Travel Photo: Moss On A Tree Sugarloaf Ridge, Kenwood California

Just outside of Napa is a town of Kenwood, also known for it’s wine. There is a California State Park there by the name of Sugarloaf Ridge. It offers easy hikes and open sky hikes through the mountains. There you can find one the easy hikes just over 2 miles where you can find moss covered trees like this one.

Moss on a tree in Sugarloaf Ridge, Kenwood, California
Moss on a tree in Sugarloaf Ridge, Kenwood, California

Specs:

Camera: Olympus OMD EM-5
Lens: 45mm ƒ/1.8
ISO: 200
Aperture: ƒ/2.8
Shutter: 1/5″
Filter: Hoya Circular Polarizer
Post Production: Aperture 3.6

Photography tip:

Don’t forget the details. Sometimes it is great to take a photo of just texture. When trying to get texture sometimes it is best to create a sense of depth by making you fstop really shallow and getting really close to your subject.

Photography Quote: Alfred Steiglitz

Wherever there is light, one can photograph

—Alfred Steiglitz

 

 

Photography is all about using light. Knowing how to use the available light that you have is important. Sometimes you have a lot of light, sometimes you have very little light. Take what light is given and be creative with it.

What do you think?

Travel Photo: Running Stream at Mount Tamalpais

Running Stream at Mount Tamalpais

Welcome to Mount Tamalpais or Mount Tam for short, just north of San Francisco in Mill Valley. It is a place where most of Marin county visit on a weekend as well a bikers and runners go to get some scenic exercise done. This specific spot is Cataract Falls which is on that Cataract Trail.

Running Stream at Mount TamalpaisCamera: Olympus OMD EM5
Lens: Olympus M. Zuiko 17mm ƒ/1.8
ISO: 200
Aperture: ƒ/13
Shutter: 4″
Tripod: Yes
Filter: B+W ND 110 (neutral density filter)
Post Production: Lightroom 5.6

Photography tip:

Use a neutral density filter to create a long exposure is a great way to create a silky look with running water. Afterwards in your post production, brighting up the cyan/blue by raising the luminance will create a silkier look.

Photography Quote: Yousuf Karsh

Photography Quote: Yousuf Karsh forest photo

“Character, like a photograph, develops in darkness.”

— Yousuf Karsh

Photography Quote: Yousuf Karsh forest photo

Editor’s Note

In Buddhism there is the thought of light and dark; pain and suffering, good and evil, all being the same thing. We can not develop without knowing the other. Even in Batman Begins “We fall to learn how to get back up” So like a photograph, we must know darkness to fully develop.

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.

 

Photography Quote: Edward Steichen

Photography Quote: Edward Steichen Black and White Portrait

Photography is a major force in explaining man to man.

-Edward Steichen

Photography Quote: Edward Steichen Black and White Portrait

Editor’s Note

Photography can make us see but also make us understand new perspectives. It allows us to see how human nature really is. It allows us to know how mankind works and creates better understanding.

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?

Photography Quote: Jean-Luc Godard

Photography Quote: Portrait Black and White

When you photograph a face . . .you photograph the soul behind it.

-Jean-Luc Godard

Photography Quote: Portrait Black and White

Editor’s Thoughts

People make up this world. Each one of us have our unique personality and traits that make up who we are. A photographer can capture that more so than just a random person snapping a picture. The photographer can capture their story, their soul.