shutter speed in order to avoid any blur or camera shake due to the distance of the photo as well as the wind. I was able to set the white balance at -0.3 since the sun was out and it was pretty much at a 90 degree angle without causing any glare or sunspots. I was forced to crop some of the foreground since I didn’t want to show the telephone poles or cables in the photo. In fact, you won’t be able to go any less than 75mm without having to crop too much of the shot or you will have to include a lot of unpleasing distraction in the foreground. I plan on coming back on a sunny or mostly cloudless day. I would also like to take some evening shots when the sun is lower in the sky and some backlight. I would be a little concerned about getting a descent sunset shot due to the distance.