Portland Postcard

Today was my second effort to be in place on the Eastside Esplanade in downtown Portland when the sunlight hit the city and the blooming cherry trees on the west side of the river.  That is IF the light hits the city and trees.  It was touch and go as sunrise neared.  I gave up at one point and started to head back to the car when the rain started.  Yes, it is Portland in the spring.  But as I walked along the Steel Bridge the rain started to let up and I saw light from the north creeping into the city.  I thought that the rain squall was moving from the south to north and would soon be over me.  Wrong again, Bruce.  I shot a couple of frames and headed back to the east side of the river.

20130322_073506_DSC_1349_FIt was a little after 8:00 when I found the place I wanted to set up the tripod and camera.  It is full-on bicycle commute hour in Portland and I’m just downstream from a hard right corner on a downhill as cyclists head into town for work.  I’m certainly aware that I’m in a bit of a precarious position since the bikies will tend to swing wide and have to react to my presence.  I’m checking over my left shoulder to stay alert to possible danger.  Then I hear a bike’s brakes  and sense movement to my left.  I turn and am greeted by a cyclist who stops, says hello and tells me that I am going to have a lot of bicycles making the corner and suggests that I move up hill closer to the corner (where a tree would have been directly in front of me) or downhill where the bikies have a bit more time to negotiate the corner and miss me.  Both are good suggestions and were pleasantly delivered.  I thanked him and told him I’d stay alert.  He wished me well and rolled off.  I knew I needed about 10 minutes and I’d be gone and, honestly, I understand the bike mentality and character and figure that, really, to make the corner they need to slow down quite a bit anyway.  The next 7 bikes by me did just that.  No problems.  I wonder if other cities have such a bike culture where a bike commuter interrupts his trip to warn a stranger of possible dangers.  I hope so.  I appreciated the message and the delivery even if I ignored it and did my thing.

I proceeded to shoot a series of vertical shots for a panorama of the Portland skyline.  The image below was made from 6 images and sits at just under 1.5 gigabytes in size when open in Photoshop.  YIKES.. the D800’s large files sure mount up when combining multiple 16 bit files.  I’m pleased with the detail and overall character of the panorama.  I hoped for a bit more light on the trees on the right side of the image but the clouds came in once again and the light rain started once more.  Welcome to Portland, Oregon in the spring.  What a great city.






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