Tag Archives: Portland at night

Portland and Mt. Hood, OR

[/caption] The Pittock mansion offers a great view of the entire city of Portland as well as Mt. Hood, Aams, St. Helens and Mt. Rainier. Since you’re looking due east the lighting can be challenging as well as the huge trees that block some of the views of the city. You have to get pretty creative when trying to get the best shot and you really have to be patient in order to take advantage of the best lighting. The sunset was at 8:30pm and this photo was taken at 9:10pm so I had to try and get a good photo that took advantage of the city lights but also kept Mt. Hood in view. To get this shot I removed my CIR-PL and attached the warming filter and set the ISO at 100 and the white balance at -0.3. I had the camera in Program/Normal so the aperture was set at F-4 and the shutter speed at 1 second. I was using my Canon 28-135mm lens and set the focal length at 44mm in order to keep some of the vegetation from making an entrance on either side. I made sure to use my tripod, bubble level and remote switch in order to avoid any camera shake or blur. I arrived at the mansion at about 7:15pm and left just after I took this last photo at 9:10pm. Next time I plan on arriving before sunrise and try to take advantage of the sun coming up just behind the mountain.

Portland, OR after sunset

Here is another photo of Portland as seen from the hills in the SW neighborhood. You can see Mt. St. Helens in the background as well as the tip of Mt. Adams to the left of the old Benjamin Franklin building. This is one of the better times to photograph the city since the sun had already set but the sky was bright enough to show the mountains and clouds. The sky is also the perfect cobalt blue that photographers look for as well as the ability to use your shutter priority to enhance the trail effects from cars as well as the lit buildings. I was using my Sigma 17-70mm lens and I still had my CIR-PL and my warming filter attached when I took this shot. I made sure to use my tripod, bubble level and remote switch to avoid any camera shake or blur. I had the focal length opened up at 17mm in order to get the most panoramic photo that I could. The camera was in shutter priority so the aperture was at F-2.8 and I set the shutter speed to 10 seconds in order to offer the most trail effects from the cars below as well as illuminate the cobalt blue sky and enhance the lights from the city. I set the ISO at 100 and the white balance at +2. The sun had set around 8:16pm and this shot was taken at 9:12pm. I was facing NE and the sun had set almost directly behind me.

Portland, OR

[/caption] This is one of my favorite and better photos of Downtown Portland. It looks really good as a printed 8×24 panoramic printed photo since you will have to crop out a majority of the water and some of the sky in order to print at this size. Portland is a very difficult city to photograph when trying to get all of the buildings and bridges in the frame. This is especially true if you want to have the Willamette river in the foreground. You most definitely need a wide angle lens if you plan on getting the majority of the city scape in the photo. I was using my Tokina 12-24mm wide angle lens and had the focal length at 12mm. Luckily it was 10:30pm at night when I took this shot so I was able to remove my warming and CIR-PL filter which creates shadows on each of the corners of the frame. Therefore I was able to maximize the frame potential of the scene. I took this photo on 7/27/10 so the sky was void of any clouds and the air was a bit stale since the temperature in the afternoon hovered around 90 degrees. I was wanting to capture the glare and colors of the lights illuminating the night sky as well as the glare of the lights on the water so I set the camera in shutter priority and set it at 16 seconds. Again, since it was 10:30pm I increased the ISO to 400 and kept the white balance at 0. Since I wasn’t using the manual setting the aperture was at F-13. I was also using my tripod, bubble level and remote switch.

Portland, OR

[/caption] Downtown Portland Oregon on the last day of summer 2010. The cloud formations in Portland had been creating some dramatic shapes so I decided to take some shots at sunset and twilight. September and early October always seem to be the best times to get great sunset shots throughout Oregon and This time was no exception. The sun set at about 7:25 and this shot was taken at 7:54, just after sunset. Since the glare was still pretty high, I attached my ND4 along with my CIR-PL, warming filter and UV filter. Since the clouds were moving pretty fast I reduced the shutter speed to only 13 seconds. This allowed me to smooth out the river movement but also capture the clouds without getting too much blur effect. I was using my tripod, bubble level and remote switch during the whole evening since the light was too low. I had the ISO at 200 and the F stop was at F8. I was using my 18-55mm Canon lens and had the focal length at 24mm. I also had the white balance at only -0.3 since the ND4 filter had darkened the shot pretty well. Whenever I want to get the best panoramic shots of Portland I almost always go the the east side of the Willamette river and stroll down the jogging and biking path that parallels the I-5. There are several great places to set up your tripod and several areas to stop along the way.