waterfront, christmas morning


I’m a bit surprised by the turns and twists of the back half of this year. I really had imagined that I would remain in a much sadder place this Christmas, but that hasn’t been the case. And this morning, as I headed home, the clouds cleared, and the Willamette was more beautiful than I had seen it in a while. I just had to stop and shoot.

Like many of the shots I’ve taken over the past couple of months, this one feels like a placeholder, but it is a marker for the joy and happiness I have in my life on this day.

Life is crazy and beautiful; for now, that’s all I will say about it. More to come, for sure.

where is this?

This was taken with a new camera, the Sony a7r — more on this later as well…

sunflowers, sauvie island


Lee and I made our annual trek over to Sauvie Island today, to hike around a bit, soak up the fall atmosphere, and to grab the first pumpkins of autumn. We ended up, as we always do, at Kruger Farms, which is a lovely farm stand stocked with local veggies, pick your own flowers (like these sunflowers), a beer truck (Guided by Porches brewery), and good grub. (The farm stand is across the street from this inlet, which I photographed in January.)

The bad news was that it was too early for the corn maze, but I’ll take that over the crowds that will descend upon this poor island starting next week.

sunset, rocky butte


Rocky Butte [located here] is one of those iconic Portland view spots. Locals — myself included — are always taking visitors from out of town to this little hilltop for the panoramic view of the city, the river, and Mts. Hood and St. Helens. It is a lovely place, but it’s not an easy place to get a good photo of the city, at sunset, sunrise or any other time of day. Too many trees block the view of downtown, the view upriver is bland, and at either end of the day, the shadows are nothing but trouble.

Despite its photographic challenges, I do go up here quite a bit, more to soak up the altitude (or zip up on the motorcycle around a few fun curves) than to shoot. Larch Mountain, Crown Point and a few other places along the Gorge have more photographic resonance for me than this one. That said, last night, with a funky sky full of different cloud types, I hoofed up there quickly and took a bunch of shots, trying to get something that might work. I have a few, including a couple with the tilt-shift lens, but this is the one I ended up picking.

(And, for all my blather, I have a bunch of Flickr shots taken here, and you can see another group of images tagged with Rocky Butte here on this site.)

cane field, near wailuku


I didn’t get a lot of great shots in Maui this year. It wasn’t for lack of trying, but when I go over my library, I have some great snapshots, but little else. Lee and I did have a lot of fun with our daily Instagrams, and I think that was really my photographic focus when we were there.

This one, taken on one of our last days on the island, was a ‘quick, turn off the road’ shot. What you can’t easily tell is how windy it was — I squeezed off about 20 shots, but I was so buffeted by the wind that, even with a fast shutter speed, I ended up with few usable images. Had it been a little bit calmer, I would have moved around more, gotten the tripod out, and been more careful about composing.

As such, this photo gets the ‘revisit‘ tag…

where is this?

dusk along the Columbia


There was no “super moon” for +Brian Matiash and I last night on the Columbia, just the gorgeous blue of dusk after a long day wandering from Portland to Hood River and back. I’ve just started going through my shots from the day, but I see quite a few things that seem to have worked.

This photo was from the end of our day. Brian and I could have just kept heading home, but we knew that there were some shots left. He bitched quite loudly–as he is wont to do ;)–about the barge coming up the river, ruining his long exposure. I, who have long wished that I could ride one of these barge tugs up the river, just laughed. I am kind of surprised that I was able to capture it with such detail in so little light, but I like the result. And yes, it was that blue…

(Shot with the trusty Canon 24-105 f/4L, at 1/25th of a second, f/4.5, 1250 ISO.)

[where is this?]

dalton point


I went back to Dalton Point last night. Unfortunately, by the time I got there, the interesting cloud formations had dissipated, and the horizon got pretty hazy.

Luckily, there was a very nice moonset as well, so I set the camera and tripod up, and worked through a number of different shots and setups. This one is a composite HDR image (done in Photoshop) of three images after the sun went down. I have a couple of other ones I’m working on, but I like this one best (at least for now).