Visting Oregon

Day 5, part 6

Stop me if you are seasoning a theme, but it’s another Sunrise and Sunset photo day. The light is great in the morning and evening; the afternoon has harsh lighting that can washout a photo. This is why photo tours go out twice daily and edit in the afternoon.

The Sunrise shot for the day was at Strawberry Hills; I was running all over this beach each step was another photo opportunity. Tidal Pools, a pebble beach section, and seaweed; I had fun running up and down the beach and clicking away.

The sunset is at South Seal Beach, where I was distracted by the late afternoon sun pericing the small forest of trees.

Then I got distracted by a massive rock formation.

I looked down and saw lines in the sand.

Eventually, I did view the sunset over the Ocean.

Visting Oregon

Day 4, part 5

Day four starts early to set up the sunrise view of Seal Beach. To the left, you see tan sandy beaches and craggy volcanic rocks breaking the waves. To the right are tidal pools filled with sea creatures.

Photo Tip: Keep a microfiber cloth handy when photographing near water to wipe the droplets off your lens. Otherwise, you get photos with water drops and have to “fix” it in post. Which I had to do with this photo.

Photo Tip: Look around when taking photos; look at the ground or try the same shot at a different angle.

I am fond of the sand waves or ripples created by the surf, tide, or wind; to create abstract or textured images.

Sunset was the devil’s punchbowl. Spoilers, there is no punch. It was a sea cave, but the top collapsed, so it’s more of a round area with walls. It was also a hard shot; below is the best I could do in post-production.

The rock formation walls are high enough to stop the afternoon sun, but the afternoon sun is hitting everything around the punch bowl. Which results in a photo being too dark and too bright at the same time. There is a way to capture the images, but I lack the skill and, more importantly, the patience to achieve the image. I was happier taking photos of the golden sunlight hitting the beach; also, looking down at the punchbowl isn’t a compiling view; the great shot is at the ground level looking through that archway on the right.

See what I mean, Ocean view > punchbowl.

Visting Oregon

Day Two, part 4

The second day started out great with a delicious omelet. Western, aka Denver omelet, is my go-to. Packed and ready to hit the road, driving west to Newport, hopefully seeing a few waterfalls. Then it happed… The rental car wouldn’t start, and it had a dead battery. Everything got sorted; AAA came out in 30 mins but had to exchange cars at portland airport. I didn’t trust the car to work, but the new rental was better.

I didn’t get to stop and see more waterfalls in the Gorge, so the rest of the day was spent driving along the Oregon coast. The scenic road was, in my opinion, too close to the water; looked like a very high tide would overrun the road. This is when the foggy weather came in patches, some places were covered but you turn around a bend, and no fog.

Above was the first place I stopped, there was loads of fog, and the trees were permanently wind-blown. At another stop, it was sunny, but you can see the approaching fog.

That was it for day two, a lot of miles with few views. It didn’t get better; the next day, I was sick. Seems that staring into the mist trigger a migraine; I am very light-sensitive. You plan a trip for months or years, and when you get there, something will go wrong. Your car breaks down, you miss a connecting flight, or you don’t feel well. Just take a deep breath, rest, and focus on what you get to see vs. what you missed.

Visiting Oregon

Part three

After the falls and dam, it was back on the road to Hood River, to snap photos of two different bridges and then Mount Hood. If you are in Hood River and looking for some yummy food. Give Three Rivers Grill a try, had a yummy dinner looking out at Columbia River.

The Bridge of the Gods, let me explain. There used to be a land bridge crossing the Columbia River, and that was called the Bridge of the Gods. That crossing crumbled. When a bridge was built in the same area, they called it The Bridge of the Gods. I guess no one wanted Bridgy McBridge Face. On a clear day, you can see Mount Adams on the Washington State side of the bridge.

From Hood River, I traveled south to Lost Lake, where you lose GPS signal. Don’t worry you just stay on one road after turning off route 35. Driving along, I kept thinking I should be seeing Mount Hood; it’s the highest peak in Oregon. Then the road turned a corner, and bam, Mt. Hood could be seen behind the haze; it was big.

We made it to the boat dock in Lost Lake and lost the mountain; went back on the park road to its end (1/2 mile). Still no mountain. I walked to the stairs hoping the gap in the trees where Mt Hood was revealed like the curtains parting to the sight below.

A plethora of photos later, it was time to go back to Hood River for dinner and end the first day in Oregon. Dinner was at 3 Rivers Grill, yummy!!! So ends the First day of the trip.

Visiting Oregon

Part Two.

Always have backup sites to visit. The plan was to visit various waterfalls along the scenic highway, but no parking and 5-mile hikes ended that plan. This means the only waterfall photos I have are from the first stop, Latourell Falls.

Photo Tip: Don’t focus on what is in front of you; look around; there might be a bridge.

Travel Tip: Always have backup sites to visit; if you plan to do one event and it doesn’t work out, then you are out of luck.

The list of places to visit included the Bonneville Dam as an afterthought; a plan b if the weather was bad. I knew nothing about the Dam, so I was super excited when I found out they had Fish Ladders that you could view underwater. I took the elevator down, and bam, huge windows showed the Fish Ladder turbulent water. The Fish Ladders are a series of fish pools that gradually go up so the fish can get around the dam.

I saw some tiny bait fish or baby fish, a trout, and then on the far window, I saw it… A Lamprey. I know about them due to an episode of River Monster, and these fish are the stuff of nightmares. They have a suction cup mouth that clung to the window and showed off their ring of teeth. Big sharp teeth with their snake-like body flapping in the water. However, I loved it, something I’d never seen before in any aquarium, but there, it was right in front of me.

I talked to one of the rangers, and in spring, large groups of Lamprey stick to the windows swirling around like Air Dancers or Tube men you see at car lots. The people that worked at the dam were trying to come up with a term for a group of Lamprey; I suggested Lampraves (Like a Rave Party, add black lights and music).

Visiting Oregon

Part One.

I fly into Portland, Oregon, Internal Aiport, and I know where else I would fly into Portland. In next day I was driving along the Historic Columbia River Highway, which parallels Interstate 84, viewing Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area.

This area is jam-packed with waterfalls, mountains, valleys, trails, Art Nouveau buildings, and a Bonneville Dam. The plan was to drive east towards Hood River and check out half a dozen waterfalls. The plan was re-written. It was Saturday and the weather was sunny and in the 80’s so everyone was at the falls past 9 am. The parking along the Scenic Highway is limited and cars where lined up for the parking space hunt.

Tip: There is loads of parking if you drive on Interstate 84, the parking is between the Scenic Highway and 84, there is a path to cover the highway. Put on some walking shoes and visit all the waterfalls.

First stop along the Gorge was Chanticleer Point, it has two viewing spots overlooking the river with the Washington State starting at the opposite side. The haziness is due to smoke from a forest fire, I believe the fire was in Washington and the wind blew the smoke across the river. I was quickly distracted by a French Pointer Dog, real cutie don’t you agree.

Who’s a good girl?

I darkend the background in order to combat the smokey sky, it creates an early predawn light. Or you can go the black and white filter route.

The second stop can be seen from Chanticleer Point, the Art Nouveau building titled Vista House. The Vista house was design in the Art Nouveau style in 1916, I desaturated all the colors except for the Green in the stained glass windows and titled roof.

Your got to agree the view is Vista!

I like your Moxie!

Moxie State Park is in the State of Maine on the east coast of America, and it contains Moxie Falls, Maine’s tallest waterfall at 90 feet or 30 meters. It’s an easy walk with boardwalks to take in the view. The below photos were taken in October with the colorful autumn foliage.

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Sell Your Piss

Let me explain. Over the history of humankind, urine has been sold for industrial uses, dyeing cloth and saltpeter, and I’m sure there are more examples.

The reason pee-pee was used for dyeing cloth is for the ammonia, which can create different hues of color and is a great binding agent (seals in color). When using the woad plant, you would use the stale fermented number one to dye cloth blue. The smell was so bad that Queen Elizabeth the Frist band woad processing within four miles of her Castles. The ammonia was also great for cleaning the clothes made from dyed cloth.

The second industrial use is making saltpeter, a crucial ingredient for gunpowder. To create gunpowder, you need potassium nitrate, and wiz plus oxygen equals nitrate. There are even calls for church-going women to save pee to help make gunpowder for the English and American Civil wars.

Since it has so many uses, you could collect the golden showers from your home and sell them. This is also how we get the phrase, Piss Poor; you are so poor you collected and sold your piss.

The real question is, who was the first to discover this knowledge? I think the dye maker got drunk and pissed in the pots; the saltpeter remains a mystery.

OK. I’m thinking of something orange, and it’s small.

The photo is from the Wilhelma Zoo in Stuttgart, Germany. The living reef with clownfish was lit with beautiful pink and purple lights to create this tranquil view; the clownfish also provided splashes of orange and white. I try to angle my aquarium photos to capture the reflection on the bottom of the water surface.

Of course, I took my image and transformed it into different art styles using PhotoShop. The image below is in the style of ukiyo-e, created using carved woodblock and colorful ink. The most famous ukiyo-e artwork is “The Great Wave Off Kanagawa.” The colors changed from purple and pink to deep blue, reddish orange, and yellow.

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The following image was edited using the Claude Monet Water Lilies Style. The image is blurrier, and the colors are muted.

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This image was edited in the “Houses along a road” style by Paul Cezanne, in Post Impressionism style. Right away, it’s less blurry, and the colors are brighter than Monet’s.

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We now move to the almost Cubist style of “Edtaonisl (Ecclesiastic)” by Francis Picabia; the bright colors are back, but the shapes are now angler vs. the fluid, natural curves.

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Next is the art style that creates the most colorful image; it added greens, blacks, yellows, and some polka dots. It’s a Cat skull in the Dia de Los Muertos or day of the dead sugar skull style.

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We move on to the “Dead inside but caffeinated skeleton” style; the pink was turned into hot pink and created thick lines akin to ink pens or tattoos.

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I have no idea what the following style is in the photoshop filer; it’s a Woman and a dog with warm colors of brown, yellow, red, and turquoise blue.

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I couldn’t find the name or artist for the next photo; it’s a face of a girl in bright spray paint style; it creates fine diagonal lines and again changes the color palette.

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Again not a known painting or artwork, but it’s a red poppy flower with a black and white background. The red color has taken over the photo with this filter.

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The last style is “Three Tahitian Women” by Paul Gauguin; fun fact, Vincent Van Gough Sunflower painters were for Gauguin. Vincent was so excited that Gauguin would visit him that he painted Sunflowers to decorate his guest room.

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Like a Bruges Over Troubled Water

When you hear Canals, you think: of Itlay, Vegas, and Panama, but other places have scenic canals, and Bruges, Belgium is one of those places. Bruges also has french fries (Fried Potatoes or Chips) stands, delicious mussels, and every block has at least one chocolate store (might be legally required).

I fell in love with the below image; not sure if it’s the ducks, reflection, or the perfect yellow building.

A Horse of a different color

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Are you looking at the horse or at the wind-blown tree? Are you looking at the tree now? The tree is permanently bent due to the strong winds on the southernmost point of Hawaii. There is the Hawaiian archipelago, and the largest island of the archipelago is called Hawaii, but most call it the Big Island.

The west side of the Big Island is the dry side, and the southernmost point is windy. This means the trees grow bent over, like the one in the photo. The horse is full size and doesn’t bend in the wind, so Horse 1 and tree 0. Of course, I used the style transfer filter in photoshop to create a modern surrealist painting.

It’s Peanut Butter Jelly TIME!!!

I love jellyfish! The way they move is hypnotic, so I had a blast at Baltimore Aquarium in the Jellies Invasion exhibit.

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This Jellyfish is a Pacific Sea Nettle (Chrysaora Fuscescens), also called the West Coast sea nettle; it seems the East vs. West Coast rivalry continues. See how they float in the water like a butterfly in flight. Of course, I used my new favorite style transfer filter in Photoshop to make my paintings below.

The West Coast sea nettle’s species name, Fuscescens, means dusky or dark referring to the dusky color of the nettle’s bell.

The next jelly is the Atlantic Sea Nettle (Chrysaora quinquecirrha) or the East Coast sea nettle; the west coast jellies are bigger, brighter, and all-around better. Still cooler than most fish.

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Blue Blubber Jelly (Catostylus mosaicus) is next; this was a hard photo to take as these jellies move real fast. To take a clear image of something fast, you need to decrease the shutter speed to fractions of a second. When the shutter speed is that fast you need more light because the camera captures less light with a faster speed. However, the flash will reflect against the aquarium tank and overexpose the image. So I was happy to get one semi-ok photo. Am I the only one that thinks their tentacles look like pine trees

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The last jelly, which I think is a young Lion’s mane jellyfish.

So what is your favorite Jellyfish?