Photo archive (partial)

Buy prints, downloads, or license images from our archives:

A new bridge for Sauvie Island Saturday, December 29, 2007

The span for the new Sauvie Island Bridge sits jacked up on a barge at Terminal 2 in Portland, about eight miles upstream of its destination. The 1600-ton structure will replace the existing bridge that was built in 1950. According to Multnomah County, that bridge "is not adequate to meet the current needs of the island’s farmers and industrial businesses, is substandard for bicyclists and pedestrians, and is at the end of its service life."

The new bridge was raised at the terminal because it was safer and reduced the amount of time the Multnomah Channel was closed to river traffic. The bottom of the arch was 75 feet above the river as tugs moved the barge downstream.

The light on the St. John Bridge was beautiful just minutes before the Sauvie Island span arrived.

Just before the barge sailed past, a tractor-trailer stalled in the intersection at the south end of the St. John Bridge. That backed up traffic in three directions while a tow truck removed the disabled vehicle. Thankfully, I got to my shooting spot minutes before the road was closed.

By the time the bridge passed by the sun was covered by clouds.

At the bridge's destination, the light was beautiful again in the moments before the barge arrived.

And once again the clouds covered the sun as the bridge was moved into place. At 365 feet, the new span is significantly longer than the existing bridge. It is also much wider, allowing six-foot shoulders/bike lanes in each direction and six-foot sidewalks on each side.

Four tugboats were used to maneuver the new bridge into its final location right next to the existing structure.

It took about two hours to float the bridge from Terminal 2 to Sauvie Island. Crews expected to spend the next three days lowering the bridge onto its footings.

Markings on a beam make the $38.5-million structure look like a steal! The Sauvie Island Bridge project has been in the works since 2001. It has been delayed for a variety of reasons, including environmental protection and waiting for the barge to be available. The bridge should be ready for traffic sometime next summer.

Strikeout at the airport Wednesday, December 26, 2007

(left) The departures level of PDX is busy early in the morning Dec. 26.

Well, I was up just after 4 this morning to head to the airport to photograph and interview the Lincoln girls as they headed off to a tournament in Phoenix this week. I thought they had to be there at 5. A stalled car on Airport Way slowed things down a little bit, but I arrived at PDX at 4:55, figuring that a dozen girls probably in their team sweats would be fairly easy to find.

I must have gotten my information wrong, though. There were plenty of college and high school basketball players around—including Aarika Hughes, who used to play at Southridge—but the Cardinals were nowhere to be found. I until after 6 in case they showed up, but no dice. Maybe their flight left at 5?

(right) Aarika Hughes moves through Portland International Airport Dec. 26. Hughes, who helped Southridge High School win back-to-back basketball championships in 2005 and 2006 now plays at USC. (below) Hughes brings the ball up-court against Ashland in the 2006 state basketball tournament.

I did find something pretty cool, though, in the short term parking lot. Short-term parking at PDX is a pretty typical 3,300-space structure with a double-helix up-ramp on one side and a similar down-ramp on the other. It only costs $3 per hour, which seems pretty reasonable for an airport. But the cool part was the new system they have to help you find a parking spot.

Every stall has a little sensor above it to detect a parked vehicle. If the space is empty, green LEDs light up above the space to let you know it is available. When you park in it, they turn red. Better yet, the system feeds back to a sign at the end of each aisle that tells you exactly how many spots are available down that aisle. So you can always find a parking spot pretty quickly. Pretty nifty.

A day off

(left) Pioneer Courthouse Square is virtually empty Dec. 25. There was snow in the air on and off throughout the afternoon in Portland, the first Christmas day snowfall in the city since 1990. (below) The downtown Nordstrom department store was all locked up Dec. 25. A sign said that the store would be closed at 4 p.m. on Christmas eve "to prepare for a sale" starting Dec. 26.

Christmas at last Tuesday, December 25, 2007

It's finally Christmas.

I know I'm joining millions of 8-year-olds around the world when I say that, but I don't mean it the way they do. Nor do I mean it in the same sense as the parents of said 8-year-olds.

I say "it's finally Christmas" because, for me, it finally feels like Christmas. It only took until about 11 o'clock on Christmas Eve.

Unlike in years past, when I've gone home or at least taken time off work, I didn't do anything particular this year to mark the approach of Dec. 25. Here in Portland I don't even have snow to remind me that it's winter.

(Sorry, no new photos for this post. I might take something tomorrow, but I might as well give that its own entry. Meanwhile, enjoy this image of last year's tree in Pioneer Courthouse Square in downtown Portland.)

To be honest, Christmas basically flew in under the radar this
time around. The advent calendar that my mother faithfully sends every year suddenly jumped from 4 to 19 in the blink of an eye. In my world, the week of Dec. 24 has been an awkward space on the calendar when you couldn't be sure who would be working or when the stores would be open. I did do a bit of Christmas shopping, but haven't sent those things off yet. And at this point, I'm not sure it's worth decorating my 3-foot tree.

Today (Dec. 24) was basically a work day for me, albeit a pretty slack one. I didn't really do anything productive this afternoon.

The festive season finally turned around for me tonight when I went to church.

I happen to live about 3 blocks from Trinity Episcopal Cathedral. Trinity is a large limestone building dating back a little over 100 years. Inside, it's a pretty typical church in the Anglican tradition. One thing that does set Trinity apart from many other churches I've attended, though, is the quality of the music. In addition to an amazing organ and wonderful organist, they have a dedicated Director of Cathedral Music and, for tonight's service anyway, a choir of more than 40.

The service itself, of course, is literally by the book. One of the most common criticisms of the Anglican family of churches is the routine, rote nature of the services—"McServices," one might say—which follow the same patterns from week to week and are virtually uniform from one parish to another. But, for me at least, there is something very comforting in the tradition that the church embodies.

Dressed in a blazer and tie, and sitting on a hard pew near the back of the packed cathedral tonight, I listened to the same words I've heard nearly every Christmas I can remember: "In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered...".

Instantly, the four strangers beside me became my parents, brother, and sister, dressed in our Sunday best and out way past our bedtimes on the most exciting night of the year. And when we sang the second verse of "Hark! the herald angels sing," I looked over and shared a knowing look with my brother as the author forced us to rhyme "womb" with "come." Though they weren't actually there, I smiled knowing that they were doing exactly the same thing in a different place.

When the service ended around 12:45 I stepped out into the cold night, half expecting four feet of snow on the ground. The light drizzle brought me back to the West Coast, but I knew the Christmas spirit had at last come my way.

So wherever you are, Merry Christmas—it's finally here!

Latest basketball pics Tuesday, December 18, 2007

(left) Lincoln's red uniforms stand out against the green hallways at Jesuit High School as the girls' varsity squad makes the surprisingly long walk from the locker room to the gym before their game Dec. 12. Lincoln won the game 49-39. (below) Just about everybody tries to get their hands on a rebound in the second quarter.

(left) Tresa Palmer celebrates the win over Jesuit.

(left) Nobody can get their hands on a rebound in the second quarter of Lincoln's home game Dec. 14 against Southridge. Despite losing 50-25, the Cardinals felt good about the way they played against the state's top-ranked team. (below) Coach Peeler adjusts the team's strategy at halftime.

(left) Aliyah Green reaches for a loose ball after she tripped over Kiara Tate (left).

I just noticed that, contrary to Weber's First Law of Basketball Photography*, all of these photos are horizontal. I didn't plan it that way. Admittedly, half of them are off-court, but it goes to show that sometimes horizontal images work in this predominantly vertical genre. In the interest of full disclosure, the three action images were shot vertically and cropped to horizontals. Hey, it's hard to anticipate this stuff!

*Gary Weber probably wasn't the first to formulate this law, and he didn't even call it that. But he taught it to me so that's what I'm calling it.

A new foundation Thursday, December 13, 2007

The home at 2165 NW Everett St. stands on pilings Dec. 11 as it awaits a new foundation. The single-family home, built in 1892, is being converted to three separate apartments.

Various construction activities have been going on at this place, just two doors down from my apartment, for a while now. I finally had a minute to investigate the other day. The home has been jacked up about three feet off its original foundations (which don't look very substantial), and forms have been laid for new foundations. You can find construction permit information here.

(right) Curious passers-by take photos of the home.

Lincoln 55, McMinnville 46 Monday, December 10, 2007

Lincoln's Tresa Palmer defends against Bailee Niehus (no. 20) Dec. 7 in the Cardinals' game at McMinnville. The Cardinals won 55-46 to improve their pre-season record to 2-2.

Last Friday I had the opportunity to photograph the Cardinals playing in McMinnville. I'd never been to their gym before, but it was a pleasant surprise. Although the sidelines were as ugly as any other high school gymnasium, the end walls made a wonderful background for photos. And, apart from right near the walls, the light was better than most gyms, too.

Kelsey Goodell (center, in red) stretches for a rebound over McMinnville's Lindsay Wickman.

The Cardinals looked a bit shaky at times, but pulled away in the second half en route to a 55-46 win. Lincoln has a 2-2 record in the pre-season. Their schedule gets considerably tougher this week with games against Jesuit and Southridge.

Lincoln begins league play Dec. 18 at Benson.

PCC/Blazers double-header Saturday, December 08, 2007

The PCC Panthers get their first look at the Rose Garden from the floor as they wait to take the court Dec. 6 for their game against Lower Columbia CC. The game was played at the Rose Garden as part of a double-header. It was followed by the Trail Blazers vs. Miami Heat.

(right) Alex King shoots from inside for Lower Columbia. King scored 11 for the Devils.

(left) Tyler Mendezona lays one up in the first quarter. Mendezona was the second-leading scorer for the Panthers with 15. Shawn West had 18.

Thursday, the Portland Community College Panthers had a special game against the Lower Columbia CC Devils from Longview,
Wash. Though it was a home game for Lower Columbia, it was played at the Rose Garden in Portland. It was billed as a double-header with the Trail Blazers, who squared off against Miami Thursday evening.

PCC played hard, but ended up on the wrong end of a 76-60 final (box score). That dropped their record to 0-6 for the year. Lower Columbia improved to 1-3.

The second half of the double-header (Portland vs. Miami) was better-attended by a ratio of about 1000 to 1. That doesn't include the national television audience on TNT. And the Blazers put on one of their best shows of the season en route to a 112-106 win over the Heat.

(right) Channing Frye gets fouled by Daequon Cook in the paint. Frye made both free throws on the play, and scored 6 overall for the Blazers.

I had never seen a Blazers game before (the only other NBA game I'd ever seen was San Antonio at Vancouver, back in 1996), so I took advantage of the free ticket. I was sitting pretty much on the center line, but way, way, way up ... second-last row, in fact. I couldn't see directly across the arena because the retired number banners were in the way. We were above the scoreboard. Still, I had fun. It's an interesting perspective from up there.

Tinsel flies as time runs out in the Blazers' 112-106 win over Miami.

Spirit of Christmas Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Kevin De Lucio, 3, recoils as his parents, Baudelia Martinez and Luis De Lucio help him feed an alpaca in the petting zoo at Spirit of Christmas celebrations Nov. 24 in downtown Gresham.

The City of Gresham kicked off its holiday season with The Spirit of Christmas celebrations in the historic downtown area a couple of weekends ago. There were various activities during the day, a tree lighting ceremony in the evening and, of course, a visit from Santa Claus.

(right) Crowds watch The Dickens Carolers perform on the main stage. (below) Mayor Shane Bemis and Police Chief Carla Piluso stand on stage as crowds admire the newly-lit tree Nov. 24 on Main Ave. in downtown Gresham.

Calendar Monday, December 03, 2007

Here's a link to a project I did back in August. Visit your nearest Banfield Pet Hospital location and pick up a copy today.

Cover dog Izabelle leaps for a treat.

Basketball season starts again Thursday, November 29, 2007

Basketball season opened this week with a number of games across the state, including Lincoln at Beaverton. I think it was a tougher game for the Cardinals than they expected, but they came away with a 64-55 win.

Looking at my take after the game, the most interesting shots seem to be about shoes ...

OK, here's one action picture for you: Aliyah Green working inside in the third quarter. She and team mate Kelsey Goodell tied with a game high of 17 points each.

OSAA Football playoffs: Grant 27, Central Catholic 24 Sunday, November 25, 2007

Grant kicker Gabe Miller howls on the sideline after making a 33-yard field goal to win the game as time expired, 27-24, over Central Catholic Nov. 23 at PGE Park in Portland. With the win, Grant advances to the 6A semifinals against Sheldon.

Friday night's 6A quarterfinal between Grant and Central Catholic was probably the most amazing comeback I have ever seen in person.

Grant was the favorite going into the match, but after the Generals scored a field goal on their first possession, they were looking more like privates. Nothing was working: not their passing game, nor their running game, nor their defense.

And, as Central Catholic scored their third touchdown to go up 24-3 with just 2:02 left in the third quarter, we photographers were just wishing they'd get it over with so we could get out of the cold. It looked like the Generals were starting to feel that way, too.

(right) A Grant assistant coach gives Paul McCoy a pep talk after Central Catholic made the score 24-3 with 2:02 left in the third quarter. "Keep the faith," he said.

But it the PIL champions weren't finished yet. They put one in the end zone before the quarter was finished, and added two more to tie the score with 3:17 left in the final period.

Then, on the Rams' next possession, Paul McCoy picked off a long pass to put the ball back in blue hands. They marched down to about the 20-yard line as the clock ticked to :05. At that point, it was all up to kicker Gabe Miller.

His shot was true, time expired, and the Generals won their toughest game of the year.

Next week they play Sheldon, who upset undefeated Lake Oswego with a blocked PAT attempt in overtime in another quarterfinal match on Friday.

(left) Grant's Bryan Butcher gives a Central Catholic defender the stiff arm as he returns an interception in the third quarter. (below) Grant's Kenneth Acker strips the ball from Central Catholic's Demetrius Guice in the third quarter. The Generals recovered the ball, but officials ruled that Guice was down before the fumble. The Rams scored a touchdown on the second play after the missed call.

Street Talk 002: Black Friday

I was up at 2:45 Friday morning to shoot a Black Friday assignment for The Outlook. Being an admitted non-shopper, I was curious to know just what kind of person is out there bargain hunting in the darkest depths of night, so I brought microphone and recorder along with my camera when I visited Kohl's and Fred Meyer at NE 223rd and Glisan in Wood Village.

Among the people standing in line at Fred Meyer were three twenty-something sisters, Emily Lamarca, Martha Tracey, and Katie Tracey. These Black Friday veterans told me what the Sock Sale was all about.

(right) Katy Cartisser of Troutdale (right) braces against the wind early Friday morning as she waits for Kohl's to open its doors. Cartisser was one of dozens lined up at the Wood Village store for the 4 a.m. opening of their After-Thanksgiving sale.

Capital needs for PPS Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Further to yesterday's posting about the need for capital improvements in Portland Public Schools, here are a few more photos from Lincoln High School.

About a month ago—just as the fall playoffs were starting—the school district contracted an engineering firm to inspect all of the grandstands in the city. Lincoln's 56-year-old grandstand showed enough deficiencies that the school board decided to close the facility.

You can read more about the story in the Cardinal Times (student newspaper) and in The Oregonian.

More recently, some folks with influence have publicly been musing about moving the school to a new location entirely. That, of course, would solve the problem with the grandstands, but it's going to take a few years ...

Good corporate citizen, or buying ads in public schools? Monday, November 19, 2007

I just looked at the last few entries of this blog, and realized that they're all about high school sports. This time of year—playoffs for fall sports—definitely brings a lot of assignments in that area. I have been shooting some other stuff, honest, but nothing I can post here (yet).

Meanwhile, here's another high school sports photo (right), with a difference.

This fall, the Trailblazers coughed up an estimated $600,000 to re-floor the basketball courts at all 13 high schools in the Portland Public School system. The condition was that they could put two logos on each court. (Read about the program here.)

So are the Blazers being good corporate citizens, or have they found a loophole that allowed them to put advertising in the city's high schools?

On the one hand, it's a badly needed improvement to the schools that wasn't going to happen without the Blazers' support.

On the other hand, the schools are pretty much the last enclave free from the reach of corporate America. And the last thing we need is multinational companies picking on vulnerable youth.

Even without corporate logos on basketball courts, Portland's high schools are hardly free of advertising. Sure, companies aren't allowed to put up displays or run commercials on the scoreboards. But there are pop machines, and binders, t-shirts, cell phones, and whatever else a teen carries around with them these days. And if you look at any wall, bulletin board, or even the floor, what do you see? Posters everywhere advertising the school play, anti-drug campaigns, the services of the school nurse, the basketball team's next game, the homecoming dance, the art class's annual show, school picture day, and just about anything else going on. I don't know about Portland's high schools, but every day we had morning announcements that usually included a plug or two for some activity. The yearbooks have advertising. The school newspaper has advertising. The Oregon State Activities Association (OSAA) won't allow logos on football fields, but has no problem with the court logos. And all of the state championship events they run are well-sponsored by well-recognized companies.

By accepting money for new hardwood, has the PPS sold a part of itself to corporate America? Did the Blazers' buy some kind of influence over Portland's youth? Has PPS opened the door to some slippery path to corporate-sponsored education?

I don't know. What do you think?

State Soccer Championships Sunday, November 18, 2007

The McLoughlin Pioneers lift Christian Corona after he scored against Gladstone in the 33rd minute of the 4A state championship game Nov. 17 in Wilsonville. With the 1-0 win, McLoughlin claimed its third consecutive state title.

It was with more than a little trepidation that I drove down to Wilsonville (about 20 miles south of Portland) yesterday morning to photograph the boys' 4A and 3A/2A/1A state soccer championships. I
had never been to the stadium, about 20 miles south of Portland, and I don't have much experience shooting soccer, but that didn't worry me. It was the rain.

The weather map shown on the Friday night news showed a distinct white swath funneling moisture from around Hawaii directly at Portland. All of the local meteorologists were calling for heavy rain, all day long. The predicted high of around 50 degrees (10C) is hardly cold, but if you've been standing in the wind and rain for five or six hours it could hardly be described as balmy.

So I wrapped myself up in various layers of high-tech synthetic fibers, grabbed my camera's raincoat, and headed down the highway through the pouring rain.

As I drove, I tried to psych myself up for the afternoon, get into the game, so to speak.
Since these were championships for the smaller high schools in the state (the big school finals were in Hillsboro), I wasn't sure what kind of facilities they would have for the media. I had two games to shoot: one at 1 p.m. (the boys' 3A/2A/1A game, Riverside vs. Oregon Episcopal School) and another at 6 (the 4A game, McLoughlin vs. Gladstone). In between was the girls' 4A/3A/2A/1A final, which I wasn't covering, so I thought I could find a nearby coffee shop in which to huddle and download my first game's take.

Riverside's Hugo Morales (center) celebrates with Juan Carlos Ruiz (left) and Juan Antonio Llamas after scoring in the ninth minute of the 3A/2A/1A boys soccer final Nov. 17 in Wilsonville.

And I thought about the possibility of some great mud shots, especially during the first game when it was still daylight. But then I wondered if the field could hold up to three consecutive games in the rain, and if they would even play.

As it turned out, the stadium was great. They had an artificial turf surface, so the mud shots weren't going to happen, but at least I (and my gear) would stay clean. The media room, beside the announcer's booth above the grandstand, was full of half-dead flies, but otherwise dry, convenient, and fully equipped with power and wireless internet connections. And, better yet, I could shoot from up there, affording me first a different angle on the field, and second, a dry place to be.

And that is just how I shot the first 15 minutes of the first game—from up above the grandstand.

Then, miracle of miracles, the rain stopped. I went down to field level to get some shots from down there, before it got wet again. As it turned out, though, the rain didn't come back all afternoon. In fact, the sun broke through for a few minutes.

Riverside assistant coach Francisco Velazquez turns from the game action and hangs his head in the dying seconds of the Pirates' 2-1 loss to Oregon Episcopal School. The win for OES gave the Aardvarks their third consecutive state title.

Game stories and see additional photos for Riverside and McLoughlin on the East Oregonian's website.