Thursday, January 31, 2008

those beer photos I promised

brutal bitter

So here are those beer photos I mentioned a couple of posts ago. Ordinarily I wouldn't have posted the second photo, because it's really quite poor, but I think this is the one that prompted the "Are you a blogger?" question while I was busy taking it. So I can't very well leave it out, I guess.

In any case, this is a nice tasty pint of Brutal Bitter, up at the Rogue pub in NW Portland.

brutal bitter

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

pdx places roundup

This isn't really much of a post in itself. I'm trying to put together an index of my posts about interesting locations in and around Portland, because Blogger's 'labels' feature just doesn't quite cut it, and I don't know of a way to geotag individual blog posts (yet).

This list is far from complete. It's been sitting in my 'drafts' folder for roughly forever and a day (i.e. since last June), and it's only semi-complete up to that point. I'll update it as needed, or at least when I get around to it, probably.

Saddle Mountain State Park
PDC Block 47
Prescott Biozone
Skidmore Bluffs / Mocks Crest Property
Paul Bunyan Plaza, North Denver Plaza, Fenwick Pocket Park, Kenton Park
Kenton Neighborhood Rose Garden
Civic Plaza
Park Blocks, Peace Plaza, Peace Memorial Park
Collins Circle
Corbett Oak / Heritage Tree Park
Washington Park
Washington Park
Jamison Square, Peace Memorial Park
O'Bryant Square, Ankeny Park
Lovejoy Fountain, Tanner springs, Waterfront
Stanich Park, Roy Beach Park
Kelly Butte
Rocky Butte / Jos. Wood Hill Park
Tanner Springs
Portland Firefighters Park
Lovejoy Fountain
Lovejoy Fountain
Ankeny Park, Lovejoy Fountain, Waterfront
Washington Park
Ankeny Park
Kelly Butte, Mt. Tabor
Lone Fir Cemetery
Lovejoy, Waterfront
South Waterfront Neighborhood Park
O'Bryant, ODOT - Fremont
Lovejoy
Mt. Tabor
Olympic National Forest
Tanner Springs
Jewett Park
SoWhat Neighborhood Park
Lovejoy
Frank L. Knight Park
Jamison square
Jamison, tanner
pioneer
pettygrove
lovejoy
Governors Park
Kelly Butte
Eastside Esplanade
Washington
Columbia Gorge NSA
macleay
South Park Blocks
Macleay Park
Washington Park
esplanade
Oregonian Printing Press Park, 14th & Hall, "Portland Center", rippling river
Lovejoy
CRGNSA














The Pool of the Winds

Pool of Winds


View Larger Map

A few pics of "The Pool of the Winds", a little spot out in the Gorge with a melodramatic name straight out of a cheesy fantasy novel. It's an upper segment of Rodney Falls, on the Washington side near Beacon Rock. The water's carved sort of a bowl, almost a cylinder, into the rock. The water falls in from the top, spilling around a log that somehow ended up here. The water and mist rush out of a narrow gap in one side, and the rough cylindrical shape seems to amplify the noise.

This post has been lurking in my 'drafts' pile for quite a while (as in "3 months to the day"), for a couple of reasons. First, I'm not really thrilled with these photos. The only viewpoint is right next to the pool, and my little point-n-shoot digicam isn't wide-angle enough to capture things properly. I either didn't have my handy wide-angle conversion lens with me, or I hadn't bought it yet. I don't recall clearly now, but I think it was the latter, which got me on the path of buying all sorts of photo doodads. So I guess I may have the pool to thank for that.

If you'd like to see some better photos than these, here are a few I ran across on the interwebs: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]. And here's a video clip if you're interested.

Rodney Falls

Second, besides the photos, I don't really have all that much to say about the place. It's a short spur off the trail up Hamilton Mountain, so it's probably worth a quick look if you're there anyway. I saw the name "Pool of Winds" (the 'the' seems to be optional) while trolling the interwebs and decided I had to go check it out. And really the name's the best part, as it turns out. In fact, further up the trail I remembered I'd actually been to Hamilton Mountain before, years ago, and the Pool of Winds just really wasn't that memorable. Oh, well. Great name, though. It's got that, at least.

So without further ado or delay, here are a few assorted links about the place.


Pool of Winds

Pool of Winds

Pool of Winds

Rodney Falls

Rodney Falls

Rodney Falls

Rodney Falls

Rodney Falls

Hardy Falls

"are you a blogger?"

So I'm sitting here having a beer, as I often do, and I decide to take a couple of photos, as I often do.

Pretty soon someone walks up and asks me if I'm a blogger. Is it really *that* obvious? I mean, I am and all, and it's a bit late to act all embarrassed about it. I suppose taking photos of beer *is* kind of a giveaway, isn't it?

It doesn't really help matters that this humble blog has a rather dumb name that isn't easily explained, and my nym is at least as dumb and even harder to explain. And it's not as if I can give a one-sentence summary of what the blog is about, either. "Photoblog" sort of fits, I guess, but that seems so limiting.

So that's probably part of why my immediate reaction was to blush and stammer. That, along with not being the world's biggest extrovert in any circimstances. But somewhere along the line I also absorbed the attitude that blogging is somehow disreputable, which is kind of a counterproductive attitude to take under the circumstances. I probably picked that up from the Old Media or something, as much as I try to ignore those clowns.

So yes, I am a blogger. It's true, for good or ill. Right after the aforementioned conversation, I thought, hey, do a moblog post about it. Haven't done one of those in a while. And those beer photos will appear once I get back to the mothership.


Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless handheld

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

joy (pioneer woman) (for now)

Joy (Pioneer Woman)

A few pics of Joy (Pioneer Woman), a Frederick Littman sculpture located up at Council Crest... at least for now. A sister piece was recently stolen and sold for scrap by a couple of creepy metal-thieving tweakers, and some years ago "Joy" herself was temporarily abducted as well, and was only recovered about a decade later. So it's probably only a matter of time before someone else notices it and sees dollar signs. The same likely goes for any other metal object that can be grabbed and carted off, or cut into pieces and carted off.

In the first draft of this post I went off on an extended rant about metal thieves, meth, and Mad Max, which then segued into a bit of pop sociology about meth and the unending stress of poverty. The ranting didn't fit the tone I'm aiming for with this post, and the soc. theory was unpersuasive on second reading. Most sociological theory strikes me that way, actually, which may be why I never went on to grad school.

So instead I'll just get to the point. The statue's nice enough, it's here in town, and it's probably endangered if scrap metal prices stay at current levels. So see it while you can.

Joy (Pioneer Woman)

Joy (Pioneer Woman)

Joy (Pioneer Woman)

Joy (Pioneer Woman)

Joy (Pioneer Woman)

Joy (Pioneer Woman)

Joy (Pioneer Woman)

Council Crest Park

Council Crest Park

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

an eentsy metablog moment

This humblest of humble blogs recently got its 50,000th visitor. Seriously. I'm as surprised as you are, or possibly more so. I didn't even notice the blessed event until a few hundred hits later, unfortunately, so I don't know exactly how said visitor got here. I'll bet it was a Google Image search, as that's how most people stumble across this blog.... only to depart soon thereafter, never to return. Oh, well. There was a time when I cared deeply about visitor numbers and stats. Now, not really so much.

Speaking of images (in case anyone cares), I've been reorganizing my Flickr photos over the last few days. Flickr cajoles you to organize your photos into sets, and then put those sets in collections, which in turn can be part of bigger collections, ad infinitum. Well, not quite infinitum actually; you can only build a tree five layers deep, but I don't know how to say that in Latin.

In any case, I did as I was cajoled to do, so now instead of one big steaming pile of photos I have a bunch of small steaming piles of photos. My shiny new page chock full o' sets is here, and my collections (such as they are) live here.

I even geotagged some of them, so the resulting map is here. So far I've only done ones where I can geotag the whole set at once. I'm not sure I feel ambitious enough to go through and tag individual photos. Maybe someday, or not, or whatever.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

sunshine, a river, and a bridge

fremont bridge

It was kind of sunny(ish) yesterday, so I wandered out for a walk. It was either that or work, so it wasn't a tough choice. I ended up out near the Riverscape condos, on the Willamette just north of the Fremont Bridge. The whole area has a weird and rather desolate feel to it. I can't put my finger on why that is, exactly, but I'm sure the total absence of other people isn't helping. With a choice location right on the river and great views of the bridge, the place ought to be one of those vibrant urban centers like you always see in architects' drawings, but it isn't. Perhaps the feng shui is all wrong or something.

To see what I mean, check out this earlier photo of mine from October 2006, right around the time the first phase went live. Now there's more of the same further north, and down at the far end a lonely condo tower squats in a muddy field. All in all, the place is, um, one of our lesser gems of urban planning, I'm afraid.

riverscape tower

But really, the point of this post is not to carp on about the place again. The developers didn't demand a taxpayer-built aerial tram or monorail or anything, so I guess the place is reasonably low-impact as far as these things go. The real point is that it was sunny outside for once, and I went out and took some photos, and here they are. It's not much of a point, I admit. But on the bright side, reading this post didn't cost you a cent.

fremont bridge

Anyway, I happened to have my infrared & ultraviolet filters with me, so a few of the photos were taken with those. My original goal was to look for dandelions and take some UV "what a bee sees" photos. I did find a few, believe it or not, but it wasn't quite sunny enough to get useful results. Oh, well. It'll probably be sunny again someday, and when that happens, dandelions are sure to follow.

willamette

Just a couple of years ago I lived out in the 'burbs and hadn't yet taken up this photo thing in earnest. The idea of going out and eagerly looking for dandelions would have seemed like the height of absurdity. And really, it still is kind of absurd. Not that that ever stops me, mind you.

fremont bridge

fremont bridge

fremont bridge

riverscape

fremont bridge

willamette

pigeon at riverscape

willamette

willamette

willamette

Friday, January 11, 2008

more wintry holga joy

rain & concrete

winter sky

streetcar

O'Bryant Square

testing... 1... 2... 3...

tanner springs

So this is another batch of test photos, taken at Tanner Springs with yet another old film camera and a variety of lenses. This time the camera is a Mamiya/Sekor 500 DTL, which I picked up at Goodwill for $10.

tanner springs

The top two photos were taken with an Auto Sears (= Ricoh / Tomioka?) 28mm f2.8. This is my first lens that wide, and I think I rather like it, so far. You might've noticed the overexposed stripe down the second photo -- it turns out that's the fault of the camera, not the lens, as the same thing showed up with other lenses.

Here's the culprit, which I only noticed after getting this roll developed:

hole in shutter curtain

Yep, there's a little hole in the shutter curtain. You can see a square area where a previous repair was attempted, probably with a square of gaffer's tape or something similar. It probably just got old and fell off, so I may try it again, or I may try some black fabric paint, which seems to be the preferred approach out on the interwebs. Yes, I realize the camera only cost $10, but the light meter works, which is really quite unusual for a camera of that age.

So here are the other test shots, and let's all agree to ignore the weird shutter artifacts, ok?

The next 3 are with something called a Kitstar 135mm f2.8. I gather "Kitstar" was/is the store-brand private label for the Kit's Cameras chain. So who actually made it is anyone's guess. I'm kind of curious, though. Part of the fun of this antique camera stuff is trying to figure out where stuff came from, and when.

I don't know that Kitstar-branded lenses are overly well-thought-of by those in the know, but these pics turned out decent enough. Maybe I'm just not good enough at this, and it would be clearer whether this is a good lens or not if someone else had been behind the camera. It wouldn't exactly surprise me.


tanner springs

tanner springs

tanner springs


Ok, so the next two are with an Oreston 50mm f1.8, from Meyer Optik of Görlitz, East Germany. This wasn't the top of the line 50mm lens out of East Germany, although it was the top of the Meyer product lineup, and I gather some people out there consider it a "sleeper". Again, its' hard to say one way or the other based on the current evidence.

One thing I can say about it, though, is that it certainly looks cool. I've got the early chrome & black "zebra" version. It's a fairly big chunk of metal for what it is, but it still comes off looking rather sleek and sophisticated. As far as lenses go, I mean. I'm not entirely sure how important it is to look fashionable, if the only other people who'll notice are fellow camera nerds.

Incidentally, the lens's "home town" of Görlitz sounds like an interesting place. Unlike most German cities, it wasn't bombed during WWII. After the war the eastern half of the city, on the east bank of the Neisse river, ended up in Poland, and is now known as Zgorzelec. These days the two halves get along fine, at least if Wikipedia is to be believed.

tanner springs

tanner springs


And a couple with the Auto Sekor 50mm f2 that came on the 500 DTL. I've already got a 1000 DTL with the slightly faster 55/1.8 Auto Sekor, so I suppose it wasn't absolutely necessary to get this camera & lens. But I figured they might be subtly different somehow, or something, plus you can't go wrong for $10. Plus... well, it's a sickness. I think at one point I promised I'd only buy one lens per focal length, and that I'd stick with just one M42 body, and various other rules and regulations trying to maintain some modicum of self-control. A lot of that's fallen by the wayside over time. I'm not entirely sure that's a good thing, but hey. I kept thinking I needed a hobby, and now I've got one, for good or ill.

tanner springs

tanner springs