Monday, July 28, 2014

Gardens, flowers (vertical edition!)

I went to a couple of gardens yesterday evening, just to get out of the house, so obviously I have some pictures. Here are some of them and the rest will come later.

These are my least-favorite photos, but I do love the rainbow dots in the left photo.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Portland Jaunt

I had no plans this weekend and wanted to make sure I didn't get ultra lonely/bored/depressed/unmotivated because of it, so last night I did a little research to see what I might like to do in order to take advantage of the nice weather. I wanted to go to some places where I hadn't been yet, because I tend to fall back on the same defaults when I'm looking for a photo excursion (Deepwood Estates, Oregon Garden, Silver Falls, etc.).

I ended up visiting three different places, beginning with the Leach Botanical Garden. I arrived at around 9:30am because I happened to get a decently early start on the day, despite not setting any alarms. I was hoping to beat the crowds and the less-cooperative light (for photography) and that I did--in spades. It was an overcasty sort of morning and I was the only person at this garden. The gift shop wasn't even open yet. It was a pretty place, but I didn't really enjoy myself as much as I had hoped. Without anyone there, it didn't have much energy and it felt kind of creepy to be by myself in a hidden/wooded area. Also, I kept walking through lots of invisible spider webs, so I didn't explore the entire place before leaving. But I did take several photos in the small area where I walked around.

Here you can see one side of the gift shop/visitor's center/house. It's in several photos because it was kind of cutely situated, plus I was more in the mood to photograph manmade objects than nature today.

Here it is again.

And again!

I have this craving to take pictures of little garden details like these. I need to find some more gardens to visit, but every time I did various searches, they kept coming up with Deepwood. Do you know of other good ones in Oregon? Charming English gardens with wrought iron and ivy, please!

I thought this was interesting--bamboo must grow very quickly if this emerged less than two months ago. It was very tall--I was taking the picture at eye-level and it went up much higher than that. I don't know much about bamboo except it's cute and pandas like it.

Next stop: Cathedral Park. So, this place is a really clever use of space. It's very cute and cool with the cathedral-y columns that hold up the bridge (I sound like an expert bridge-builder!). In this case, though, I had the opposite problem as with the garden. There were people in my way! And tents. Really? That's the only place you could've put your picnic tent? :( So the view was spoiled and I realized that to get a decent picture at this place, you probably have to go very early in the morning. I mean, I figured there would be people there, but I wasn't anticipating tents or that they'd be sitting right on the main feature of the park.

But certain angles were clear.

Practically the same photo, but I'm leaving it.

Well, at least you get to see the general scene, even if these aren't the best. It is pretty neat. They have concerts and events here, and I think they were setting up for concert tonight.

Finally, I went over to Nob Hill to see some of the cute neighborhoods and pretty houses. This was when the clouds were breaking up and it got sunny, which was nice for my mood, but not so much for photos. I parked and walked around a little, but didn't take many pictures. It's a cool neighborhood and some of those houses have awesome views of downtown Portland and the bridges. I'd love to go on their back decks to see for myself! I only caught glimpses between a few houses.

I'm too lazy to edit the wire out. :) This house is not very representative of the neighborhood, but it was interesting.

There were soooo many beautiful houses I would've loved to photograph, but it's tricky to find a good parking space and then with the lighting, I really just didn't try too hard. Mostly I just enjoyed looking, and sometime maybe I can go back when someone else drives. Also, there are lots of shops and restaurants in this area that I may one day explore. I have been there once or twice to eat at Papa Haydn, but I think that's it.

After that, I had wanted to go to one more place, but my GPS steered me wrong and I got a little frustrated (it said "You have reached your destination" at some random intersection near the railroad tracks ??) and headed home. Even though my experiences with each place weren't quite what I had hoped, the trip did accomplish my goal of not feeling blue this weekend. I felt good and also more motivated to go exploring in Portland more often. It's really not that far (about an hour) and yet I tend to go either east or west when I'm heading out of Salem, maybe because there's so much in Portland that I just don't quite know where to begin. But chipping away at my list a few items at a time seems reasonable.

I'm super-hoping my friend Dania can come visit me soon, because she is great about checking out random places. In fact, I'm kind of glad I didn't get to my final destination because I think it's something she would like, and so I'd rather go with her!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The weather and a photo project idea

Hey! Just posting mostly to say hi. The photos are a few I took at work today when I was out doing a work-related photo shoot.

It's been quite warm lately, but my apartment was handling it pretty well for awhile. Then in the past couple of days, the heat caught up with it because it's not getting as cool at night. So yeah, I'm feeling a little whiny about that, but the good news is that we're right on the brink of cooler temps! Welcome back into to my life, highs of 80s and then 70s! It'll be so nice to not have noisy fans on 24/7, and not to have to keep up with when to open/close windows and blinds.

July is more than half over now, and I don't really have any particular plans for the rest of it. I'm not feeling super inspired to do anything. But in August, I am hoping to do a little photo project for practice. I will share my results here if I have any success. Basically, I was thinking about how many household objects could be really interesting/pretty if arranged and photographed in the right conditions. Sort of like a still life. (Or maybe exactly like a still life...I guess I only think of that term for paintings, but it's probably the same for photos.) So I have a (tentative) goal to photograph at least four different settings during August. Feel free to join in and find some cool items in your house that would be worth photographing! There are easy things like decorative items and jewelry, but then there less obvious things like toiletries, dishes, tools, etc. And you can mix and match--set up something elaborate, photograph one item on its own, or anything in between. I keep thinking of more and more as I write this, but I don't want to give all my ideas away. :)

Have a nice rest of your week!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Rose Garden

There are a lot of pictures here, so settle in and probably use wifi. I didn't really put a lot of effort into great photography and unique angles (so bear with me on all the similar closeups), I just wanted to try to show you all of the loveliness that I saw on Sunday.


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