[/caption] 5,170 acre Forest Park is the largest city park in the lower 48 states and is located within Portland’s city limits. The park offers over 50 miles of hiking trails and over 10 miles of biking access. There are numerous creeks and small waterfalls that cascade through the park and several wooden bridges take you over the creeks. There are hundreds of wildlife that call Forest Park home, including bald eagles, owls, hawks, deer and coyotes. In fact, more than 112 bird species and 62 mammal species frequent the park and its wide variety of trees and shade-loving plants. You’re allowed to hike with your dog but you are required to keep them leashed and always clean up after your dog. Unfortunately, not everybody does either of the two.
[/caption] Forest Park offers over 50 miles of hiking trails, encompasses over 5100 acres and is Americas largest city park. Since most of the trees in Forest Park consist of second growth and only a small amount of old growth trees it’s hard to imagine just how big the trees once were since most of the trees are massive in height. Once the leaves are full you can pretty much hike anywhere in the park on a rainy day in spring or summer and barely get wet. I’ve hiked the park over 200 times and I finally decided to bring my camera on the same day that I was walking my 1 1/2 year old and very ADHD Australian Cattle dog. I ended up just carrying my camera in one hand and shot with the same hand. It was pretty difficult most of the time since he was on the prowl for moles, birds, squirrels, insects, dirt, sticks or anything else he saw. I just used my thumb to turn on the camera and then pointed and shot. I did use my histogram to check the shots for any camera shake, blur or saturation problems since I wasn’t using a tripod. Luckily I removed my CIR-PL and only attached my warming filter and UV filter so I could take advantage of the lush green colors. I also knew that using a wide angle lens would allow me to get the panoramic shots I wanted as well as create a large field of view, which would also mostly limit any camera shake or blur. I attached my Tokina 12-24mm lens and kept the focal length at 12mm so I could take picture with only one hand. I also increased the ISO to 400 and increased the white balance to +0.3. This kept the shots from being under saturated and eliminated any camera shake or blur. I had the camera in program/normal mode so the aperture was automatically set at F-4.6 and the shutter speed at 1/50 of a second. During my 2 hour hiking adventure I was surprised to take over 700 photos and ended up with several keepers since they came out so well.