Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Spending some time in Washington and Oregon

Last month, my wife and I traveled to Oregon and Washington for a quick trip. We flew up to Portland, OR to meet up with our daughter who is living and working up north. We had time to visit some places that were new to us, and also visited some places for the second time. Of course, I took my camera along to capture the sites.

We drove south from Portland and explored some of the lesser known areas. We were driving on a small two lane road when we came across this pretty view of Mt. Hood. I liked the way that the clouds were intersecting the mountain and grabbed this shot. In order to get up close, I used my Canon 5D Mark IV and Canon 100-400mm lens.

We were just driving around and seeing what interesting things we could find. While checking our phones, we saw that we were near the Oregon Park which included a home designed by the famous architect, Frank Lloyd Wright. We entered that address into Waze and headed over to check it out.

Here is a photo of "The Gordon House" on the park property. The house was not completed before the death of Wright, and the home was moved to this location, from Wilsonville, OR starting in 2001.

After checking out the house, we walked to the gardens and thoroughly enjoyed the fall colors.

The colors in the gardens were amazing as well!

I saw these beautiful red flowers in the middle of a grass area and worked hard to get my shot. I got down low, so that the red color would be in the middle of the frame, surrounded by all the different shades of green and purple. I shot this with the long zoom lens at 271mm and f/5 to have only the red flowers in perfect focus.

The next day, we drove from Portland, OR to Seattle, WA. Again, we were looking for interesting things to see along the way. We saw that the Mt. Saint Helens visitor's center was only 6 miles from the freeway, and decided to check that out. I remember watching the news about eruption of Mt. Saint Helens back in 1980 but had never seen the site myself. The direction of the sun in the morning was not great for photos, but it was still worth the photo.

I took this shot from the visitor's center, using the trees to frame the mountain in the distance.

And then we were off to Pike Place for some lunch.

If you visit Seattle, you have to go to Pike Place Fish Market. This is Seattle's famous landmark, with people throwing fish, the first Starbucks, and a fun place to capture photos. For this visit, I was still using the Canon 5D Mark IV, but opted for the Canon 24-105mm lens.

I did not want to use flash, instead opting to use only the ambient light from the market. I turned up my ISO to 1250 and held the camera steady as shoppers made their purchases.

For this shot, I got down low to the fish and grabbed this shot. I changed my aperture to f/4 so that only the faces of the fish would be in focus.

We only had one day in Seattle before heading back south towards Portland once again. My wife had heard about an overpass with great glass pieces (right near the Museum of Glass) in Tacoma, WA and wanted to check it out.

It was worth the stop.

We did not have time to go into the glass museum, but enjoyed walking around and taking photos of the unique building.

We did walk across the street to the courthouse to see the Chihuly glasswork that was on display there.

I really liked the reflection of the glasswork on the polished floor, so I backed up and took this shot to include the window and the foyer of the courthouse. (Photographer's note: To keep the window from blowing out (being too bright) I changed the exposure compensation of my camera to -1.3. This kept my window light at a good exposure and darkened the scene inside. I was OK with that, since I really wanted to the viewer's attention to be in the window and the reflection with the foyer being a secondary subject.) 

To try something different, I went right up to the Chihuly glass pieces and shot through them. I saw the Museum of Glass visible in the distance and used the orange glass to frame the museum,

While looking through the orange glass, I saw this American flag flying in the background. I waited for the flag to blow the right direction and took some photos through the glass.

After shooting from the second level for a while, we went back down to the first level and shot photos looking straight up the Chihuly sculpture.

We were walking back to our car when I saw the museum framed by these trees. I liked the way that the angled building seemed to be peeking out from the foliage, and took this photo.

A couple of days later, my wife and I were driving back home to the San Francisco Bay Area. (You may be wondering why we flew up and were driving back. Our daughter purchased her first new car and we were taking the old car back home.)

In order to break up the long drive home, we decided to stop in Ashland, OR for the night. We have been to Ashland before, but never really explored the area much. As we were driving towards Ashland, we looked up things to do in Ashland and saw that there was a park called Lithia Park in the downtown area. Even though we had been a block away from the park entrance on past trips, we did not know about its existence. Now that we know, we will be going back there again!

We arrived into Ashland late in the afternoon, quickly checked into our hotel and then headed right for Lithia Park. It was early in the evening when we entered the park, and the sun was starting to set. I saw this one guy meditating in the distance and loved how the sun was lighting only him and the trees above.

We walked along the creek and enjoyed the sound of the water. I rested my camera on some of the railings of the crossing wood bridges to take long exposure shots of the scene. I set my camera to ISO 160, f/11, and exposure compensation of -1 to get a shutter speed of 1.3 seconds. I put the camera in a 2 second timer mode so that I could hit the shutter release button and not have to worry about shaking the camera. 

My wife was picking up some of the fall leaves and be both thought it would make a nice photo.

The next morning, before heading out for the 6 hour drive home, we decided to walk Lithia Park one more time, covering quite a bit of the 93 acres of parkland. This time, in morning light, we had a chance to see the same park lit from the other direction. It was so pretty. If you visit Ashland, OR and have decent weather, make sure to put Lithia Park on your list of things to see and photograph.

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GNB said...

You certain it was Olympia? I believe the Federal Courthouse with the Chihuly glass is in Tacoma, along with the Glass Bridge and the Museum of Glass.

Jeff Cable Photography Blog said...

Ooops - thanks GNB - I made the change. You are correct. :)