The smoky skies from forest fires in British Columbia have made sunsets spectacular in Portland, Oregon the last few days. St. John’s Bridge, the most beautiful bridge in the city, and some say one of the most beautiful bridges in the world, was even more lovely than usual last night.
Returned today from a wonderful three-day trip shooting wheat fields south of The Dalles. Stayed at the beautifully maintained 110-year old Balch Hotel in Dufur, Oregon, which made a great base for exploring the area. Shot 6:00am-noon, returned to the hotel for lunch and took a nap on a hammock next to the hotel’s garden with mourning doves calling in the trees above. A very pleasant time!
I have little experience shooting portraits and people, so I was fortunate and thankful that my two professional photography friends Whitney Stevens and Dan Harlacher spent a Saturday morning at a local beach with me and a beautiful model teaching me tips about portrait lighting and posing. I learned so much and had so much fun.
You couldn’t ask for better teachers with Dan being a former photography instructor and Whitney being a professional portrait photographer of her studio, Bliss Studio.
Thank you, Dan and Whitney!
On a road trip to Klickitat County last month, Chan and I drove past this road side barn around noon just outside of Trout Lake, Washington. It was hard to miss the large, darting shadows of the many cliff swallows – sometimes 15 or more at a time - that animated the barn wall. It was a unique and thrilling sight!
Chan patiently sat in the hot car for 20 minutes as I tried to get a good picture, but when I got home, I was disappointed with the results. I had shot it at too slow a shutter speed and should have used my tripod.
So, the following week, I drove the 90 miles back out to the barn, waited for the mid-day sun to be in the right position again for the swallows to cast shadows, setup my tripod and sat under a camouflage burlap cover-up for an hour and a half, shooting over 200 shots.
The swallows threw shadows only when they flew about 2-3 feet from the wall and only at mid-day. They also came-and-went, with long periods of sometimes only a single bird or no birds at all.
This is the hardest I’ve worked for a photo in a long time, but it sure was fun.