No trip to the Portland area is complete without visiting Multnomah Falls. Here is a lie; there was nobody here when I took this shot.
In fact, to get this, I had to elbow my way through layers of Instagrammers holding phones aloft with their backs to the falls. I should have known better, it was July 4th, but I went anyway. I Photoshoped all the people off the bridge except for one. In the end, this edit is not far from the scene I imagined in my head.
If I did have the place to myself, I would have taken more shots, but I like this shot, so maybe that would have been a waste. Anyhow, when I go back, even if it’s winter, I’ll come early to try my luck again. But it’s all good; I ended up hiking to the top to see even more waterfalls and a lot fewer people. It ended up being an excellent day, for Instagram and me.
One little tip about shooting waves at the shore is tripod legs sink when the water washes over. So, if the exposure is too long, objects get blurred. Another tip is to wash off the tripod legs in freshwater as soon as possible. A couple of helpful pointers for you photo bugs.
This spot is from a massive lava flow, surrounded by volcanoes on all sides. I wouldn’t want to be here when the next one blows.
Living in Florida, it’s easy to forget there is a healthy amount of volcanic activity in the pacific northwest. It wasn’t my plan to visit volcanoes, but little did I realize, most of the mountains in Oregon are.
If I recall, Oregon and Hawaii are in the “ring of fire,” and we all know Hawaii is quite active. When I first arrived at this spot, I was struck by how fresh the flows looked; I thought maybe they were ten years old. It was more like fifteen-hundred years, which, as we all know, is just a blink of an eye in geological terms. As amazing as it was, I was still glad to leave before mother nature decided to blink again.
Here’s a shot from Crescent Beach, which is just north of Cannon Beach and mostly inaccessible. It was a hike but well worth it.
I saw folks on the trail that looked like they shouldn’t be there, I had boots, and they had flipflops. Some people looked like they couldn’t make the steep inclines, it made me wonder if rangers rescued hikers here. Nevertheless, I made it despite hesitations of my own and arrived at this rugged, isolated beach.
I placed my tripod low and took this as the water receded. I used an ultrawide 12mm lens from Venus Optics. It mostly stays in the bag, but times like this I’m glad I have it because of the perspective it affords.
Cannon Beach reminds me of Carmel by the Sea; only it’s about eight hundred miles to the north. A little more unconventional, perhaps, but that’s a good thing.
Actually, this is a view of Crescent Beach with Cannon Beach in the distance; but the whole area is known as Cannon Beach. I drove here to Ecola State Park from Portland in the morning, and getting an early start was vital. After I returned from a hike, the roads and parking lots were full of holiday travelers. The July temperature is in the upper seventies.
There used to be a direct path to Crescent beach from here, but it got washed out in a storm. The alternate trail is about a mile and a half and is rather arduous. Even so, it was worth it, and because it was harder to reach, there were very few people. So I walked the whole beach, took plenty of photos, and skipped the crowds.
The Oregon Coast Highway is probably better done in an RV so you could stop and take it in for long stretches before moving on; I was in a Ford Fiesta. I took plenty of stops but not nearly enough. Sometimes my wanderings would pay off with something interesting to see, other times not so much. But as they say, it’s not the destination but the journey.
A few years ago I took a seaplane flight over Vancouver and the surrounding islands. I captured this image as we climbed out of the harbor and circled back over the city.
I had the back row seat to myself and could slide from side to side to take photos. It was as good as being in a helicopter. I used to come up here regularly and walked nearly every street in the city. But that’s not unusual, it’s a bike and pedestrian friendly town, so people walk or ride everywhere.
Since I took this almost three years ago, the skyline has changed a little. But much of it is the same and landmarks like the BC Place arena, Stanley Park and the Lionsgate Bridge will probably not change for a very long time if ever. What you don’t see are the mountains over on the right. But if you could, you would understand why this is only the half of it.