Tag Archives: Northwest Cities

Portland, Oregon and the Willamette River

[/caption] A great place to get some great photos of the city is along the east side of the willamette river. And an even better time to visit is during Fall, when the foliage is starting to change colors and the skies are hinting at developing into a storm. I took this photo while standing between two of Portland’s most prominent bridges. The skies were a little bit gray but there was just enough blue sky and color to create a really nice scene. The river was calm so I was able to take advantage of a somewhat descent reflection of the buildings. The vegetation wasn’t quite peaking but the foliage was emitting a burning red glow from the tops of the trees. To get this shot I made sure to use my tripod, remote switch and bubble level in order to avoid any camera shake or blur. I was using my Sigma 17-70mm lens and set the focal length at 17mm in order to get the most panoramic shot as possible. I didn’t want to have any vignetting, so I wasn’t able to attach my ND4 but I was able to attach my CIR-PL and warming filter. I had the camera in Program/Normal mode and the shutter speed was at 1/100 second. The aperture was at F-5 and I set the ISO at 100 and the white balance at -1.7.

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, OR

[/caption] Due to all of the rainy and cold weather that we’ve been getting lately I have decided to post another photo that I took about 2 weeks ago when it was actually sunny and warm. I took this photo on the east side of the Willamette river. The photo is looking towards Salmon Street and Naito Parkway in the central downtown district. If we could only get some more days like this before summer arrives. I took this while riding my bike along the esplanade as well as over some of the bridges that span across the Willamette river. I wasn’t using a tripod when I took this photo but I’m pretty sure I got off of my bike to take this one. I was using my Canon T1i along with my Sigma 17-70mm lens. I was using my CIR-PL as well as my warming filter to enhance the blue sky and the colors of the vegetation and the buildings. The sun was at about 90 degrees in the upper left which made some of these photos crystal clear with little to no overexposure. I set the focal length at 50mm in order to frame the photo with the buildings and blue sky. I had the camera in Program/Normal mode so the aperture was at F-7 and the shutter speed at 1/200 second. I set the ISO to 100 and the white balance at -0.3 so I could create the best photo. The time was 9:55am and the sun was in the upper left hand corner of the photo. I was lucky to have some of the best photographic weather of the year during my trip along the water.

Seattle, WA

[/caption] Most people say that the view from Kerry Park is hands down the best place to view the city. It’s pretty hard to argue that statement especially when you can see Mt. Rainier in the background as well as the Space Needle in the foreground. It’s the only place that I was able to include the mountain with the city. You can also see all the way across Elliot Bay and view parts of the Olympic mountains as well as watch the boats enter the harbor. However, I can’t really decide if this is truly the best place to view the city. It is by far one of the best places but I don’t know if I agree it’s the best. As a photographer, there are several parks to get some amazing panoramic photos and unfortunately Kerry Park is on the north side of the city which limits your view of how massive and long the city really is. There are also a lot of tall trees that obscures the views as you can see in this photo. However, Gas Works park and West Seattle allows you a much better panoramic view of the city. I had to use my 12-24mm lens to have the Space Needle and Quest field in the same frame when I took my photo from West Seattle. You can also see that photo that I took and posted on my blog on 8/1910. I also wrote a very extensive article when I first returned from my photography trip last summer. Gas Works park offers some great views as seen from the east part of the city. I will admit that Kerry Park is the most well kept and tranquil park that I have visited so far in Seattle but I don’t think it offers the best panoramic views of the city. My vote for the best place to view Seattle is in West Seattle. But then again that’s just my opinion. To get this shot I was using my Canon EOS Rebel T1i along with my 18-55mm lens. I was using my CIR-PL and my warming filter. There was a huge wildfire that started in the Olympic mountains a few days earlier which caused the orange haze as seen in the background. The 90 degree weather and stale air didn’t help either. However, it did create a really nice hue around mt. Rainier. I was using my tripod, bubble level and remote switch since we visited the park to get some nice sunset shots. The camera was in Program/Normal mode so the aperture was set at F5 and the shutter speed was at 1/20 second. Due to the glare from the haze I set the ISO to 100 and the white balance to -1.3. This photo was taken at 8:17pm so the sun hadn’t set yet. I believe the sun set around 8:50pm. Unfortunately many of my sunset photos didn’t come out as planned since the forest fire had created a strong glare and each time I took a photo after sunset the glare from the lights made the photo look blurry. However, I was able to get a few keepers and I will be posting them on my blog soon.

Downtown Portland, OR

[/caption] Recently I’ve had the opportunity to shoot Portland at night. I’ve been photographing the downtown area for several years but I had never been given the opportunity to take a photo at night looking east and at an elevated position. This spot puts me just over I-5 and just east of the Willamette river. This provides me with one of the best vantage spots in the city. I wanted to set my shutter long enough so I could get the best flash movements of the headlights and tail lights of the traffic moving about the city. The colors of the bridges as well as the many other on ramps and roads really gives this photo a lot of personality. To get this shot I was using my 12-24 wide angle lens. I had the focal length at 24mm in order to get as much in the scene as possible. Since the sun had set over an hour ago, I made sure to remove my warming filter and CIR-PL. I was using the shutter priority and had the shutter set at 30 seconds in order to capture as much of the streamers from the cars as possible. The F stop was at F11 and the ISO was at 400. The Exposure Compensation/White Balance was at -.3.