Tag Archives: winter

Photography 2008

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.

Yaquina Bridge

Yaquina Bridge in winter
Yaquina Bridge in winter.

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

Boiler Bay
Winter shot in Boiler Bay.

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.

The Sound

Puget Sound
Puget Sound.

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?

Autumn

Autumn Japanese Maple
Autumn Japanese Maple.

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.

Pretty Glass

Pretty Glass
View from the bar at the Timberline.

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.

The View

View from the lighthouse
View from the Yaquina Head Lighthouse.

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.

Five

Five
Five near Hood River.

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.

Shaniko

Shaniko
Old truck in Shaniko, Oregon.

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

Bridge to Nowhere
Bridge To Nowhere in Astoria, Oregon.

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

Where He Lives
Brian at Seal Rock.

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.

Bits and pieces

I’ve not been posting due to being too busy to be on the computer.

Yesterday, I had totchos for the first time. They are exactly as bad and as good as you’d think they’d be (tator tots + nachos). Katie and I had ’em with a beer at Blitz after wandering a completely packed Powell’s yesterday afternoon.

Bridge at Multnomah Falls
Trail and bridge at Multnomah Falls in winter

Multnomah Falls is pretty in winter. It had thawed out since the big December storm, but there still was a lot of snow on the ground. On the way there, Carrie, Todd and I had grand ambitions about hiking to the top of the falls (not having any IronPeople along made it seem plausible), but on arriving and seeing the snow, we shortened it to just to the bridge.

Which probably should have been just to the landing. Turns out that all the snow was on the trails, and our shoes had not been chosen for maximum traction. We hiked up to the first turn on snow that was flat and glassy from other crazy people, and barely made it around the first turn by the wall.

Carrie on trail going up
Carrie on trail up to Multnomah Falls before the first turn.

Somehow, that didn’t dissuade us either, and we kept hiking to the wood bridge. At which point things got considerably dicier.

The trail disappeared altogether under much snow, and very quickly the mini-fence was below our feet by several feet because we were hiking on so much snow. So I began to clutch the rock/snow fence above our heads, because one slip, one misstep meant a 50 or 70 foot drop down a cliff.

Multnomah Falls in winter
Multnomah Falls in winter – note the secondary falls next to it too!

Todd said it is the second most dangerous thing he’s done in life (no, I didn’t ask him what the first one was, I figured if he’d wanted to share, he would have).

When we finally made it back to the first landing, we agreed that winter Multnomah Falls hiking should be on no one’s list – it’s worth driving to and looking at, but not hiking up. Ulp.

Weather

Dear lord it is snowing in Portland. From what the news says, it’s also approaching the coldest it’s been in over a decade. The snow is notable enough for Portland that I am blogging it so that I remember it – there was no snow last year other than one Saturday when I noticed some flakes in the air (but nothing on the ground, it melted when it hit).

This, however, is sticking, and providing much consternation for drivers. They aren’t letting people on the highways without chains or traction tires (neither of which I own yet, but chains are in my future so we can take Carrie and Todd up Mt Hood potentially in a few weeks).

We’ve seen cars in front of our house (on NE Fremont St) doing accidental doughnuts, and Brian was very amused to see one poor guy in a gold BMW who clearly had no idea what to do. He kept spinning in circles, and then ending up in oncoming traffic pointing the wrong way. So then he’d tromp on the gas, spin in circles and slide into the other traffic, pointing the wrong way. He must have eventually figured something out because he’s not trapped in front of our house spinning in circles, so hopefully he had the sense to realize he can’t drive in snow (really, this guy couldn’t) and pulled over to have someone come and get him. Heh. And even though I know that’s probably not the case, it’s amusing me nonetheless.

Home again home again

Color in winter

Color in winter

Finally made it home after a colossal screw up by Continental which meant that we had to spend the night in Houston (bleah!). We had to pay for our own hotel, and we had to pay our cat sitter for another day of sitting on our cats, errrr….feeding the cats. We will be spending this week talking Continental about picking up those costs because we were not delayed by an act of God, but instead, by Continental’s computers. It will, I suspect, take an act of God to get Continental to pay, but hey, I’ve got the time to hassle them!

Lesson learned: Never, ever fly Continental. The amount of incompetency we ran into makes me wonder how they keep their airplanes in the sky. My guess is that their pilots are the only ones with any brains because no one else we talked to / worked with seemed to show any evidence of intelligence.

The trip itself was pretty cool, other than the fact that two days into it I became really, really sick for the duration.

It was awesome seeing Brian’s family and watching Brian, Rick and Tom Sr play poker. Bailey is as creative and fun to be around as I remembered, and LoriJean is talking now!

We hung out at my sister’s. Her new house is big, well-lit, cozy and beautiful. I am so happy for them. Maggie and Matt were a lot of fun to hang out with. Maggie is getting to be quite a cook too – she did most of the work for the sugar cookies and nearly all the work of making the Christmas wreath, cool! Matt looks so much like my dad did at that age it is almost spooky, and of course I think they are the most intelligent and wonderful kids I’ve ever been around.

Then we were off to Madison to check on our house and see friends. Brian came up with the idea of playing Abscentee-Landlord Bingo, in which each square is “72 Nova on bricks in front yard”, “house on fire”, “broken windows”, etc. Happily, we couldn’t even fill in one of the squares – the house looked like it was in better condition than we left it, and the decorations for Christmas the tenants put up were tasteful and nice.

Seeing our friends was both fun and hard. We hung out with so many cool people in Madison – intelligent, fun, challenging and awesome, and seeing them made us wonder why we moved. Luckily, the weather that night reminded us. By the time we left Nate and Beth, the streets and sidewalks were covered with a sheet of ice. We tried to park in the Concourse hotel’s lot, but they had warnings that SUV, van and minivan owners parked at their own risk due to 6 foot ceilings (what?). It was pretty obvious that the SUV Brian’s brother lent to us wasn’t going to fit, so we parked on the street in front of MATC. In the morning, the SUV was encased in a layer of ice thick enough that no amount of pounding would open the doors and it was 11 degrees outside without the windchill (which was pretty significant). So, I love my friends in Madison, and will visit them every chance I get, but I am still an Oregonian girl, just like I thought. And not just for the weather :)

Dean and Michele were kind enough to come rescue us as we had plans to eat sushi for breakfast at Murimoto’s. It was fun, but Wasabi still has the very best sushi in town, and Todd’s tofu dish at Murimoto was, in his words, disgusting.

After that, Brian and I headed out, but not before stopping at Willy St Co-op which remains my favorite grocery of all time. Our membership hadn’t expired so we bought a few things to bring back with us.

In Waukesha, my cousin Steve and his wife Sheela and their super cute kids were there to hang out. We played games, watched movies and drank enough to sink a ship. Gretchen taught Brian and I to play Ring of Death (gosh, that’s a lot of drinks). By that time I was sent to bed as being too sick from my cold to hang out anymore.

The rest of the trip, I hung out with Gretchen, Jay, Maggie and Matt and Brian hung out with his family. It was a cozy good Christmas, and I will miss my family and friends until the next time I head back to Wisconsin to see them. But I’m very happy to be home in Portland.

After the long two days of travel to get here, and this horrible cold, I slept for 13 hours straight. The only reason I woke up then is because Moose was purring so loudly on Brian’s legs as we slept – I think he was as happy to see us as we were to see him.