Photo: Sunrise At Lake Siskiyou Fishing Dock – California

Sunrise Over Siskiyou Lake's Fishing Dock

Lake Siskyou in just outside of Shasta Mountain in California offers a beautiful man made lake with fishing, hiking and camping. The place is a wonderful place for families to just relax and get away from it all.

Sunrise Over Siskiyou Lake's Fishing Dock

Camera: Olympus OMD EM-5
Lens: Olympus M.Zuiko 17mm ƒ/1.8
ISO: 200
Aperture: ƒ/4
Shutter: 37″
Tripod: Yes
Filters: B+W ND Filter 110 3.0
Post Process: Capture One 8.1

Photo Tip

Using the tripod for long exposures is valuable, but knowing how long the exposure needs to be is hard. Taking advantage of a remote trigger (like the Olympus trigger used for this photo) you can use the Bulb/Live View mode to preview how the image will come out and release the shutter at the exact exposure.

This photo will available to purchase at: http://store.erickrecdcloud.com

Travel Photo: China Camp State Park Hike – San Rafael, California

China Camp State Park Hike

China Camp State Park in San Rafael California is a hidden treasure that many do not know about. It is located just off of the San Francisco Bay and San Pablo bay and over looks the beauty of the SF Bay Area. This is a photo of one of it’s beautiful patches of land that is just open to enjoy.

China Camp State Park Hike
China Camp State Park Hike

Camera: Olympus OMD EM-5
Lens: Olympus M. Zuiko 17mm ƒ/1.8
ISO: 200
Aperture: ƒ/6.3
Shutter: Multiple (HDR Bracketed)
Tripod: Yes
Filter: Hoya Circular Polarizer
Post Production: Adobe Lightroom 6 (HDR Merged)

Photography Tip:

When photographing after sunrise, beware of a lot of shadows that will over take the photo. Photos with a lot of shadow will add too much contrast and really mute some of the colors. The best thing to do is bring a tripod and photograph with HDR in mind. This will help brighten up the shadows and darken the highlights. This photo is a perfect example as the sun had risen about 2 hours before and the clouds had just cleared 2 minutes earlier.

Travel Photo: Foggy Bridge and Skyline of Portland

Travel Photo: Foggy Bridge and Skyline of Portland, Oregon

Travel Photo: Foggy Bridge and Skyline of Portland, Oregon

This is the waterfront of Portland Oregon, where the Willemette River runs through. The goal was to get up early and catch a sunrise over the bridge. I found out 2 mornings straight that they fog and overcast comes in every morning.

I took the best of the moment and decided to take photos of the fog that was there. I spent my time figuring out how to make sure I got the disappearing of objects through the fog.

Camera: Olympus OMD EM5
Lens: Olympus M. Zuiko 17mm ƒ/1.8
ISO: 250
Aperture: ƒ/16
Shutter: 6″
Tripod: Yes
Filter: B+W ND 110 (Neutral Density Filter)
Post Process: Lightroom 5.6

Photography Tip

Always know your the weather of the location you go. This will help you plan on what to shoot as well as the outcome of the shoot. If weather calls for sunny, make sure to get up early to make sure not to catch too much shadows of the sun, or take your tripod to shoot in HDR to help reduce the shadows.

On the same note look up when sunrise and sunset are. This will allow you to plan how early to get up. There are plenty of Sunrise and Sunset apps for your phone.

Making Portland Happy With Ice Cream: Cloud City Ice Cream, A Hidden Portland Treat

The Unique Uni-Cones all lined up at Cloud City Ice Cream

What makes you happy? Do unicorns and giraffes make you happy? Perhaps it is ice cream that makes you happy? Maybe just good happy people with smiles on their face make you happy. What if you can have all these? That is the thinking of Bryan, the owner of the ice cream shop Cloud City Ice Cream in the suburban area of Woodstock Portland, Oregon.

When I meet the shy Bryan for the first time, his cheeks filled with a redness that made him glow. You can tell that Bryan did not speak to man people who did interviews. But Bryan made an exception this time because of what PathlessTravel does and the story interesting story he wanted to tell.

The quaint shop of Cloud City Ice Cream where people flock even when it rains.
The quaint shop of Cloud City Ice Cream where people flock even when it rains.

A few years ago Bryan found out the ice cream shop that he visited when he was younger was for sale. He decided to jump right on in and take his chance at making others happy with ice cream. After all this place crated happy memories for him and his family as they grew up. It was now time to bring happy memories to others through the magic of ice cream.

Bryan wanted to do something different than the previous owners had done. Instead of buying ice cream and selling it, he wanted to do something very Portland like. In the city known for its artisan and craft foods he took the approach of creating his own ice creams. Taking his idea and the advice of other ice cream shops he opened Cloud City Ice Cream. His unofficial mascot Sophie the Giraffe, a toy giraffe, currently looks over the whole store.

The sign not the created by a local artist representing the theme of unicorns.
The sign not the created by a local artist representing the theme of unicorns.

The place has also a interesting unicorn theme to it as well. You can have a your ice cream in a cup or even a “Uni-cone” (I love the pun). Pictures of unicorns also hang in the window colored by the local kids from the elementary schools that cloud city donates time and effort into. Why you ask? Well like Bryan told me “It is another way to make others happy and to do good.”

The largest challenge he had was trying to consistently have 32 flavors of ice cream to try from, despite not always having room to store all 32 flavors after making them. Of the 32 different flavors Bryan says the Cinnamon Brown Sugar is his favorite. Other noteworthy ones are the JamEarl Grey, Honey Green Tea and Black Currant Tea. They are  great because I LOVE TEA!

My Salted Caramel Swirl with Chocolate Stout on a Unicone
My Salted Caramel Swirl with Chocolate Stout on a Unicone

But my favorite was  the Chocolate Stout Ice cream made with 7 Grain beer from Hopworks Urban Brewery where we visited their their bike bar, Hopworks BikeBar, after an interview with another Portland icon. I also had it with a scoop of salted Caramel Swirl. The combo of bitter and salty sweet made a great layer of flavor in my mouth. I was happy. There are so many flavors to choose from. Check out the 32 different flavor options on Cloud City Ice Cream website.

I guess the idea of ice cream just makes everyone happy. Bryan was right to start up an ice cream to make others have fond memories. Like unicorns, ice cream is just magical, it just makes you feel good. Ice cream can make a person feel so good that Bryan told me of a story of an elderly couple who just got up and danced in the middle of the store from their excitement.

I know the ice cream made me feel good. Afterwards we walked outside into the rain and headed to our next destination while getting wet. We didn’t care, the ice cream made us feel good. To the hidden garden we went drenched in the rain with no care. I want to thank Bryan and his helpful staff for putting a smile on our faces.

Bryan’s Recommendations To Do Around Portland

Check out the amazing pizza at The Gladstone Street Pizza or Giants NY Pizza & Convenience

It is your turn.

Tell us what your favorite ice cream flavor is. Or do you have any hidden places that just make you happy in portland or anywhere else in the world?

Travel Photo: Portland Bridge & Morning Fog

Portland Bridge and Morning Fog

Portland Bridge and Morning Fog

This is one of the many bridges that cross over the Willimet River that runs through Portland. Early in the morning you will find the computers who cross this bridge, and many others, to get into downtown for work.

Camera: Olymous OMD EM5
Lens: Olympus M. Zuiko 17mm ƒ/1.8
ISO: 250
Aperture: ƒ/16
Shutter: 10″
Tripod: Yes
Filter: B+W ND 110 (Neutral Density filter)
Post Production: Lightroom 5.6

Ooops: I accidentally set the ISO to 250. Using non increments of 100 ISOs can tend to lead to noisy photos. That was the case here and had to run a lot of noise filtering through this photo.

Photography Tip:

Early morning just before the sunrises (about 45-30 before sunrise) is one of the best times to catch some great shots. The light is even and you can achieve some amazing long exposures without the hinderance of shadows from the sun.

When dealing with fog make sure to pack your Circular Polarizer to reduce the glare from the fog and beware not to overexpose the fog. To prevent this, do not set the camera metering (center of the screen) on the darkest areas. Instead put them on a neutral color.

 

The Hidden Garden of Portland Oregon: Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden

Here is a light purple Rhododendron

He nibbled a bit harder after he was ignored the first time. My backside felt a bit more of his bite as he was trying to get my attention again.

“Did you just bite me?” I ask him. He looks at me directly in the eyes. He squawks and moves a bit closer. “I am sorry I don’t have any bread.” He just stares at me even more as he waddles a bit more towards me.

Charlie, The Goose who wanted my attention
Charlie, The Goose who wanted my attention

Charlie, we will call me him Charlie for the sake of argument. “I am sorry Charlie. I can take some pictures of you instead. Will you let me take some photos?” He just stares at me some more. He starts to strike a pose. He inches closer and poses again. I got a few amazing shots of Charlie, the most courageous goose I have come across. I then went back to photographing the view that was around me.

The view around me was a running stream that was coming down under a bridge and into the pond that was behind me. It was no wonder why Charlie enjoyed being here and all his other feathered friends as well. This place was wonderful and peaceful.

Zen Garden that can be found at Crystal Springs
Zen Garden that can be found at Crystal Springs

Hidden in the residential area of Woodstock in Portland, Oregon (where we had amazing ice cream) is the unknown gem of a garden known as Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden. It sits between the beautiful Reed College and the spacious Eastmoreland Golf Course. This is where I meet Charlie.

This is Reed College on the next to Crystal Springs
This is Reed College on the next to Crystal Springs

Like I mentioned before, there are other feathered characters here, from varieties of ducks and 79 other species of birds. Squirrels found their way through out the forest as well. It is an escape into nature. A wonderfully planned natured created by volunteer gardeners who created wonderful displays of rhododendron flowers.

Here is a pink Rhododendron
Here is a pink Rhododendron

What is a rhododendron? I didn’t know either until I stumbled upon this place. It is a tree of flowers usually of pink, but also varieties of white, purple and light pink. When they bloom they have the most gorgeous of color to them. The garden does not only have rhododendrons, but it also has other amazing plants.

Because of the beauty of the Crystal Springs events can be scheduled at the garden, including weddings or photography sessions. It offers a great place to have a heavenly and serene environment. More information can be found on the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden Website.

Pale Red Fern that is unique
Pale Red Fern that is unique

Admission is $4 from March 1st to Labor day except Mondays and Tuesdays. Children under 12 are free. Hope to see you there… Or at least Charlie hopes to see you there.

What other hidden places do you know of Portland?

Travel Photo: Portland Oregon’s Waterfront Sunset

Travel Photo: Portland Oregon's Waterfront Sunset

The Eastbank Esplanade or waterfront of the river in Portland is a great walk. There are many runners and bikers but also many couples who are there to enjoy the beautiful sunset. This photo was taken as the sun was setting in the west with Downtown and The Pearl District in the background.

Photography Tip:

It is important to balance foreground light (key light) and background light when it comes to sunsets. The easiest way to accomplish this is to carry around a flash to light the foreground. It is important to make sure to have a way to defuse the light as it will overexpose the foreground. Shoot in raw to later balance the light in post production.

Camera: Olympus OMD EM5
Lens: Olympus M. Zuiko 17mm ƒ/1.8
ISO: 200
Aperture: ƒ/9
Shutter: 1/25″
Filter: Hoya HMC Cir-PL
Post Production: Adobe Lightroom 6

Any questions? Comments? How in detail how this photo was taken? Feel free to ask below.

The Pie Spot: Portland Oregon’s Little Pie Shop

“He was wearing a his boyscout outfit that was covered in badges. He was about 7 to 9 years old. He wore a mullet haircut,” Ashley was describing a memorable customer experience.

“Oh and those big thick glasses” Jessica interjected.

“He was looking at the pies with big eyes, as all the kids tend to do when they see pie,” Ashley continued on. “He took his time and then asked his mom ‘Which one should I get, you know I do not do well with fatty foods’ ”

Both Ashley and Jessica looked at each other and began to laugh.

When I walked into The Pie Spot earlier, I felt like this kid in the Boyscout outfit. I had big eyes as I gazed at the beautiful pies. There was conundrum on which I should choose to have. I too had an issue with pie, as a diabetic in pie shop I felt out of place and a lot like that Boyscout.

Owners Ashley (left) & Jessica (right)
Owners Ashley (left) & Jessica (right)

The Pie Spot is a wonderful pie store that offers some amazing personal sized pies. They are designed to be small, portable and individualized. They are the brain child of Jessica and Ashley, the owners of The Pie Spot. The two came up with the business while working at a bar and started it all from a foodcart. Today, since February 2013, they operate out of a building that used to be a repair garage since. It located on the east side of Portland on NE 25th.

Enjoy a small personalized pie
Enjoy a small personalized pie

The place has become a home to the two as they celebrate Thanksgiving in The Pie Spot with family friends and employees. It becomes a gathering place for their extended family.

Jessica has always had a fondness for being creative and always liked baking. It was a creative outlet for her and at the same time with her friend Ashley found a way to get out of the bar scene. Pie is an American Classic and why not do pies.

You can have breakfast, lunch and dinner at The Pie Spot as they offer a range of different pies, including quiche and sweet pies. If you are looking for a recommendation for one pie to have to choose from I can not tell you get one, I would have to tell you to get 2. The Peanut Butter Chocolate pie and mix it with the Marionberry pie. It is like having a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Jessica’s favorite was the Lemon Vanilla Bean pie.

Enjoy some coffee for some early morning wake up
Enjoy some coffee for some early morning wake up

The largest challenge these two have is finding a way to ship these pies in the near future. Hopefully a solution will be found to this. Until then everyone will have to take a trip to Portland to try them out. The Pie Spot’s Website can be found here.

Jessica’s and Ashley’s recommendations to do around Portland

Hike the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area and check out the Sandy Delta

Eat at the Mediterranean Exploration Company – Pearl

Your turn. Tell us about your experience at The Pie Spot. Write in the comments below.

BottleRock 2014 – Napa California Food-Wine-Beer-Music Festival

Ever have a reason to visit Napa? Maybe you have already thought of visiting Napa. Do you want more of an incentive? Napa is known for it’s exquisite gourmet food and dining, as well as a great place to taste some of the finest wines in the world. What if you can combine those two items that go well with each other and then throw in some amazing music. But what else goes well with music? How about great beer? Enter BottleRock 2014.

What is BottleRock?

What is a BottleRock? Yeah, that is a good question, it was one that I also had when I first asked if I was going to visit BottleRock. “BottleRock Napa Valley is all about blending great music, food and wine…It really is a feast for your senses” said Latitude 38’s CEO David Graham. BottleRock is a festival in Napa that is held from May 30th – June 1st.

image002

Lets Talk Wine

Love wine? Who doesn’t go to Napa for the wine? Many wineries will be serving their best Including: Miner Family Winery, City Winery, Del Dotto Family Vineyards, Cakebread Cellars, Clos Du Val… and many more.

Fine Culinary?

What goes good with wine but great food. Culinary offerings at the festival include: Morimoto, Angèle, The Thomas, Allegria, Ca’ Momi, La Condesa, Oakville Grocery, Tarla Grill… and other great culinary greatness. Some of the mouthwatering dishes include: crab mac n’ cheese, made-to-order ceviche, wood-fired pizzas, fish tacos, pork belly sandwiches, and Vietnamese shrimp rolls.

Awesome Music

So after feeling sleepy trom some mouth watering food and a bit of wine it is time to relax. Why not relax to some awesome music of over 60 artists including: The Cure, Outkast, Eric Church, Weezer, The Fray, Heart, LL Cool J with DJ Z-Trip, Matt & Kim, Deerhunter, Matisyahu, Sublime with Rome, Gin Blossoms, Spin Doctors, Third Eye Blind and dozens more.

Refreshing Drinks

What goes great with music? Well why not some refreshing drinks? including Blue Moon, Lagunitas, Anchor Steam, and Coors Light along with artisanal cocktails made with premium spirits including Reyka Icelandic Vodka and Sailor Jerry’s Rum. The micro-brew garden will feature 20 craft brews including local favorites Napa Point and Napa Smith breweries.

How Do To Get There

How much is it and how do you get there? 3-Day VIP passes ($599), general admission 3-Day passes ($279) and single-day passes ($149) can be purchased at www.bottlerocknapavalley.com or www.ticketfly.com or charge by phone at 877.4.FLY.TIX (435.9849).) A very limited number of 3-Day Platinum Passes ($3000), and Single-Day Platinum Passes ($1,000) are also available.

So now do you have a reason to go to Napa? I hope so, perhaps for some mouth water food, fine delicious wine, cool and refreshing drinks while listening to some amazing music. Check out BottleRock in Napa from May 30th – June 1st.

What do you think? Will you head on out to BottleRock? Have any questions? Perhaps you know something I don’t? Leave a comment below, send me a tweet on twitter, or post on my facebook. Heck even send us a message. Let me know so I can help. Happy travels 🙂