Friday, June 26, 2009

Afternoon at Arch Cape, Oregon Coast

One can always find interesting things to photograph on the Oregon Coast at all times of the day (or night). There were some very nice altocumulus clouds on this warm afternoon a week ago. As soon as we hit the beach we were greeted by pelicans, landing a short distance from us. Although the back lighting was not ideal for bird portraits, it's always a pleasure to see them return to our beaches in late Spring.

Pelicans Approach

I decided to to a bit of split toning on this photo of the stacks at the end of the beach to bring out the sky and shadow contrast in this rather bright and somewhat harsh light. I used some of the great tools in Adobe Lightroom.

Arch Cape Sea Stacks

Near the sea stacks is Arch Cape Creek. Salmon can be found here, running in when the tide is high. There is some interesting colors in the rocks and clay near the creek which makes for some abstract possibilities.

Abstract at Arch Cape Creek

Spring in Portland

One of the great "features" of Portland are curbside flower gardens. Always on the lookout for an interesting color combination, I spotted these beautiful poppies while riding my bike. Sometimes direct sunlight can work if it's morning light that is not too harsh.

The wind was blowing so I needed a reasonably fast shutter speed with a medium aperture (50mm lens, 1/160 sec, f/6.3).

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Night Photography on the Broadway Bridge

One of my favorite places to return to in Portland is the Broadway Bridge. The possibilities with varying light can be very engaging. Long exposures on a bridge with traffic can be challenging, so timing and tripod placement are essential.

At the west end of the Broadway Bridge is the Portland Amtrak Station. The light from the Station's tower is a great subject, with varying clouds. It's a somewhat difficult, high contrast exposure.

Portland Train Station at dusk

As I was heading back on the south side of the Broadway Bridge, the full moon began to make an appearance. Timing is everything with these shots at lower ISO settings and a 6 second exposure. Traffic vibration and timing the cloud movement so the moon appears in the frame for only a short portion of the exposure requires some patience. HDR (High Dynamic Range) might work here, but I haven't found a solution yet that yields what I would like.

There were two patrol boats on the river for the Rose Festival, with their intense blue lights. The clouds made a nice line between the top of the bridge to the moon, with the city lights lighting the clouds.

Steel Bridge from the Broadway Bridge

The structure of bridges is fascinating, and these old bridges were put together with an incredible number of rivets. No better time to highlight these than at night. All the surfaces on the Broadway Bridge were recently restored, so they appear relatively smooth.

Broadway Bridge Structure

Glare from the lights on the bridge is the largest obstacle, even with a lens hood. In this case I used my hand near the edge of the hood. The warm light from the sodium lights makes a nice contrast with the blue sky, giving it a sort of split tone look , although this photo would work in black and white as well.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Waterfront Abstracts

Glass is the theme in a restaurant called Lucier along the waterfront in Portland, just south of the Waterfront district. Apparently they have closed their doors for regular hours, but one could rent this multifaceted space for various occasions. From what one can tell from the outside, it is decorated with rich variety of artwork and interesting glass sculptures.

I took a number of photographs from the outside.

From the NW side of the building

From the east side of the building