Monday, March 31, 2008

Kitchen Knives

This composition caught my eye a couple of days after I installed a knife magnet on my cupboard. I added a dry brush filter in Photoshop Elements because the plain photo looked boring. You can see how the filter adds to the photo quality better by clicking to enlarge the photo.

Sunday, March 30, 2008


So we have this cat.....
When Arnie wants to bug me he does stuff like this.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Fremont Bridge

A good shot of the Fremont Bridge I was able to get from the MAX on our ride out to Expo Center last night.
Bridge opened: November 11, 1973
River mile: 11.7
Type: steel half-through tied-arch, with orthotropic upper deck
Cost: $82 million
Center height to water: 175 feet

Friday, March 28, 2008

Japanese Gate, Expo Center MAX Station

We took public transit out to the Portland Expo Center for the Green Living Show tonight. This is one of the timber Japanese gates at the Expo Center MAX Station. (You can see more photos of the gates by clicking the link.) The gate is strung with replicas of steel internment tags assigned to Japanese American citizens during World War II. The gates, in addition to steel placards at the station, are a reminder of a sad time in our nation's history. The land out here, on the edge of the Columbia River, was a temporary Japanese internment center.
I felt weird walking through these gates after getting off the train. We passed through them casually at first, as I imagine most people do. But when I realized what they stood for, I had to make photos. Still, it seemed it would have been appropriate to pause longer to recognize and reverence what went on here.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

On The Herschell Spillman Carousel

Abbi rides on a dog aboard the Oaks Park carousel, a "hand-carved piece of folk art" by the Herschell Spillman Company of North Tonawanda, NY. There are Herschell Spillman carousels many in well known parks across the US, all of which, including this one are on the National Register of Historic Places. This menagerie carousel was created in 1911 and is thought to have been installed here in 1923, according to an article I found online.

I find myself wanting to go back and photograph it again. My camera battery died right after this initial photo on the ride. Also, I love the paintings around the top of the carousel you can see in the upper photo. They are original, having been recently restored, according to a newspaper article I read last year but cannot find an online link to.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Front Car

Abbi and Zack ride the front car of the small coaster at Oaks Park, our spring break outing with them on Monday. We were lucky we decided to go play that day. Today we had heavy rain with some snow mixed in. Forecast for tomorrow is more precipitation with snow level dropping to 500 feet.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Plunger Fun

Yesterday was really fun! Our grandkids came over for a trip to Oaks Park. While Grandpa was making the picnic lunch, Zack and Abbi found the plunger I use for felting projects then begged me to take photos of their setup stunts with it. A lot of laughs! Here are two of their poses.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Soup and Beer

I enjoy the opportunity to make photos out of my food. :) Often lighting in restaurants is different from other places a person goes which can make food or dishes or silverware look more interesting or appealing. This photo was from pub quiz night at a new venue our team tried out. I enjoyed the atmosphere of the bar better for photos than how things are at our regular pub. The pub quiz was not fun at this place but as a photographer, I found it had a more interesting look.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Posterized Tree Reflection

Though spring is starting here we still mostly have bare-branched trees and rain every few days. I photographed this tree reflection in a gutter pool during a sun-break after rain. The wind was blowing and making curious ripples in the image. Today I took it into Photoshop Elements and experimented until I hit on this combination of Poster Edges and Color Variations that I liked.

Friday, March 21, 2008

My First Political Rally

Barack Obama came to town this morning so I took the opportunity to go see him speak. After 37 years of voting in various elections, this was my first political rally. This took place in the Memorial Collesium which seats 12,800 people; it was nearly full.

You can see him better if you click the photo to go to the full sized version.

Even though we got there before the doors opened, we still were sitting back far enough that I needed more glass than I brought to get a closer look at the candidate. This was as far as my lens could reach. Still the photo op gave me chances to play with timing and composition. This was one of the better shots. I was able to put Obama at center stage in that little pool of light. At the same time, the folks in the bleachers raised all their blue signs adding a nice pop of color. The diagonal bunting adds a nice frame, I think.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

First Regiment Armory

Portland is such a great city! This is the armory built for Oregon's National Guard in 1891. What a great building! I love the fortress-like appearance. Apparently, not too recently the place was a falling-apart wreck. In 2005, a renovation was begun and in 13 months it was restored and transformed into a home for Portland Center Stage theater.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Trains From The Overlook

The corridor of trains along the east bank of the Willamette River as viewed from the yard of the Overlook House.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Lunch At The Tin Shed

For my daughter's birthday I took her to lunch at a place of her choosing. She took me to a great place, Tin Shed Garden Cafe in the Alberta District. The food is amazing! This is my lunch! It was the Heartless Artichoke Sandwich with Carrot Beet Soup.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Exhibit In The South Park Blocks

On my trip downtown last week, I came upon this display when stepping off the Streetcar in the South Park Blocks. At first, I thought someone had planted a million flowers. Soon, I saw they were flags. Turns out this is an exhibit representing the number of deaths in the Iraq war.

My regret is I had only my P&S camera with me and could, in just a very crude way, capture the sea of white flags presented there. I took the photo from the sidewalk at the edge of the display. The small amount of red flags you see is a representation of the very small red flag number compared to the very large white flag number. Not that I'm degrading in any way the life sacrifice of those the red flags represent. However, the display gives one a stunning visual on the ratio of lives we're talking about here.

Click on the photo to better see how far the white flags go. There was a half-block more that I couldn't include. Scroll down for the explanation on the colors and the numbers the flags represent.

Sunday, March 16, 2008


A swale. It's a landscape device for managing stormwater runoff without using hardscape materials. It returns rainwater to the soil more slowly and filters pollutants. I'd never heard of it before moving back to Oregon last year. Now I'm starting to see them everywhere. This swale was installed around the old armory building downtown which is the clubhouse for Portland Center Stage Theater.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Store Window

Well, this is more like an art canvas than a photo. I cooked it up in Elements from a shot I took downtown a couple of days ago. It's a store window (Anthropologie) I thought was cool but it has reflections in the glass which is what drew me to try to capture both. If you click on the photo to see it full size, you'll see all other kinds of reflected detail--a stop sign, buildings, power lines.
The big reflection in the upper right was such a hot spot that when I tried to do something to bring it down, trying different filters, it starting looking more like a painting. I decided this would be my post for today. It's very busy but, hey, it's just one day's photo. No biggie. Tomorrow will be something different.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Old Town Chinatown

I took the bus downtown today for a matinee of Twelfth Night at Portland Center Stage Theater. I walked through Chinatown on the way. This is probably the first good chance I've had to photograph the Chinatown Gate during the day. We had rain, so obviously the skies contributed zip to the photo as well as very little light. Also, the whole area along Burnside, the main street in front of the gate, is torn up for the expansion of the MAX, Portland's light rail system, so there is no calm place to stand for a few quick snaps. I took this photo walking (as slow as I dared). If I had stood still I might have been bulldosed by heavy equipment on one side or impatient Portland drivers crammed into the dwindling driving lanes on the other. Still, it's an impressive gate, hey? Gotta love what the adult bookstore sign adds to the shot.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Daffodil Hello

Maybe I'm jealous of my photo friends down in California who I hear have an ocean of poppies right now to trek to for photo ops. At any rate I spent some time laying on my neighbor's sidewalk this morning to get the yummy-yellow-daffodil-with-blue-sky photo I've been dreaming of since these bright babies made their debut.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Crocus Up Close

I continue to feel impressed with how sharp the macro function of my Canon P&S camera is. It's the Canon G6. I was probably 4 inches from these flowers using the regular macro function. If I'd wanted to show you the stamens inside these flowers I could have moved in closer still and used Super Macro function but then I would have been down in the dirt.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Cat In Yard

Unlike my cat friends at home who dart away when they see me with my camera, this neighborhood cat had all kinds of time and patience with my photo taking. I love the diagonal line of the body and the beam. I experimented with adding a drop shadow with PSE5 to my photo-in-frame with this post. It seems to have added a small bit of dimension to the presentation.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Dodge Truck With Chains

Found this on a walk today and thought it would make a good black and white photo for the assignment for my online photo group.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

House With Pots

I have seen this house before and grin with enjoyment to see the whimsical use of color. This morning I passed by on a cloudy day which served to intensify the colors.

I feel nervous photographing the property of others. I feel I don't explain well what fascinates me about the beauty of what I'm seeing in what someone happens to own nor that I'm a dailyeye photographer with an ongoing photo project and that I intend no harm. So, I know I didn't take the time with this shot that I would have if I'd felt calm. It shows. Still, you can see the terrific use of color that attracted me and why this house makes me smile when I walk past.

Friday, March 7, 2008


It's been awhile since I've felt good enough to go for a walk. This morning, though, I trekked around in areas near our house. It seems Spring has arrived during the time I was sitting at home with the flu! Daffodils are absolutely everywhere! And crocus! And camellia! The daphne is blooming in sunny locations, though the fullness of its heavenly perfume is a week or so away, I think. So, there was plenty to photograph this morning which kept me quite entertained and happy for an hour or so.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Got Birds?

Malibu and Arnie check out the action. They were so revved up by the sight of a squirrel just beyond their noses, it was difficult to get a steady shot.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Hollywood Theater

This is a tricky landmark to photograph. I've tried a couple of times before. First it's at an incredibly busy intersection with a bunch of particulary ugly looking steet signs and traffic lights all around it. Also, it has an empty lot next door. The interesting facade disappears in the dark, however, it's kind of a bland sand color in daylight. I experimented with layers to adjust Levels on the darker areas and then blending the adjusted Levels back into the background layer.

The theater is owned by Film Action Oregon and this is their clubhouse of sorts. They support indie filmmaking and are raising money to refurbish the theater interior and put back the pipe organ that used to be there.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Bagdad Pub Sign

Took this while standing in line at Bagdad Theater for an evening showing of Charlie Wilson's War.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Cat On A Sunny Day

Malibu, our tabby, suns herself on the porch.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

How It Is On Sunday At Trader Joe's

No explanation really needed. When we moved from LA, we lived five minutes from our favorite Trader Joe's. Now, we live 15 minutes away so we only go there about once a month. On Sunday it's a zoo.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Steinway L1037

Last night we went to the Hollywood Theater to see Note By Note: The Making of Steinway L1037, a documentary by Ben Niles on the yearlong process of creating one Steinway nine foot concert grand piano. This is the piano he followed during his filming which was onstage for the opening night of the movie. There was a small concert after the film and then the audience members were allowed to come view the piano and try it out if they liked.

Steinway pianos are still made in the US, in Queens, NY. They are still handcrafted for the most part and completely handtuned. Watching the film, I had an interesting sensation about halfway through. I began to relate to the piano sitting on the stage as more than just an item or just any piano. Instead, I felt like it was more of a person or a being. It was kind of like watching a birthing film or a biography knowing I was about to meet the actual person at the end of the movie!

A very cool evening!