GoPro Photography

Otter Rock surfing on a winter’s day in Oregon

I finally made it out to Otter Rock, one of Oregon’s premier surfing beaches. The spot is located next to a state park, where you can also find Devil’s Punch Bowl. It’s a great place to appreciate the beauty and ruggedness of the Oregon coast.

Well, surfing here in the Northwest is never perfect, and Otter Rock like all beaches must contend with the swells and winds of winter. When I headed out on Feb. 17, 2017, the forecast called for not-so-windy weather and swells spaced apart at least 15 seconds. It proved far windier and rougher than I had bargained for.

Was that going to stop me? Heck no. I put on the suit and got out. I did get my requisite rides, plus many shorter rides closer to shore. Not a perfect day, but when you spend four hours in the waves, do you have anything to complain about? Absolutely not. A day later I still feel the vibe.

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Fleeting fall colors as the last leaves float to the ground

In Portland, Oregon, the maples were sharp as usual this fall, from yellow to red. I found some lovely displays of random leaves on my car. I also saw other lovely colors, in hues of red, orange, yellow, and a rusty brown over the past week. Here are some shots I took with my point and shoot Canon and GoPro. Enjoy the autumn, if you have that where you are.

(Click on each photograph to see a larger picture of a separate picture page.)

GoPro surfing fetishism, with loving affection

(Click on each photo to open a larger picture on a separate picture page.)

I own a GoPro Hero3, and I love it. It was inevitable I had to buy the GoPro surfboard mount once I owned a surfboard. Last weekend I tried it out when I went to “shark attack” beach, otherwise know as Indian Beach, in Ecola State Park. I went with my surfing Sensei, Sean, who has slowly introduced me to this wonderful sport. Aside from likely cracking one or more ribs, it was a fabulous day (that injury really blew a hole in vacation I just cancelled).

The videos I took have that hilarious GoPro quality of chaos. The board is being tossed around as waves hit, I’m going under foam, the camera goes underwater and blacks out. Most of the time I filmed myself holding on the the board trying to avoid junk waves, because it was a lousy day. I did capture some fun short foam wave rides. I also laughed at how my face scrunched up as a I paddled to get the wave. So I have a lot of B-roll junk video that is very awful. I won’t share that. However, I was able to extract some fun images that only a GoPro can capture with a fisheye lens view, showing the beauty of the moment when waves and water engulf you. It is one reason why I love GoPros. They tell stories beautifully, and I love to tell stories with them.

I played with some settings in post-production and produced these photos. They have a painterly quality I like. This is so much better than another GoPro surf video.

I also was inspired by some hilarious mockumentary videos of GoPro surfing fetishism in southern California. I laughed a lot watching these, because I had captured all of these scenes, minus extreme surfing localism that permeates surf culture globally. This one shows localism gone awry to the Game of Thrones soundtrack (LOL) and this one how many surfers tell their stories to the world, when they really are not that great. Both are published by The Inertia. GoPros used right can also create lovely works of beauty, which also show just how wild dropping-in can be when surfing etiquette gets tossed, often leading to confrontations at the beach. It is all part of the sport, and you have to live with it and accept it.

 

Scenes from bike adventures in urban Portland

Portland, Oregon has a lot of urban rides. Many will take you by jammed freeways, grain elevators, a working port, a refinery, and over and under bridges. I took these photos over the last three months. There is not grand unifying them other than the impression of what one sees when you get out of your car and on two wheels.

(Click on each photograph to see a larger picture on a separate picture page.)

Crazy kaleidoscope of colors at Oaks Amusement Park

During the summer, I head down to Oaks Amusement Park, the small, privately owned play land near my house. This is probably the most diverse place in all of Portland on any given Saturday and Sunday. There are families and people from every possible background here, and likely none of them very wealthy, because rich people do not visit carnie land places. It is also a lot of fun, even if you do not get on the old-school rides.

When I come down the hill to the noisy, colorful place I often bring my GoPro camera and experiment with different shots. Here is one I like. It captures the spirit of the place. You can see more photos and read more about the amusement park on my photo essay page.

Click on each photograph to see a larger picture on a separate picture page.

Good morning, and hello spring!

All around me in Portland, magnolias and cherry trees are blossoming, and daffodils are in full color. It is pouring rain, but it does not matter amid the color and sounds of songbirds. I wanted to share a picture that captures the feeling of this time of year. It is the same feeling I get from the clip from Singing in the Rain, where Gene Kelly, Donald O’Connor and Debbie Reynolds look out the window and see pouring rain, smile, and break into heavenly tap and sing, “Good Morning.”

So, good morning every one, and hello spring! (Click on the photo to see a larger picture on a separate picture page.)

New Year’s Day at Meissner Nordic Trails

On New Year’s Day, I finally was able to enjoy the all-volunteer-run Meissner Nordic trails near Bend. This is a wonderful place, with miles of trails for skate and single track skiers. Be sure to donate to the volunteers if you visit. And bring your sunscreen and lip protection (my lips were cooked like burnt toast!).

Random fall candids in Portland

The leaves are now falling en masse and the glory that is autumn is drawing to a close. I took a couple of shots over the past few weeks and decided to post them without any particular message, other than I enjoy sharing the season’s colors. I took two of these shots with a GoPro and one with my FujiPro, in really bad lighting without a tripod. But I still like the outcome.

Click on each photo to see a larger picture on a separate picture page.

Historic Lemp Brewery, in St. Louis

At the time of the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904, the Lemp Brewing Co of St. Louis was the third largest brewery in America. Founded by a German-American entrepreneur, Adam Lemp, in the city’s south central area, the brewery proved to be an innovator up until the time of Prohibition. Family misfortunes and the Temperance movement took their toll. In response to the outlawing of booze, the Lemp facility attempted to brew a non-alcoholic beverage called Cerva, which flopped. The company could not sustain the factory operations.

In 1922, the family owners sold the complex, covering an entire city block, to the International Shoe Co. for practically nothing. The ISCO in turn finally sold the complex in 1992, leaving it without major tenants. The old brewery and factory site is considered an archtecturally and historically significant site in St. Louis, and the Lemp Hall is still used for catered events.

If you find yourself in St. Louis, a visit to Cherokee Street, which ends at the Brewery’s doorstep, is well worth your time. I lived nearly two decades in St. Louis and knew nothing about this place until I came back recently. Proves to me how ignorant I was as a teen and how wonderful older American cities can be if you bother to spend time exploring.

For the brew historians among you, and there are many I think, here are some interesting anecdotes:

  • Lemp brewed the first successful lager beer in the United States.
  • Lemp used natural underground caves in St. Louis to allow its beer to ferment and produce a superior product.
  • Lemp was the first shipping brewery to establish a national shipping strategy.
  • It was the first brewery to run its own railroad, the Western Cable Railway Company, that connected all of the plant’s main buildings to shipping yards near the Mississippi River.
  • The mansion of the Lemp Family is included on many haunted homes and buildings lists, if you believe in ghosts.

A wonderful documentary that does not use a distorted fisheye lens, like a GoPro I used here, can be found on the Built St. Louis web site.