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Sunday, November 27, 2016

••◊ Sunriver Oregon travel photography blog: Day 1 and 2

This last September I took a trip down to central Oregon with my mom.  My mom asked if we could bring my grandpa's Pentax Spotmatic film camera along; which also meant I had to learn how to do film photography. The idea was that since my mom never got to take this trip with her dad before he passed away in 2009, taking the camera along would be sort of like bringing him along in spirit.  So that's why so many of my previous posts were about exploring how to do film photography.  This digital boy had to figure out how to wind it up old school!  I also recently bought a Fujifilm X-E2S digital camera, so this trip would be the maiden voyage for that camera - if for no other reason than knowing that I actually got the shot!  It's a good thing because my film capabilities were still "developing" (pun alert!), and frankly are still in development.

So today's preview mainly covers the pictures related to traveling from Seattle down to Portland - day 1 and 2.  Our lunch stop was at Chaco Canyon in West Seattle.  The place is vegan, to which my initial reaction is all the enthusiasm of attending a "real estate opportunity" seminar, but my mom, being a vegetarian, was sold on it. At the time I was practicing food photography because a couple producers wanted to do a web series about food.  Below is my first attempt.


After that we went to Avalon Glass Works in West Seattle.  Their workshop/showroom is arranged to include a fish tank with the blower making various glass art.  In the picture below he's making one of the apples you see on the long table below.  The process takes about ten minutes.  The person behind the counter explained that they have to use specific glass and additives that have similar coefficients of thermal expansion, otherwise the glass will just crack as it cools down.




The next day we headed south toward Portland and stopped off at Glen's Funny Farm in Morton, Washington. Glen retired and decided to buy a farm out in the middle of nowhere so he and his dog Oreo can battle the deer to see who gets to eat the crops first!  Glen has a walnut tree, so we picked walnut fruits off the ground and cleaned off the rotting fruit to get to the nut.  The nuts themselves dry on a rack for a few months before they're edible.  We also picked some apples, broccoli, and spaghetti squash for later in the week.  Below was my first attempt at film photography during the trip.

Glen attempted to impress my mom with his new apple press for making apple cider.  I say attempted because when he explained to my vegetarian mom, with her German sensibilities of cleanliness, that the apples may contain bits of worms, the impression was clearly made (of the wrong intention).


Closer to Portland, Vista House is a government works project from the 1910's and sits just above the Columbia River on the Oregon side of the border. It was meant as a place for travelers to rest along the Columbia Gorge.  The first photo below was taken with the film camera, which you can tell by the typical Kodak red shift in the dark bricks, as compared with the second picture (digital) of the backside of the building.  This is where I tried out the panorama feature of the Fujifilm camera for the first time and found that you need to be careful when people are apt to move in the photo.  When I used to do manual stitching with my Canon camera I could choose my overlap points, but Fuji doesn't give you that level of control - so things sometimes don't quite work as intended.  It was still close enough to show what I wanted to show.






Multnomah Falls is just east of Vista House, also along the Columbia River.  The fall drops 620 feet and is a very popular tourist attraction.  Somewhat too popular at times, given the wait for parking.  I found the legend behind the falls interesting:  "According to Native American lore, Multnomah Falls was created to win the heart of a young princess who wanted a hidden place to bathe."  Makes a Mercedes seem like a piece of cake, doesn't it?  The Benson Bridge spans over the lower pool, 69 feet up.

There's a one mile hike to the top of the falls from the lodge, which is primarily cliff side switch backs.  As I was walking up I saw guys trying to do it with flip flops (dumb) and teenagers resting along the trail (wimps!).  In fact most of the talk I heard going up was teenagers breathing hard and whining about the trail being steep, to which I have to say "get off your phones and start experiencing the real world!"  At the top is a heck of a view and worth the effort.  The trail steps can be a bit treacherous -and- slippery at the top, so you really have to watch where you plant your feet.  Any moderately fit person can do it.








Dinner was at Sweet Basil Thai in Portland's Hollywood District.  The lighting wasn't very good for photography where we were sitting, but their presentation and food was excellent.


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