[/caption] The saying states that April showers brings May flowers but I wonder what the recent rains will give us in May. March was the wettest month ever recorded in Portland and April is more of a mixed bag of rain, wind, clouds and some sun breaks. The flowers are doing fine in the city but most of the trees are still trying to bud, which makes the vegetation look like it’s still winter. I’m hoping that the trees will bud so I can start photographing the city again. This photo was taken last Saturday when the weather was pretty awesome and the temperature was about 64 degrees. This shot was taken on the east side of the esplanade. I noticed this shrub blooming and framed the city in the background. I wasn’t using a tripod since the light was pretty descent and I was moving around so much that it would have been too cumbersome and wasn’t needed. I crouched down so I could get more of the red flowering shrub but also include the river, cityscape and clouds in the background. I was using my Canon T1i and attached my Sigma 17-70mm lens. I also attached my CIR-PL and warming filter and set the ISO at 100 and the white balance at -0.7. The aperture was at F-7 and the shutter speed at 1/200 second. I had the camera in Program/Normal mode in order to ensure that the correct aperture and shutter speed would be used. I was facing south west and the sun was at about a 90 degree angle. The color was a little grey due to the clouds and time of month but overall I was surprised at the lighting available. Unfortunately, the river was still too brown due to the amount of mud being carried down river and the vegetation is still too dormant. Hopefully May will be much better.
A great way to photograph parts of the city is by riding a bike along the waterfront on both the east and west sides of the river. One of the best starting points is at Sellwood Park which is in SE Portland which offers ample parking and its free. There is a great bike path that takes you right into downtown Portland and it offers several viewing spots along the river. I took this shot near the Hawthorne bridge and I was pleasantly surprised with how good it turned out. I was using my Canon T1i along with my Sigma 17-70mm lens as well as my CIR-PL and warming filter. The sun was at about 90 degrees in the upper left of the photo, which really helped with the great coloring and rich blue tint in the sky. This photo was taken at about 9:52am and I was facing west. I was fortunate to be here at the best time of the morning along with a little help by a beautiful sunny day. Since I was on my bike I didn’t bring a tripod. I took the time to get off of my bike while photographing most of the time but I believe that I was on my bike when I took this shot. I was wanting to get the most panoramic photo as possible so I could highlight the city as much as I could so I had the focal length at 17mm. I also wanted to create a large field of view without having any parts of the city out of focus. Since I had the camera mode in Program/Normal the aperture was set at F-5 and the shutter speed at 1/100 second. I had the ISO at 100 and the white balance at 9:52am.