Ideas and Imagery #132

While this is not one of my most incredible shots of Oregon City, it has elements that I really like.  It's also a viewpoint of the City that I haven't seen previously.

The river in winter tends to run a bit brown.  The resulting color palate of this photo is really earthy, which is a nice departure from most of my work.  This is a quietly interesting photo, the colors adding to that subtle mood.

Another element I really like is the stark vertical reflection of the Oregon City Elevator, leading the viewer through the split at the water line and tying the two halves together.  Overall it's a nice photo, and one that I enjoy coming back to often.

Ideas and Imagery #131

It's so hard sometimes to come up with original ways to shoot common subjects, like flowers.  I visit this dahlia field every year around County Fair time, and I make it my mission to try and capture something different from the last.

On this hot summer morning the flowers in this field are given a much needed dousing to help them outlast the sweltering temperatures.  This puddle felt oddly out of place on such a hot day, which is why it stood out so well when I saw it and why it must have caught my eye.

It was striking how clear the reflection of the flowers was.  I am accustomed to some level of distortion when shooting reflections, and with the calf hot day this puddle wasn't moving a bit.  I first shot this at a higher aperture, but quick though it looked too busy.

In order to isolate the flower reflection and make the picture a bit more difficult to decipher, I opened the aperture way up, and focused on the flowers, making the foreground blur beyond recognition.

I think this reflection resulted in a great composition, and one that helped me meet my quota of one new perspective and shot from my time in the dahlias.

 

Tiles #25

Sometimes items in my compressions series of photos are like searching for needles in a haystack, and other times they stick out likea sore thumb.  I hope this one is self evident.

When the red crate grabbed my eye, I instantly gravitated toward the three strong colors, red, black, and white, with the strong right angle shapes.  Over time I have begun to look at this shot asa bar graph of sorts.

Maybe this is the storekeeper's way of measuring the volume of product moving off the shelves.  Maybe when the crates occupy a certain value in space, a call is made to the distributor for a delivery.

Regardless of the reasoning behind it, I am certainly glad that whoever created this stack framed it in a way that was so eye catching.  If only every photo stood out like this one!

Ideas and Imagery #130

During the spring there are times when the Willamette River really moves over the Falls.  It's during these times that I wish that access to the falls was better.  I really can't wait to be able to experience the falls from close up, especially when it is in full force. 

On this day, the water was really rough, even on its approach to the falls.  Most days there is a calm reflection that makes Willamette Falls seem tame.  Here you can really see the texture surrounding the horseshoe shape, culminating in nothing but white water below.

Accentuating the falls is the highlight from the sun filling up the hole in the clouds, like a window opened just enough to let the sun shine in a dim room.  That golden light helps warm what would otherwise be a relatively bleak photo.

With as much rain as we have had recently, I am looking forward to a bit more hopeful weather to light up the dreary sky and bring warmth after what has been a long, cold, wet winter. 

Ideas and Imagery #129

Well I thought I was over my hiatus from writing blog articles and sharing photos, but it seems that I needed a bit more time yet.  I've been pretty prolific these past few months between personal and work goals, it has been one of the craziest periods of my life in recent memory.  I have been wanting to share this photo for a while, but am just getting to it now, almost a year to the day of taking it.

At a birthday party, we had the opportunity to relive a bit of childhood memories and play under the big parachute.  I was originally stuck on the outside taking pictures when after playing outside the parachute, the people in charge took everyone underneath leaving me outside.

I stood there for a few moments, and took a few shots of this bubbled up parachute full of screaming preschoolers.  I wasn't sure if I could get in, but found a spot and was amazed at how cool it was underneath.  I alternated between flash and silhouette, but this photo really captured what it was like.  I love how basic the colors are.  These lanes of primary colors begin at the bright vent spot and lead you down to each silhouette.

Kids and adults were running back and forth at the command of the game masters, and everyone was having a great time, including me enjoying the scene and capturing it.  You never know what you are going to encounter when you walk out your door.  I sure didn't expect this to happen, but I was glad I had my camera!

Tiles #24

After a long hiatus over the Christmas and New Year holidays, I am back to writing and sharing photos.  I spent a fair bit of time taking photos over Christmas of our time as a family, and with that comes a lot of time editing and processing.

There will be some new work showing on the site for me in the new year in addition to some new exhibitions and projects.  I'm looking forward to getting the editing all buttoned up so I can get tot he sharing part, but in the meantime I will continue to blog about my work.

This shot was taken last summer on the Oregon Coast.  What I saw first about this shot was the neon open sign.  I have always liked neon and this one was so cleanly placed and the colors matched the wall so well that it stopped me dead in my tracks.  I love this with a square crop and I like how all of the lines lead to the open sign.

It seemed only fitting to declare myself open for business again.  I look to what the new year brings.

 

Oregon City: Where History, Industry, and Natural Beauty Co-Exist

Oregon City is a gem for those willing to take the time to look.  Over the past 8 years I have been able to observe this place that from the highway might seem unremarkable.  Driving along Hwy 99 or even crossing the Oregon City Bridge, it's really difficult to see much besides concrete and businesses.

 "An End to the Day on the River" - Winter 2015

"An End to the Day on the River" - Winter 2015

 "Elevator in the Moonlight" - Fall 2012

"Elevator in the Moonlight" - Fall 2012

But if you take a half a day, get out of your car and spend some time walking around the city, you will be surprised at what you find, and how you can connect with its rich history, both natural and man-made.  It's as easy as starting at the Oregon City Elevator, which is free to ride and provides a great view of the city.  From there you can explore the city on foot.

 "Twilight from the Elevator Entryway" - Spring 2013

"Twilight from the Elevator Entryway" - Spring 2013

If you start on top of the bluff, parking on High Street, you can walk along the McLoughlin Promenade from the Oregon City Elevator.  The promenade takes you all the way to the Willamette Falls overlook on HWY 99 by way of a foot bridge over the highway.

 "The Bridge and Downtown at Dusk" - Spring 2013

"The Bridge and Downtown at Dusk" - Spring 2013

 "A Foggy Downtown Commute" - Winter 2015

"A Foggy Downtown Commute" - Winter 2015

 "Shared Sunset at the Falls" - Fall 2013

"Shared Sunset at the Falls" - Fall 2013

 "A Perch Above the Falls" - Fall 2014

"A Perch Above the Falls" - Fall 2014

 "Tree Silhouette and the Falls Under Pink Popcorn Clouds" - Winter 2015

"Tree Silhouette and the Falls Under Pink Popcorn Clouds" - Winter 2015

 "Colorful Reflections Surrounding the Falls" - Winter 2015

"Colorful Reflections Surrounding the Falls" - Winter 2015

From there you can either backtrack to the elevator or walk along the highway, crossing over the tunnel back to downtown.  The bluff is a safer and more pleasant walk, especially for those with kids as there isn't a wide path and there is no barrier between the sidewalk and the very loud and fast moving highway traffic.

 "Rush Hour on Highway 99" - Winter 2014

"Rush Hour on Highway 99" - Winter 2014

 "Downtown Tunnel at Nightfall" - Fall 2013

"Downtown Tunnel at Nightfall" - Fall 2013

Once you are back at the elevator, you can take the time to cross the Oregon City Bridge and look upriver at Willamette Falls or back toward the elevator downtown.  If you time it right, you'll be able to watch the sun set over the falls, and before or afterwards you can grab wood fired pizza at Mi Famiglia Restaurant, get some terrific pho at Pho Thai Restaurant, or settle into one of the many other options for food and drink downtown.  Check out the Downtown Oregon City website for more ideas of activities and where to dine.

 "The Elevator at Rush Hour" - Spring 2015

"The Elevator at Rush Hour" - Spring 2015

 "The River and the Mills at Sunset" - Winter 2013

"The River and the Mills at Sunset" - Winter 2013

 "The River and Mills in the Morning" - Fall 2013

"The River and Mills in the Morning" - Fall 2013

 "Foggy Sunrise on the Bridge" - Fall 2012

"Foggy Sunrise on the Bridge" - Fall 2012

 "Sunburst on the Bridge" - Fall 2013

"Sunburst on the Bridge" - Fall 2013

 "Oregon City Lights and Full Moon Over the Bridge" - Spring 2015

"Oregon City Lights and Full Moon Over the Bridge" - Spring 2015

Minutes from downtown, there is history to be learned and lots of ways to reconnect with the first incorporated city west of the Rocky Mountains.  You can brush up on your Oregon history at the End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center and the Museum of the Oregon Territory, both of which are terrific.

One other exciting opportunity to look forward to is the potential to "Rediscover the Falls," which is a community driven effort to reconnect the community with the natural feature that has drawn people to this region for thousands of years.

 "The Falls and Mt. Hood Sunset" - Spring 2013

"The Falls and Mt. Hood Sunset" - Spring 2013

So take some time, plan a trip, and come see one of the underrated gems in the Portland Metro area.  If you do, you'll get to appreciate some of the beauty that you can't see from the highway, and in the process, experience a place you might have otherwise overlooked.

 "The Elevator and Mt. Hood at Sunset" - Fall 2013

"The Elevator and Mt. Hood at Sunset" - Fall 2013

Canvas, metal, and photographic paper prints of my Oregon City photo series are available on my Prints page, or you can contact me directly by email and I can help you find a size and format to make a great gift for someone who loves Oregon.

You can also find me and other great local Oregon City area artists on the Three Rivers Artist Guild website or at one of our local Galleries or Art Shows.  Our upcoming Holiday show at the Pioneer Community Center this weekend is great and you can meet local artists and find gift ideas all in one stop.

 "The Bridge and the Falls Before Daybreak" - Spring 2013

"The Bridge and the Falls Before Daybreak" - Spring 2013

I'll be at the Three Rivers Artist Guild Holiday Art Show and Sale in Oregon City this weekend

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I am pleased to once again be showing and selling artwork at the Three Rivers Artist Guild Holiday Art Show & Sale.  The event takes place at the Pioneer Community Center in Oregon City on December 3th and 4th.

I plan to attend the entire event, so be sure say hello.  There will be many different artists who practice different mediums in attendance selling their work, and 10% of proceeds are used to support local artists through the programming the Guild provides.

I will have canvas and matted prints available for sale as well as metal prints.  Check out my Prints page for an idea of the sizes, formats, and prices of work I offer.  I am looking forward to seeing you there!  Be sure to save the postcards above for dates and times.

Ideas and Imagery #128

This photo is all about movement.  It isn't just the movement that you see in the waves, but also in your eyes as they are moved through the picture by the various elements and shapes.

The shore line contrast between the white waves crashing on the black cobble grabs me first as it is the brightest section of the photo.  From there my eye follows along that line to Yaquina Head Lighthouse.  My eye then follow the contrast between the sky and the horizontal rock face to the large rock off shore where the water is crashing off the backside of the huge monolithic figure.

Being aware of how people move through a picture can really help you make interesting compositions and start to help you think of the best framing for a subject in the field.