Category Archives: travel

Leavenworth for Christmas

Leavenworth - pan out of focus - 2000pxAs it turns out, we had the chance to sneak out of town and spend the Christmas holiday up north near Leavenworth, WA – a logging-town-turn-Bavarian-village nestled in the North Cascades .  While we rented a cabin about 30 minutes from town on Fish Lake (near Wenatchee Lake), we made it into town a couple of times over the week.

Though there was a bit of snow on the ground – there hadn’t been snow in a while, making for clear roads (thankfully).

First – here’s a couple from Leavenworth:

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This is just a handheld panorama of downtown Leavenworth dressed up for Christmas.  That said – I’m a bit partial to the (purposefully) out-of-focus panorama at the top of this post.   Smile

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On this one – I just liked the interplay of the lights and shadows.


And now a few from Fish Lake.

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A spectacular sunrise was on the way.

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After that bit of red from the above image faded – the whole scene faded to gray.  I’ll be honest, I was tempted to pack up and head inside for some hot coffee.  But I waited (with no plan – and, really, no idea why I was waiting).  Then this happened.  I can’t tell you about all of the sparkles… it might be dust from the neutral density filter?

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Just for fun – here’s one of our dog while she waits for a bit of jerky.  The light inside the cabin happened to be pretty bright – creating some pretty hard shadows.  A bit of post brought those shadows entirely to black.

2014 NW Art & Air: Hot Air Balloons

This year I had the opportunity to head on over for two mornings to the hot air balloon launches at the NW Art & Air Festival in Albany, OR.  Below are a few in no particular order.  Just for fun – I did give myself a bit of a challenge later in the mornings to look for opportunities to use the sun creatively.  Not sure if I met that challenge – but I had fun trying.  Enjoy!

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2013 Top 11 Photos

It’s always a great challenge to look back on a year’s collection and to trim to a list of the best.  It’s an exercise I recommend to every photographer out there.  That said, the extra challenge is to get that list to only 10 photos.  Well, I almost made it this year – I trimmed this one to 11.  Smile

So, in no particular order, here’s my 2013 list with a bit on each addition.


This first photo is from a children’s church group singing at a convalescence home.  It was a very sweet moment with folks stepping out of their rooms to hear the children sing Christmas carols in the hall.

Best of 2013-1

Once I saw these two barns – I just wanted to figure out a way to get the photo.  This is one of those rare images where (if I remember correctly) I was thinking black and white from the onset.

Best of 2013-4

In 2013 I had the opportunity to shoot two Polar Plunge events for Oregon Special Olympics.  This next photo is from the Corvallis event.  Initially I was torn between two photos for this list: “dynamic splash” and “pink tutu’s”.  You can see which one I chose.

Best of 2013-6

This was from the 2013 Photo Walk here in Corvallis.  It’s probably safe to presume that it took me over a hundred images to get this one.

Best of 2013-7

In the very next moment, this bull fighter found himself in the air (but my very next frame only had the legs of the bullfighter visible – I was zoomed in too far on the scene to get all of him in the air).

Best of 2013-8

The Lover’s Bridge in Danshui, Taiwan.  This is one of those rare images where I actually pre-visualized the final result.  Some folks are really good at that – I’m not.

Best of 2013-10

Jiufen, Taiwan is a great little market town.  Fortunately while we were there we were treated to this epic rain.

Best of 2013-11

Street opera in Tainan, Taiwan.  I like how this image shows the proximity of the street to the opera.

Best of 2013-13

Hot air balloon festival.  Another image here on the list with strong architectural elements.

Best of 2013-15

Sheep nor shearing are typically on my list of favorite images.  But, I liked this moment along with the lighting, color, and texture.

Best of 2013-17

Mt Hood in the clouds.  It wasn’t long after this image that the mountain was completely obscured by the incoming weather.

Best of 2013-18

2013 Worldwide Photo Walk: Corvallis

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On Saturday morning, I had the opportunity to go out with a local group of photographers for Kelby’s annual Worldwide Photo Walk here in Corvallis, Oregon.

A huge thank you to Kat Sloma for leading this year’s event!

The weather in Corvallis was expected to get near 70 mid day but I was glad to see some early morning fog downtown near the river.  And by late morning it had all but burned off.

Just to be honest, I typically find it difficult to shoot in downtown Corvallis.  It’s probably because I’ve been here near 20 years and I’ve walked the streets many times with a camera (the downtown really isn’t all2013 Photowalk - low res-9 that big).  And just about every time I pull out a camera down there those “been there, done that” storm clouds start raining on me again.

That said, below are a few more from the morning in no particular order.

Earlier in the morning, I clung to the fog.  Later in the morning, it was the light shining down the east-west streets that caught my attention.

When it comes to photo walks – there’s always discussion on gear.  This year I kept it light.  Really light.  OK – maybe not as light as the mobile-photography folks.  But much, much lighter than I’ve been in years past.  This year I had just the X100s – and in a jacket pocket I had two extra batters, one extra memory card, a lens cleaning cloth, and one little dinosaur that came in a Photojojo package – just in case it got boring out there (figured I could capture him in various Corvallis locations).   Smile

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Frog Jumping!

Jefferson Oregon Frog Jumping 2013-1I think I read somewhere that the Jefferson, Oregon Frog Jumping contest (part of the Jefferson Mint Festival) is the second largest such event this side of the Mississippi.  It’s entirely possible.  I didn’t get an official participant count – but I have no reason to believe that there were less than 100 folks ready to coach their frog to victory.  And if you didn’t have a frog with you – they were kind enough to rent frogs.  So – for $5 – you could both enter the contest and borrow an amphibian, too.

So – without delay, I’ll just hop straight to a few photos from the afternoon. Smile

(And just in case you’re curious about these sorts of things – photos 1, 3 and 4 were partly processed using the VSCO film emulation package.  I just picked it up – and have probably been using it way too much.  Hopefully I’ll have a better review of it a bit later.)

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A Tale of Two

When I saw these two buildings over the weekend – I was hoping there was an image in it somewhere.  Only had the X100s with me.  I’m really starting to like that camera.


Photos from Taiwan #3

Night markets are popular in Taiwan.  They’re bustling with people and food and activity.  This one is from the Liouhe Night Market in Kaohsiung and was shot with the X100s (remarkable in low light).

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Photos from Taiwan #2

This is the Lover’s Bridge in Danshui – just outside of Taipei.  It’s a Taiwan landmark and I was just looking for a bit of a different angle on it. bridge-1

Photos from Taiwan: #1

Jiufen is a great little town not too far from Taipei.  Fortunately while we were there we had a rainstorm (I’m not sure everyone was glad to see the rain – but rain can often make for some good photos :)  ).

As it turns out, this image was shot with the X100s – a great camera for this trip.


A Few From 2012

At the end of the year – I like this process of digging through the year’s photo shoebox and culling it to a few that I find striking.  Is there a unifying theme among the group?  No – not really.  But for some quirky reason or another – they’ve made the list.

So (in mostly) no particular order – here are a few from the year.

Top 10 - 2012-1Here a man  at an assisted living home holds onto an ornament given to him by a six year old girl.  Her church group had visited to sing Christmas carols.Top 10 - 2012-3From the NW Art & Air Festival.  Two photos – two photos of hands.  Hmmm….

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Another one from the NW Art & Air Festival.

Top 10 - 2012-6My wife and daughter really enjoyed the butterfly farm.  I know this particular butterfly is not quite “picture perfect” – but I really liked the contrast with this photo.

Top 10 - 2012-12 From the Philomath Classic Car Show – shot with a Lensbaby – if I recall correctly it was the Sweet 35 optic.

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Coaching instructions to the Inn Keepers during rehearsal for the annual Christmas pageant.

Top 10 - 2012-10Butterflies and flowers in the same list!  This one from the Wooden Show annual tulip festival.  Fun with the fisheye.Top 10 - 2012-7

Someone quipped that this may be the most photographed tree in the world.  It’s possible.  This is from our afternoon at the Portland Japanese Garden.  Every time I open this photo up in Lightroom – I tweak it – still trying to get the oranges / reds / yellows / greens to match the photo in my head.

Portland Japanese Gardens-2 I have a blog post somewhere in the Drafts folder on our afternoon at the Portland Japanese Garden – but until I dig it up and dust it off – here’s another one.

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From the Oregon Special Olympics – bocce ball.  I’ll be honest – I spent a few frames trying to get this one.  Not sure why – but I just really wanted to catch the ball bouncing with the trailing artificial dirt springing in the air. Top 10 - 2012-4When you’re shooting rodeo – it’s seldom a good idea to have this shot on your proof sheet.  :)

Top 10 - 2012-5 It’s not often that two bull riding shots would make the list (typically it’s steer wrestling or saddle / bareback bronc …).  Here’s another one from the Philomath Frolic and Rodeo.

Top 10 - 2012-20From a family shoot this last fall – they made sure to bring their Orange and Black. A heck of a lot of fun.  Go Beavers!

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Some wild irises from a sunrise shoot with Jim at Finley Wildlife Refuge.Top 10 - 2012-14Here’s Jim and Hugh walking back to the car after our last photo shoot together.  We miss you, Hugh.