Tag Archives: oregon

Crater Lake

2009.07.31 -- Crater Lake, OR

2009.07.31 -- Crater Lake, OR

2009.07.31 -- Crater Lake, OR

My other brother and a friend of the family were in Portland for the Brewfest.  They came out from South Carolina to drink beer, take photos, and explore Portland, Seattle, and Central Oregon.  We headed out to Bend last week and decided to take a trip to Crater Lake.  I’ve camped there several times before and it never gets any less amazing.

We left Bend in the morning and made it to the North end of Crater Lake by 8:30am.  We trekked down the trail to the water and watched a few people jump into the lake.  In fact, all four of us were armed with various Canon Digital SLRs and were nicknamed the “Paparazzi” by those watching us take photos of the jumpers.  Between the four of us, we probably took 50 shots per jump–except the first time, when after all of the shutters stopped clicking, we heard a beep coming from my brother’s camera.  A beep that comes from accidentally setting it to timer mode instead of multi-shot.

After making fun of him for a bit, we headed back up to the car and took a trip around Rim Drive.  We popped out along the way to take shots from different areas of the lake.  My Canon 10-22mm lens was very popular on the trip (and borrowed quite a bit), as you could fit most of the lake in the frame in a single shot.  It’s great for this kind of large area, but you have to be careful and not loose the scale of the lake–which can be very easy without any reference object in the shot: trees, buildings, people.

Astoria Beer Adventure

Astoria Beer Adventure

Astoria Beer Adventure

Astoria Beer Adventure

Astoria Beer Adventure

Last weekend, I had an overnight assignment in Astoria.  And guess what?  Yep, it involved beer.  I was sent out to explore the beer scene in Astoria and meet the movers and shakers, and of course, drink a lot of great beer!

Even though I retired my Canon 50mm 1.4 lens to the studio, I can’t seem to live without it.  A couple of months ago, it was knocked off the players bench at the Rose Garden while shooting a Portland LumberJax training session.  Both auto-focus and the focus ring were broken, but the glass was intact.  So, while the photos turn out fine, I have to manually focus by pulling and pushing the end of the lens in and out!  It’s really not convenient, but I don’t have a replacement for it yet.  For still shots of objects, it’s not a problem.  But when people are involved, it’s hard to capture that spontaneous moment when it takes 7 seconds to pull or push and fumble with a broken lens!  Oh well, glad to have it, even with it’s flaws.

On Saturday, I met with the brewers of Fort George Brewing Company and Astoria Brewing Company–and then proceeded to drink a lot of beer.  From noon to 5:00pm, we drank an assortment of over twenty beers in samples, pints, and goblets.  I’m glad I had a notebook and a camera to document it all, because I will be relying heavily on those to piece together my article.  Usually, I’m not so excited to work on the weekends, but there was no downside to this weekend!

Firkin Fest 2009

Firkin Fest 2009

Firkin Fest 2009

Firkin Fest 2009

It’s not all coincidence that I’m able to mix beer and photography.  It takes careful planning: 1) Find an event, 2) See if someone needs photos for the event, 3) If you can budget in time to photograph and attend the event, even better!  It doesn’t always work out that way, but when it does, it’s great for both you and the client.

Well, the upside for me is pretty self-explanatory: free event.  The upside for the client is that the more I’m involved in the event, the better I can understand what it’s all about–and then translate that into photography.  The perspective of an attendee and photographer can tell two different stories.  It is the job of the photographer to not only capture the spirit of the festival through the eyes of the attendees, but also capture unique angles, subjects, and action that require much more than a casual eye.

For this year’s Firkin Fest, I took photos for the Oregon Brewer’s Guild.  The festival was split into two three hour sessions.  I attended the first session as a photographer and the second as a patron.  But, as a photographer, even when I’m not on duty, I usually carry around my equipment.  So, it’s usually safe to say that whatever label I’m under at any given moment (patron, attendee, employee, student, staff), you can always append /photographer to the end.  Today, the energy was very different at the second session and about half of the final photos ended up coming from the then, when I was supposed to be off the clock.

Portland Breweries

Portland Breweries

Portland Breweries

Portland Breweries

In the middle of 2008, I started a project to shoot all of the breweries in Portland.  Photography and beer, how could it get any better?  Well, despite some hot temperatures, slippery floors, and sticky mash, it was a great experience.

I got to meet all of the brewers in town, talk about their brewing styles, and compare brewing equipment.  While the process is the same, the breweries are vastly different, ranging from 3 barrel systems to 500 barrel systems.  There’s a also a big difference in the physical interaction with the beer: some are very automated, while many others still require the art of the mash paddle.

I don’t want to spoil too much here, as I have a plan for a book in the works that will fill in all of the details.  What I can say is that Portland has a great brewing community and fantastic beers.  From Lagers to Russian Imperial Stouts, fresh beer to barrel aged beer, every beer lover can find exceptional beer around every corner in Portland.

Portland to Bend

PDX to Bend

PDX to Bend

PDX to Bend

Every few weeks, I ride out to my brother’s in Bend with my camera gear in the back of the wagon, radio blaring, caffeine in my brain, and Bend beer on my mind.

For this trip, I made sure that my camera bag was in the passenger seat so that I could grab it when the mood struck me. With this in mind, it occurred to me that this is a trip that is so easily overlooked. Since I make this trip so often, it’s easy to get bored with the long stretches of forest in the mountains. Or the burned out deserts of the reservation. Or the gorges and bridges and endless farmland.

This time, I gave myself an extra two hours to explore the “in-betweens” of my trip. The top photo is a field just outside of the forests of Mt. Hood–one of many. The middle shot is just prior to the descent into Warm Springs. After miles and miles of ruler-straight highway through sun-scorched earth, you twist and turn into a huge, cavernous valley.

The last shot (bottom), is from a bridge near Terrebonne. Just stop, pull over, wait for a lull in traffic, lay down on the highway, and shoot. Or, in reality, stop by the Dalles-California Highway–which is closed to traffic in this section–and pretend that it’s dangerous.