Friday, December 31, 2010

Day 365

ISO 100, 67mm, f/18, 30.0 sec

Day 365 - This way out?

Holy smokes, 365 days. Gone.

I loved this project. I had a few days that made me want to tear my hair out, a few days that disappointed me and many days that totally rocked.

I like stats, so as I look over last year:
  • I stayed in my backyard 134 times,
  • Relied on the greyhounds 27 times for inspiration.
  • 17 raindrops had their moment of fame before drying up.
  • I drove all over Salem 55 times, to Portland 12 times and went out of the state once to Las Vegas.
  • I woke up 14 times to greet the sunrise and watched the sunset 30 times.
  • 44 times I illustrated that I have no fear of the dark
  • 35 people smiled for the birdie
  • There is a parking garage in Salem that I made my way to the top (permit parking only) 10 times
On the way out of the garage is the great graphic that says "This way out", I've known for months what my final photo would be.

I have gone back and forth at least a million times—should I start a new year of 365 or modify it.

When I turned around, I had to laugh. "Do Not Exit" was staring me back in the face.

And when I looked down, it became painfully aware to me that I don't want to quit the 365 project, I just need to modify it.

I want to thank all of my 365 friends for the support and the comments and congratulate them for hanging in there. It has been an awesome year and I have enjoyed looking into your world. Whether or not we all continue, I hope to see more pictures blogged, Facebooked, Tweeted and Flickr'd, if it isn't every day.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Day 364

ISO 100, 105mm, f/13, 20.0 sec.

Day 364 - Lights, water, reflection. Oh my!

How I missed getting out these last few nights. I beat it down to the water front as the sun began to set. It was wonderful. Cold, but wonderful.

Salem doesn't have much of a skyline, but it looks great in the Willamette River.

I started out on the east side of the river and walked over one of the bridges to the west side for another view of town.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Day 363

ISO 100, 100mm macro, f/7.1, 1/60 sec.

Day 363 - A futile attempt

I've been so happy with my twilight images that everything else pales in comparison. What made me happy 360 days ago is but a mere disappointment today.


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Day 362

ISO 800, 50mm, f/1.8, 1/320 sec.

Day 362 - Rainhound

Last night it rained sideways, today it just rained and rained and rained. Flocko had to play ball.

I thought I might as well give you a sample of both. Greyhounds and raindrops.

ISO 800, 50mm, f/1.8, 1/320 sec.

I call this "dogdrop"

Monday, December 27, 2010

Day 361

ISO 100, 155mm, f/2.8, 1/6 sec.

Day 361 - Into a brick wall

Rain plus wind was the weather du jour. It was either a brick wall from a covered floor at my favorite parking garage or a greyhound.

Nobody held their paw up to be a model, the brick wall won.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Day 360

ISO 400, 35mm, f/14, 6.0 sec

Day 360 - Waiting

Cold, wet and miserable could potentially describe our day today. I so desperately wanted to go up to Portland for more bridge work, but the weather was completely uncooperative.

My second thought was to repeat and improve one of my train station images.

I waited and the train never came. They must have the holiday off too. Go figure.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Day 359

ISO 100, 16mm, f/18, 1/6 sec.

Day 359 - Name that dog

We had the promise of rain today. While we were out having our coffee, to the east I noticed a small window in the clouds and we made a mad dash downtown.

This mural is painted on the back of the the Elsinore Theater, four stories tall. It is another one of Salem's icons and I really wanted to catch it just as the sun was rising.


Painted in 1984, it was part of the renovation for the theater. Charlie Claplan, Theda Bara, Marlene Dietrich and W. C. Fields great travelers as they arrive from the east going into downtown Salem. The actors were quite easy to identify, but can you name that dog?

I had to look it up.

ISO 100, 35mm, f/18, 1/5 sec.

As quickly as the sun peaked through the clouds, it also disappeared into the clouds never to be seen again today, but I really wanted to show the scale of the mural, it is quite impressive.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Day 358

ISO 400, 28mm, f/18, 25.0 sec.

Day 358 - Rolling on the river

Salem's own river boat, the Willamette Queen.

I was watching A Day with Jay Maisel on Kelby Training this week and one of the tidbits of knowledge that Jay passed on was "Never go back to shoot something, shoot it now."

Last night I stood in this very spot to shoot the Willamette Queen. They brought the lights up on the boat just as the skies were turning quite dark and I fought like crazy with the exposure.

Tonight when I went back, there weren't any lights at all on the Queen. Go figure.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Day 357

ISO 400, 28mm, f/22, 30.0 sec

Day 357 - Row, row, row your boat

This was not what I was after tonight, but once I got what I was after, I turned around and this was better.

The Willamette River never disappoints me. It's magic that waits for me to visit, I just know it does.

This pair of rowing boats are docked just opposite the Willamette Queen, Salem's sternwheeler.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Day 356

ISO 100, 24mm, f/11, 15.0 sec

Day 356 - Trip the lights fantastic

We got a little later start tonight than usual. Years ago (like about 20 years) a neighborhood in Keizer went all out in decorating the yards. Nearly every house participated and traffic backed up for miles to weave through the neighborhood.

We decided to walk the route tonight and were disappointed to see very few houses participating.

It didn't take me long to realize that photographing the lights was not as exciting as I had anticipated, so I dressed them up just a bit by zooming my lens in and out during the exposure.

ISO 100, 45mm, f/22, 10.0 sec.

The before image.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Day 355

ISO 800, 45mm, f/11, 0.8 sec.

Day 355 - Passing through

Once again, serendipity wins the prize.

Last night I paced, I watched the clock, I watched the skies... they disappeared and reappeared amongst the clouds.

The magic hour began to arrive for the eclipse and we were in total cloud cover. I had planned to go out into the country to shoot the moon, but alas, what was the point.

For all of eight photos during the eclipse the moon was visible. With each shot I tinkered with my exposure... oh so close, just before midnight.

I digress. The whole point of the story, I pushed my ISO to 800 and left it there. When we arrived at the Mission Mill tonight to take pictures, the train whistle blew and I walked over to the sidewalk beside the track just as it was passing.

No time really to check settings, just get the camera on the tripod, make an educated guess and go for it.

ISO 200, 280mm, f/16, 1/15 sec.

And this is my proof that I stayed up way past my bedtime to play with the man in the moon.

What a trip. Next total eclipse, Wednesday, June 15. Think I will take June 16 off.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Day 354

ISO 100, 140mm, f/20, 13.0 sec.

Day 354 - Rockin' around the Christmas tree

The pink cadillac is a bit of an icon on Market St. Our own Route 66 nostalgia.

I arrived at my favorite time of night. Scoped out my angle. And right before my very eyes, the pink cadillac, in the twilight of the evening.

Then, just as darkness closed in, the light tree on top of the Shilo Inn on the other side of the street appeared, as if out of no where.

How on earth could I pass up a good cliché, dark or not.

Finding the exposure was a huge challenge, darkness behaves nothing like twilight.

And just because I have thought about the pink cadillac for a long time, here it is.

ISO 100, 70mm, f/16, 1.6 sec.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Day 353

ISO 100, 55mm, f/22, 20.0 sec.

Day 353 - You can always go, downtown

Hark, we had a break from the promised rain! And up to the rooftop I flew.

Welcome to downtown Salem.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Day 352

ISO 100, 24mm, f/11, 20.0 sec.

Day 352 - The Hawthorne Bridge

We made our way back up to Portland tonight for another Holly and Joe celebration.

Couldn't help myself, I had to go to the Eastside Esplanade for another skyline view.

On Thursday night I noticed all of the boats decorated in their holiday finest and that was really my destination. Unfortunately, tonight was the parade of boats and they were booking it down the river by the time I got set up.

The river did not disappoint me tonight.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Day 351

ISO 100, 105mm, f/10, 1/200 sec

Day 351 - Happy is the bride the sun shines on

Yeppers, I was the mother of the bride today.

Meet my son-in-law, Joe. I'm really not sure who the lucky one in this equation is—me, my daughter Holly or Joe.

Welcome to the fam, Joe. We're all nuts, I think you will fit in well. :o)))

ISO 100, 67mm, f/8.0, 1/60 sec.

Poor guy, never really knew what him.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Day 350

ISO 200, 22mm, f/6.3, 1.6 sec.

Day 350 - One hot boss

I got wind that da boss used live candles on their Christmas tree.

Being tenaciously obnoxious like I am, short of leaving a sticky note on his monitor every day, I let him know how badly I wanted to take pictures of his tree.

I'm not entirely sure if he let me his house because: a) he just wanted to shut me up or b) he's just a really nice boss, but tonight with camera in hand I invaded his living room.

The tree was beautiful. I didn't even come close to doing it the justice it deserved, but we had a fabulous time.

Many, many thanks Greg and Elaine.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Day 349

ISO 100, 24mm, f/6.3, HDR - 1/125, 1/1000, 1/15 sec.

Day 349 - The blue door

I was in Portland for a Photoshop seminar with Bert Monroy. It was fabulous and that man's talent is off of the charts.

At lunch I walked down to the waterfront. Just north of the Steele Bridge stands one of the grain elevators. I'm guessing it is part of the Port of Portland, but doing a quick Google search got me very little information.

Looking down at it, I admired the three forms of transportation, rail, water and land. After post-processing, I was mildly amused by the bright blue door on the top of the grain elevators.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Day 348

ISO 200, 168mm, f/16, 15.0 sec.

Day 348 - Vineyard on the hill

A few weeks ago as we were driving into Salem I noticed that the Willamette Valley Vineyards was lit up. A break in the skies gave me a chance to head back out there this evening.

This world class winery was built in 1989. It overlooks nearly 50 acres of wine grapes.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Day 347

ISO 100, 102mm, f/9.0, 13.0 sec.

Day 347 - Dashing

During the daylight, it wasn't so bad around here. Just as the sun began to set, the raindrops reappeared.

Short story I had very little time to play this evening. I did manage to capture an emergency vehicle dashing up the ramp to the west bound bridge.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Day 346

ISO 200, 67mm, f/20, 15.0 sec

Day 346 - Peaceful, rainy evening

Hanging out with the greyhounds tonight.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Day 345

ISO 800, 100mm macro, f/7.1, 1/60 sec.

Day 345 - A day without rain

Only in my dreams. Our day started out with a torrential down pour and lightened up to a steady drench.

On our way home this afternoon we drove by the wetlands and a full bush of rosehips begged me to come back.

I didn't think it was raining that hard, I ran home grabbed my macro and headed back. The wind was starting to pick up and by the time I walked over to the bush, it was raining pretty hard. Really no time to set up the tripod, so I took these hand-held.

ISO 200, 24mm, f/13, 4.0 sec.

Hoping for something a little more twinkly, we drove back to a business near downtown that is clearly spirited.

It never did stop raining and was still windy, but I was there and thought I would give this a try anyway.

Even when the skies are gray and dreary by daylight, they still turn that beautiful blue.

Now this is where the story gets interesting. You know the drill about extra cards, batteries...

I get the camera on the tripod, checked my settings and quickly realized I couldn't see a bloody thing. Yes, I had gone out of the house without my glasses. I felt like I was back in the dark ages shooting film.

So now, to the list of don't leave home without it, I will add bifocals.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Day 344

ISO 200, 16mm, f/18, 30.0 sec.

Day 344 - The star trees

Melaney, is a good friend of mine that I tricked, I mean challenged into the 365 project.

The other day she posted a picture of the star trees at Willamette University. I hadn't heard of the trees and since she worked there, I figured she had the inside track. According to my Google search, she in fact did not have an inside track.

If I had paid attention for the last 14 years, I would know that there is an annual lighting ceremony.

The five giant sequoias were planted in 1942 and have now grown to over 150 ft. tall.

Their height isn't their only claim to fame. Supposedly, if you stand in the middle of the evenly spaced trees, when you look up, you see a five pointed star.

ISO 400, 16mm, f/14, 30.sec.

And so, I did.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Day 343

ISO 100, 47mm, f/7.1, 1/60 sec.

Day 343 - Woo hoo! It's portrait season

Every year I do a small run of greyhound calenders. Every year, I start thinking about a theme on January 1. Sometimes I actually come up with some pretty cool ideas, like this year.

Of course, if I started to execute those cool ideas right away, I might actually pull it off.

Once again, I have thought way too long and am executing at the eleventh hour.

Tonight marks three down, nine to go, plus the cover. How many days until Christmas?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Day 342

ISO100, 24mm, f/11, 30.0 sec.

Day 342 - A view from the middle

I've stood on the east bank and west bank of the river, both with very unique perspectives. Tonight we walked out on the pedestrian bridge with a view up the river. Once again I was not disappointed.

It was windy and I'm pretty sure I dropped 10 lbs. because I froze my ass off. But oh so worth it.

I read Seth Godin's blog religiously and today's blog was perfect.

Where's your platform?

That needs to be the goal when you seek out a job.

Bob Dylan earned the right to make records, and instead of using it to create ever more commercial versions of his old stuff, he used it as a platform to do art.

A brilliant programmer finds a job in a small company and instead of seeing it as a grind, churning out what's asked, he uses it as a platform to hone his skills and to ship code that changes everything.

A waiter uses his job serving patrons as a platform for engagement, for building a reputation and for learning how to delight.

A blogger starts measuring pageviews and ends up racing the bottom with nothing but scintillating gossip and pandering. Or, perhaps, she decides to use the blog as a platform to take herself and her readers somewhere they will be glad to go...

There's no rigid line between a job and art. Instead, there's an opportunity. Both you and your boss get to decide if your job is a platform or just a set of tasks.
Although some days my job drives me crazy, I feel very lucky because I do have a boss that has let me create a platform.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Day 341

ISO 125, 24mm, f/9.0, 15.0 sec.

Day 341 - Foiled by raindrops

A rather wet day here in Salem, Oregon. Damn!

According to, I had about an hour to snag that photo of the day. And it was gonna be a bonus round 'cause I had three ideas for the photo.

1st stop, no rain but OMG, it was way to dark.
2nd stop, no rain but good lord I was gonna be blinded by the construction lights. Holy crap, dim those lights, isn't there some energy crisis or something?

3rd stop, EUREKA! Twinkly lights, Salem history.

This is the second image before the skies once again opened up and I might add 20 minutes earlier than predicted.

So, this is the back of the Mission Mill Museum. The mill itself was built in 1896. I had every intention of going to the end of this building and taking a picture of the mill, until my lens began collecting rain drops.

Rest assured, I am not easily discouraged. I shall return.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Day 340

ISO 125, 28mm, f/9.0, 30.0 sec.

Day 340 - A touch of Victorian history

This is the Deepwood Estate, a Queen Anne Victorian home built in 1894. The gardens surrounding this home are fabulous in the summer.

It was acquired by the city of Salem in 1971 and placed on the National Register of Homes in 1973. I suspect a tour of the museum is now in order.

The more I seek out Salem, the more amused I become. It is quite the eclectic little town.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Day 339

ISO 100, 70mm, f/16, 13.0 sec.

Day 339 - Over the river

I wanted to catch the reflection of the tree lights in the river tonight since I couldn't stick around last night.

I decided to take my 70-200mm for a walk with me tonight. While I was waiting around for the light to change I turned my attention back to the bridge. My long lens completely changed my point of view.

It was so cold and slightly windy down on the river bank, but I still held out for the reflection.

ISO 200, 142mm, f/18, 10.0 sec.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Day 338

ISO 100, 92mm, f/22, 20.sec.

Day 338 - Holiday sparkles

Once again, I was pleasantly surprised. We had Karen's office party in West Salem and I thought a few photos off of the west bank of the Willamette would be nice.

The sunset was nice, but as I watched the skies turn their beautiful blue, I also watched the town tree light up. I had no clue it was there. What a trip.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Day 337

ISO 160, 200mm, f/5.0, 1/60 sec.

Day 337 - Still fall

Long day. Sunrise feels like it was an eternity ago.

Glad I have something to remember it by.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

day 336

ISO 100, 16mm, f/16, 5.0 sec.

Day 336 - Dear pixel gods

Thank you!!!

I've got a couple of things happening here. I decided that for my last 31 days of this 365 project I wanted to focus on taking pictures around Salem and if I can at my favorite twilighty time of night.

The weather this week has been really wet. When the sun started to break through, I asked my boss if I could bail early so that I could get that twilighty time and he obliged.

Not really knowing where I was going I headed for the river front. The after work traffic was awful. I wasn't patient enough to wait for the traffic, so I went with the flow and headed towards one of the museums. On a whim we decided to walk over to the train station.

The next passenger train wasn't coming for another two hours and I set up behind the depot waiting for the light.

I wasn't expecting the freight train that blew his whistle behind me. So I left my settings where they were and started walking as fast as I could to the other end of the station. I sat the tripod down and this was my first click.

ISO 100, 16mm, f/2.8, 0.5 sec.

The same settings lost the motion of the train completely so I adjusted as quickly as I could to a faster shutter speed and moved my camera ever so slightly to the right to pick up the train and the station.

You can almost feel the wind of the train going by.

ISO 100, 16mm, f/16, 15.0 sec.

And then, the train was gone as quickly as it arrived. I went back to my original spot and got the image I originally was out to get.

Just to add one more spin. I am currently reading David duChemin's book Within the Frame. This morning I was reading about the creative muse. He talks about lack of inspiration, and what if I have just taken my last good picture.

In a few paragraphs later he writes, "Forget the absence of the muse. Head out without her. Wander until your eyes open; then you'll find the muse is already there, waiting."

He was right.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Day 335

ISO 100, 40mm, f/20, 8.0 sec.

Day 335 - The Elsinore

In 1926, "The showplace of the Willamette Valley" opened it's doors. The tudor gothic architecture quickly became recognized as the finest theater between Portland and San Francisco.

Over the years time and vandalism took its toll on the grand theater, but in the end, a dedicated group of people saved the theater from being torn down and turned into a parking lot.

I'd been watching the schedule so that I could catch a night when the theater was operating and the lights were on.