An article in the New York Times about Shaniko.
I’ve been meaning to put together a post of the best ten photographs I took last year. I had the pictures mostly picked out, and then got distracted so I thought I would post it today, better late than never.
It was interesting to consider a year’s worth of work and determine which I thought showed merit. It was a learning experience in itself to consider what makes a picture good, and what makes a picture merely mediocre.
These are not in any particular order, choosing a top ten was taxing enough!
Ironically, I have run into a bug recently on my laptop that prevents me from loading pictures directly through WordPress, so it’s funny that I’m getting around to it now.
This bridge in in Newport, Oregon in the central coast. We spent the night at a bed and breakfast and when we got up, everything was frozen from a rare cold snap. The sand crunched when we walked on it. We walked on the beach for several hours, and when I saw an opportunity to catch one of my favorite bridges from this angle, I took it.
Boiler Bay in winter
We have many shots of the ocean from Boiler Bay, but this is one I took in the winter. The light on the coast is more beautiful than anywhere I’ve been, ranging from deeply grey and misty to orange to bright white. I caught this shot on a day when the light made all the colors turn very strange colors. I did not adjust this picture other than to crop it and resize it.
We went whale watching in Puget Sound with my cousins. It was a great day to be out on the water. At various points rain threatened us but never it never actually did rain. Despite having fun trying to catch a whale with my camera, this ended up being my favorite picture of the day. I like that it is a color picture, but it could just as easily have been a black and white. This is what the Sound looks like to me, and it give me comfort when everything is grey. Can you tell I grew up in the Pacific Northwest?
I think this is the picture I got the most kudos on in 2008. I have a friend back in our former neighborhood who I try to walk to see once per week. I always have my camera with me, and when I came across this beautiful Japanese Maple in the fall with the light shining through it, I had to stop. Strangely, I only took one picture, and this is it, so I am glad that it turned out the way I wanted it. My eye is improving I think.
Brian and I joined my sister and her family at the Timberline for a celebratory meal and an incredible overnight stay (seriously, you should do this. It was spectacular. Bring a swimsuit.). Brian and I stopped off at the bar before dinner to have a cocktail, and I wanted this shot.
While we waited to make the climb up to the top of the lighthouse, I peeked into a few of the rooms. It was crazy windy out that day, and the salty sea spray was making everything dreamlike through the windows.
I am lucky that Brian like exploring as much as I do. He’s completely comfortable with me asking to turn around to see something and is content to go on long drives just to see what we can see. This was a spot we found on the way back from Mt Hood one day, somewhere between Government Camp and Hood River, off the main highway. I loved the greys and both of us have a thing for good fonts in unexpected places.
One of the wanders we took in 2008 was to a small ghost town in central Oregon. It was the wool capitol of the world at one point, but now there are only 9 or so people that live nearby. It’s been preserved with the intent of attracting visitors, but is interesting to walk around and peer into windows. I loved how blue the sky was in contrast to the rust, and the angles of the light, the roofs and the horizon.
Sunset over the Bridge to Nowhere
This was a lucky catch of the sun, a storm, and a great reflection. I am fascinated by the light when I look at this, and definitely feel that this had much more to do with being at the right place at the right time rather than knowing my camera or framing the shot.
Where He Lives
Another lucky photo walk. We love the Oregon coast deeply, and tidepool every chance we get. We will contentedly walk the shoreline for hours on end, sometimes just watching the waves, sometimes taking pictures, other times collecting shells. If we are taking pictures we often go our seperate ways, and it’s interesting later that night to see what the other person thought was interesting. I looked up, saw him jumping over a tidepool, and loved the rocks in the background. Click. Probably my personal favorite, even though I think technically and artistically some of the others are much better.
I’m going to attempt to do this in January each year. It will be a good experience for me to see what I’ve learned to do over the course of the year.
A good sized busy weekend. We missed the farmers’ market but Brian got to sleep in so it was completely worth it. Mostly we just hung out on Saturday during the day, I think.
Saturday night, we walked to Grant Park to see the Symphony. Portland has concerts in the park all summer, and it switches parks. Next week, the symphony is at Laurelhurst Park, which I like, so we may try to make it to that too.
After they handed all the children in the park recorders and whistles, we decided that that might be enough culture for one day, and walked back to the house to hang out for a bit before going to see some bands – we saw New York Rifles, Oh Darling and Another Cynthia. A pretty good show, although Another Cynthia definitely was the best as always. They played some stuff not on the two CDs I have, nice.
Sunday, we grabbed Jimm and headed out along the Gorge for a drive, turning into Central Oregon to see what had been billed as a ghost town. It was a neat old town, Shaniko, but not really a ghost town.
Still, it was super awesome to talk to the weaver who hangs out at the school house, and walk on the wooden sidewalks and check out all the old buildings in the middle of nowhere. Central Oregon in that area used to be one big sheep herd, and Shaniko was set up to process the wool and act as a clearinghouse. I think the number the weaver told us was that there were 100,000 sheep wandering around. During the Dust Bowl, there was a huge drought which killed off most of the sheep (except for one large ranch that had been foresighted enough to get grazing rights to some pasture on the other side of the Cascades) and that sort of ranching just sort of fell by the wayside, taking Shaniko with it.
We had a good picnic sitting on the side of the old closed hotel – salad, blueberries, strawberries, hummus, pita, the last of the blueberry muffins I made last week.
Drove through the country some more until we found a mountain finder which showed us that we were looking at Three Sisters, Mt Washington, Mt Hood, Mt St Helens, Mt Rainier, Broken Top, and Three Fingered Jack. Pretty cool. When Brian got into the car at the mountain finder, he reached down and picked up a huge fist full of spent bullets. I didn’t look but he said that the ground was completely covered with them. Heh. Hopefully they were shooting at tumbleweeds and not at cars.
Finished the weekend by eating at Dan & Louis Oyster Bar finally. I have matches from the 70s when my parents used to go there. The restaurant is celebrating its 101st anniversity. Really cool atmosphere. The clam chowder was amazing; the fish I had was not so much. It was just okay, when we go back I’m going to get oysters next time. Very cool place to stop and get a beer and some seafood.