Month: October 2014

A few more canine candids from the Vancouver Kennel Club Show

I used my GoPro camera fo the first time at a dog show. Dogs are fascinated by the GoPro. I think they cannot decide if it is a  toy or food. Some dog owners thought the dogs would try to snack on it. But they behaved, and they demonstrated perfect camera form. (Click on each photograph to see a larger picture in a separate picture page.)


Water towers, northeast Portland

I began noticing water towers a lot after I discovered the work of Bernd and Hilla Becher, masters of photographing typologies and industrial forms. Water towers are one of the most ubiquitous structures one sees in a city. They are not toxic, or dangerous, or even ugly. They primarily serve as temporary water storage tanks for water suppliers and departments during specific times of the day and help to address peak demand needs at hours when residents bath, flush, and use water. I noticed these towers on a bike ride through Northeast Portland this month (October). Many communities choose to paint them and brand them with the names of the city or a local football team, and it is almost always football teams. (Click on each photo to see a larger picture on a separate picture page.)

Met some wet-nosed friends this weekend

I attended the Vancouver Kennel Club dog show on Oct. 25, 2014, and I had a great time. The show was held at the Clark County Fairgrounds, which meant a lot of space and a lot of laid back dogs. The owners were super accommodating for me taking candid photos. Here are a few shots. Hopefully I can publish a few more. You cannot go wrong seeing a dog show. Period. (Click on each photograph to see a larger picture on a separate picture page.)

A day at the bridges, Portland style

Portland, Ore., has been dubbed many things, including bridge town. Here are two of the most distinct ones: St John’s Bridge (1931) and the Fremont Bridge (1973). The former dates from the Depression, when public works projects had a sense of artistry. The latter was built to serve one purpose–carry cars over Willamette River on Interstate 405 as efficiently as possible. More bridges are to come. (Click on each photograph to see a larger picture on a separate picture page.)

Barrel yard, near the Willamette River

I passed by this storage yard several times on my bike, along Highway 30, which is the main arterial serving the many industries that line the Willamette River in north Portland. Barrels are normally used for storing and transporting chemicals, but I had no idea what these were used for. I found similar barrel yards in Seattle along the industrial Duwamish waterway, in Seattle. (Click on the photograph to see a larger picture on a separate picture page.)

Swan Island Shipyards, Portland

Most of Portland, Ore’s heavy industry is located on the banks of the Wilamette River. The Swan Island Shipyard is one biggest areas dedicated to what are still high-paying, blue collar jobs. I took these pictures from the bluff overlooking the yards southward, from the campus of the University of Portland. The shipyard has a storied history dating to World War II, when Kaiser was in the business of building ships, not running a health insurance monopoly. (Click on each photo to see a larger picture on a separate picture page.)

Development along Portland’s Willamette waterfront

Downtown Portland, Ore., has seen a boom in high-density development turning industrial land into high-rise apartments and condos. This has taken place in large areas along the Willamette River, including near the Fremont Bridge, in what Portland calls Chinatown. I took these photos on Oct. 19, and was struck by the prevalance of homeless camps very close to these projects, including the one that is seen in the photograph of campers and vehicles that double as people’s shelters. The Portland area is expecting nearly 725,000 new residents in the next 20 years, which pales in comparison to what African cities like Lagos and Chinese cities like Shenzen have seen and will see. (Click on each photograph to see a larger picture on a separate picture page.)

Cement kiln, southeast Portland

The Lehigh Northwest Cement Co. is located near the large railroad yard in the industrial area of southeast Portland. I always have liked living near railroad yards. They are reminders of what keeps our country’s economic engine moving, and cement producers are always likely neighbors. To me they are strong icons of our industrial economy and fall into the category of photography I embrace focussing on industrial typologies. (Click on the photograph to see a larger picture on a separate picture page.)

The Montgomery Ward Building, a Portland landmark

When it opened in 1920, the Montgomery Ward Building was the largest commercial structure in Portland, Ore. It was sold in 1984 and then upgraded with a new glass atrium. The box-like structure sits atop a high plateau overlooking the city’s still industrial properties in northwest Portland, at the base of the affluent mansions that dot the hillside to the west. It is a prominent landmark that can be seen for miles in many directions, and for me is a beacon to the “old Portland” I fell in love with when I first moved here in 1983. This was before the city became a microbeer-brewing, bike-friendly, hipster, green-energy, whatever-you-want-to-call-it kind of city that absolutely fascinates sometimes naive out-of-town reporters, who are oblivious to thousands of homeless residents living on the streets or in makeshift and transitional housing. Meanwhile, the giant white box still stands proud, weathering the changes just fine. (Click on each photo to see a larger picture on a separate picture page.)

St. Mary’s Cathedral in Portland

Within about five blocks of each other, one can find three of the most exquisitely designed and built religious structures in Portland: the Catholic St. Mary’s Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Temple Beth Israel, and Trinity Episcopal Cathedral. St. Mary’s is designed in Romanesque Revival style, similar to churches I have seen in Italy, but also in the United States duplicating those in the Old World. The complex has a large courtyard and ancillary facilities attached. If you are in Northwest Portland, take a stroll to 17th and NW Davis, and you’ll find a beautiful complex taking over a city block.

I shot this photograph with a GoPro camera. To see a larger photograph, click on the picture to open a separate picture page.