We had 30 mph wind gusts at our house this morning and I knew it would be screaming in east county.  I found I had some time while waiting for comments to finish a project so I headed to the Gorge.  I have a photo in mind and one of these days I will find the location and light to make it happen.  I hope it doesn’t take as long as the yet-to-be moonrise over Portland from Pittock Mansion.

I went out with no expectations…. just wanted to see if I could find a location that would give me the scene I am looking for.  There are limited opportunities due to my desire to have some specific things in the foreground so my hunt began in Cascade Locks and moved west and toward home.

In general, I want a shot with the river, a set of bald cottonwoods and contrasty darkness behind the trees.  So, I went looking for this without any houses or buildings or infrastructure on the far bank.  Good luck Bruce.

Picture this.  It is blowing a gale as I set up my tripod.  I turn around to get the camera and hear a “clink” as the tripod blew over and the head hit the pavement.  YIKES.  I put the camera on and held the whole thing down as best I could.  Here’s the result.

Did I mention that it was windy?  I’ve seen a number of articles where this effect is purposeful.. photog moving the camera/lens or zooming a bit during the exposure.  Not me, I was trying to hold the thing as steady as I could.  I didn’t want to let go and hear a heavier “clink” as the camera hit the ground.  So, I tried to hunker in behind the guard rail and get low.  No love there.  Oh yeah, it was bitter cold too.  By the time I got convinced that I was not going to win this one I headed for the car.  Picture this if you will.  Front seats of the CR-V folded forward.  Gitzo tripod and camera with 70-200 lens mounted firmly.  Tripod splayed out to rest one leg on the dashboard, one on the floor and the other on the armrest behind me.  Me?  I’m contorted inside the whole thing.  The back passenger window is open and I’m ready to shoot.  Thing is, I want a long exposure to blur the water.  OK, I know that the same time with the wind will blur the trees on the far side.  Then I realize that the car is bouncing around.  Well, at least I was warmer.  I waited for a moment of calm and shot.  What ever.

It is not what I strive for in terms of clarity.  It is not what I want for “the picture” but it was sure fun to tinker around and have a laugh or two at myself as I tried to solve one problem after another.

But the fun wan’t over.  As I headed back to town I pullled in at one more exit to see if I could find the scene I was hunting for.  There was a UPS truck parked there as I pulled in.  I parked and got out to greet the driver who was standing by the guard rail.  He was a bit animated and told me to look at the river.  I did.  Here comes a boat through the whitecaps and it’s throwing a rooster tail.  What?  I grab the camera as the boat screams by us heading upriver.  I get about 5 shots as it passes and then turn to the driver and ask “what the heck was that?”.  Neither of us really know exactly what it was or who owns it.  Strange boat.  My friend Deigh hit it with his comment about the photo… “looks kind of Delorean”.

I kept expecting a gal in a bikini to come outside with a gun and a guy chasing her yelling “Bond, James Bond”

One thought on “It was HOWLING…

  1. What a day! I really like the river long exposure. The layers, the colors and the contrast in detail between them is quite striking. I keep learning from your artistic eye Bruce!

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