[/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.
[/caption] Mt. Tabor offers some of the best views of Downtown Portland along with the West Hills and East Portland. However, since you’re so far away from the city you are advised to bring a pair of binoculars if you want to get any close ups of the city. It’s almost impossible to get the entire city in a single frame using a wide angle lens since 80% of the photo will end up showing mostly sky and foreground due to the distance and the fact that Portland spans a long distance from North to South. I spent two days last Spring hiking Mt. Tabor in order to get some shots of the city but I was frustrated with the lighting since it was either too overcast or the lighting was just plain bad. I hope to come back during the peak Fall season since the majority of the vegetation seen in this photo show that the colors of the leaves changing should be spectacular. I took this photo on 5/24/11 at about 1:35pm and unfortunately the morning was completely clouded over and the evening glare was too much. The sun glare made it hard to get a good focus on the buildings so I ended up discarding the majority of my photos. The distance also made it difficult since that will always play a role in the quality of the image. I was using my Canon 55-250mm lens and had the focal length at 163mm. I attached my CIR-PL and warming filter in order to try and reduce the overexposure due to the sun and warm the tones of the buildings and vegetation. I had the ISO at 100 and the white balance at -0.7. Since the camera was in program/normal mode the aperture was at F-5.7 and the shutter speed at 1/256 seconds. I made sure to use my tripod, bubble level and remote switch to avoid any camera shake. I also ended up using the sharpening tool in Photoshop while trying to sharpen the image of the buildings.