On Taking Assignments #5 - My Town

Though I moved to a neighboring area of Portland in 2013, Oregon City is the place I chose to shoot the My Town OTP assignment. I still spend a lot of time in and around the downtown area and it is where I frequently go to create new imagery.

The My Town assignment took place in February right after the only significant snowstorm of the year. The snow provided a nice contrast to the pavement and other surfaces that blend into the surroundings the rest of the year.

The shot of the highway curling around to the bridge is one of my favorite shots of the year and the assignment helped me to find this composition, which I had never noticed previously.  The shot from inside the Oregon City Elevator tunnel looking out to the Oregon City Bridge shows the great symmetry of these two iconic downtown landmarks, and the shot of the tanks covered in snow emphasizes the great shapes of an abandoned factory.

Oregon City is a great mix of old and new. Historically rich, the downtown is a time capsule from multiple eras, none recent.  There is so much character in this place that seems a bit neglected at first glance, waiting to be rediscovered.  Changes are in motion for the city founded in 1829 and that was the first city west of the Rocky Mountains to be incorporated.  My hope is that the unique character remains.

On Taking Assignments

I frequently listen to the On Taking Pictures (OTP) podcast, which I highly recommend to anyone looking for good conversation about creativity, especially as it related to photography.  In January 2014 the hosts, Bill Wadman and Jeffery Saddoris, began a new segment of weekly assignments that they gave to listeners.  Results of the assignments are posted on the OTP Google Plus group.  I decided that I would commit myself to the assignments for a year without interruption, and that I would complete each one before the next assignment was announced on the show each Tuesday morning.  My 'On Taking Assignments' blog posts are the culmination of my year-long focus on these assignments.