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McMenamins Edgefield Tuesday, July 31, 2007

A guest at McMenamins Edgefield appears to be a ghostly blur in this long exposure photograph of the Troutdale winery.

The final assignment I did for Portrait 2007 was the most challenging, and not just because I wanted to do it at dusk and they neede
d the photos first thing the next morning.

No, the challenge here was that I had to make a portrait of a ghost. Or at least something like that.

Back in 1990, the McMenamins brothers bought the Edgefield property in Troutdale. Built in 1911, it began as the Multnomah County Poor Farm, home to tuberculosis patients and inmates, as well as the area's poor.

In 1964 it was converted into a nursing home, but that closed in 1982. Between that time and the McMenamins purchase, the property was abandoned, though numerous squatters resided there.

McMenamins converted the facility into a hotel, winery, and bar. But a number of the hotel's guests have experienced supernatural phenomena. Which brings us back to my atte
mpt to photograph ghosts.

The main photo that the Outlook wanted was a "haunted house" image of the front. That's fairly straightforward—use a wide angle lens and look up at it. Make the photo at dusk, for that dark and gloomy feeling. However, by the time dusk comes around, all of the haunted rooms are booked for the night, so getting a photo of them was out of the question.

Still, night manager Sam Fortner was kind enough to show me around the property and let me take pictures of some of the doors and hallways (which are decorated completely with commissioned art, some of which references the reported specters). And better yet, he was cool enough to play along for the photo below. I don't think it's quite like the ghostly apparitions that haunt Edgefield, and it only warranted a thumbnail in the publication, but I think it's my favourite image from the assignment. It definitely makes a nice guy look pretty creepy!

Disney-mania Monday, July 30, 2007

Disneyana buff Ric Catron poses beside a model of the Congo Queen at his home in Gresham. The boat is part of the Jungle Cruise at Disneyland, his favorite attraction at the theme park.

Ric is a big Disney fan. Such a big fan, in fact, that he's a member of the National Fantasy Fan Club. And not just a member, he's the President! Or at least, the co-president of the Cascade Chapter.

The club is "committed to preserving and sharing the rich legacy of Walt Disney." To be clear, that is Disney the man, not the company.

You can read more about Catron and his fascination with Disneyana in Portrait 2007, recently published by The Outlook and the Sandy Post.

(left) Even Ric Catron's bathroom is decorated with Disney memorabilia.

MUFON in Oregon

Tom Bowden, Oregon State Director for Mutual UFO Network (MUFON), keeps his eyes to the sky from his home in Gresham.

Every year The Outlook and Sandy Post publish a supplement called "Portrait," spotlighting some of the interesting people in their coverage area. This year they used a supermarket tabloid theme and subtitled it "AMAZING!! ... But True Tales!!"

I did photos for three of the stories in the magazine, including this portrait of Tom Bowden, the State Director for the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON).

MUFON is an international organization that investigates reports of UFOs.

Bowden has been studying the phenomenon for decades, and has read extensively on the subject. Though Bowden has never personally seen an extraplanetary visitor, he has had a glimpse of something that was otherwise unexplained. But that event, he says, was definitely not noteworthy.

Nevertheless, his conviction in their existence is unwaivering. "Belief," he says, "is like religion. It's a leap of faith. For me it's beyond belief. I know intelligently controlled UFOs are real."

Bowden's library of UFO literature includes J. Allen Hynek's "The UFO Experience, a Scientific Inquiry" and "UFO-FBI Connection" by Bruce Maccabee.

For more on Bowden and MUFON, and other interesting people in East County, pick up a copy of Portrait. I'll blog about some of the other images in separate postings.

Homestead Images website update Saturday, July 28, 2007

Portland's Street of Dreams show opened today in Oregon City. You can see Homestead Images albums documenting the construction of the West One Homes (#2), Lakeside Custom Homes (#4), and KDC Construction, LLC (#6) homes on display in the respective domiciles, along with some of our other products.

But for those of you too far away to get to the show, you can now see two of the three on our website, here and here. (Of course, the web versions are much smaller than the actual 12"x12" albums.) Eventually I will get the third documentary up as well, and update the slide show too.

Messin' around Friday, July 27, 2007

A bottle of Phillips Oatmeal Stout purchased on my recent trip to Victoria. The label describes it as "stick to your ribs breakfast nutrition. The beer that's rich, smooth and filling, just like Mom used to make!"

A couple of weeks ago, I ended up shooting a whole bunch of portraits on short notice, which was fun. I'll post some of those once they have been published. But in the process I decided I'm sick of shooting portraits with hard strobe light, and invested in a couple of 24" x 32" soft boxes, along with all the other accoutrement
that I need to use them with my Speedlights—speed rings, clamps, etc. Thankfully I already had stands that will work. More than half the cost, though, was a set of three PocketWizards. Oh, and I picked up a gold/white reflector at the same time.

All of that stuff arrived about a week ago, but I've been so busy that I didn't get any farther than making sure everything was in the box.

Today I finally got a chance to play with everything, at least enough to know that everything works. I still have to buy another $90 cable if I want to use the PocketWizards to trigger a remote camera though. It never stops. Next, it will be magic arms and super clamps, and safety cables so I don't drop a camera on some up-and-coming Michael Jordan. Then some bigger strobes, and some long glass. By that time, my cameras will probably be obsolete ...

After shooting the beer for a while I got bored of that, and put myself in front of the lens. Here I am, hard at work. Crooked horizon? what? Looks fine to me ... maybe you'd better check your head.

Additional photos Thursday, July 26, 2007

Sunlight filters through the mossy trees in Potlatch State Park near Hoodsport, Wash.

I added a couple of Stacey's photos to the trip map. I really like this one. Check "Potlatch State Park" and "On the road" here.

BC Trip, July 2007 -- map & photos posted Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Lions Gate Bridge, Vancouver

I just finished (?) the map of our recent BC trip. Click on the symbols to see photos or read about things that happened at those points.

If you want to follow the trip chronologically, go clockwise. You might have to zoom in on some areas to be able to click on all the points, or you can just click on the links in the pane to the left of the map.

To see the map of the trip, complete with stories and photos, click here.

Coho ferry

Passengers peer over the bow of the M.V. Coho July 20 en route from Port Angeles, Wash., to Victoria, British Columbia. The 5,135-ton vessel can carry up to 110 vehicles across the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

I'm working on a map with the full story and additional photos ... coming soon to a blog near you.

Port Townsend Tuesday, July 24, 2007

A gull flies over the water July 20 in Port Townsend, Wash.

Stacey and I made a quick trip up to British Columbia last weekend. We had a good time, and I took a bunch of photos. I'll post some of them, and put together a route map, over the next few days as I have time. Until then, enjoy this image looking over the waterfront at the backside of downtown Port Townsend, Wash.

The weather there—65 degrees (18C), grey and drizzly—was about as nice as it was all weekend.

Troutdale Bite & Bluegrass Festival Sunday, July 22, 2007

Rick Weitzel, Kathleen Tyau, and Paul Drews jam upstairs at the Troutdale General Store July 14 during the Bite & Bluegrass Festival.

I've been pretty busy the last couple of weeks, as regular readers might have deduced from the irregularity of my postings. Because I've been so busy, though, I do have a bit of a backlog of photos to blog about. I'm still pretty busy this week, but I'll try to get caught back up as we move along.

Meanwhile, here is something from the second annual Bite & Bluegrass Festival held in Troutdale last weekend. You can see another one of my images in the weekend edition of The Outlook. I think they used a few in the print edition, so check it out if you are in the Gresham area.

Street of Dreams opens next week Thursday, July 19, 2007

The builders at Portland's 2007 Street of Dreams are busy putting the final touches on their homes as the show gets ready to open next week.

Six builders will be displaying homes in this year's show off Redland Rd. in Oregon City.

Industry night is Wednesday, July 25, followed by the gala reception Thursday night. The homes will be judged on Friday, and the show opens to the public on Saturday, July 28.

The show runs through August 26.

Legion AAA baseball Wednesday, July 18, 2007

East County's Kyle Paul watches the ball fly off his bat July 10 as he hits a solo home run in the sixth inning to cap the Knights' 11-7 win over Oregon City. Paul went 1-2 and scored three runs.

You can read more about East County's quest for a third straight district championship in this week's Sandy Post.

LVM 23 Premier Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Dozens of kayakers gather July 14 at the Horse & Hound Pub in Hood River, Ore., for the premier of Lunch Video Magazine issue 23. The episode featured an extended segment shot by local paddler and videographer Ryan Scott. A separate 20-minute clip of his personal footage was also shown.

[See also this previous post.]

Gresham Art Walk Saturday, July 14, 2007

Judy Han plants shoe poles in downtown Gresham July 9 to promote the sixth annual Gresham Art Walk. The all-local show, which features glass artist Teri Neville, is July 21.

It started back in 2002 with Judy Han and Julz Spackman tying shoes to trees and poles in downtown Gresham with signs that said "if you like me, take me, but come to the Gresham Art Walk," a new art show initiated by Han.

Virtually all of the shoes disappeared. So, says Spackman, Rob Meeker of Central Cafe suggested they nail the shoes to poles. The next year, they did just that. Since then, the "shoe poles" have become an annual tradition in downtown Gresham.

July 9, Judy and Julz were at it again, distributing dozens of poles to business owners around the Historic Downtown area. You can read more about the upcoming Art Walk on their website, or in the current edition of The Outlook.

(above) Judy Han gives a shoe pole to Irmy Powell of The Feathered Nest on Main Ave.

[Ed's note: as I made the picture of Judy and Irmy, I was concentrating on the interaction between the two ladies in the brief moment they spoke. Later, as I edited the pictures, I read the prominent sign in the window: "Sorry, we do not have a public restroom." In my submission to the paper I cropped it out because it stuck out so much, but it kind of messed up the balance of the image. What do you think?]

State Games of Oregon Friday, July 13, 2007

Emma Duffy of Columbia-Willamette YMCA Swim Team races in the 13-14 year-old girls 100 meter breaststroke Saturday in the State Games of Oregon. Duffy finished fifth in the event.

Organized by the Oregon Amateur Sports Foundation (OASF), the State Games of Oregon are held annually at various venues in the Portland area on various dates in July. Just about any Olympic sport you can imagine—from archery to water polo—is included. (Those more suited to snow and ice are part of the Winter Games of Oregon, held in March.)

Participants are grouped in numerous age brackets to ensure a level playing field for everyone from youth and seniors. And there are no qualifying events—you just have to sign up and pay the entry fee—so everyone can participate.

Competitors in the 3000 meter walk burst off the start line July 7 at the State Games of Oregon at Mt. Hood Community College. Competing in the 60+ class, Norman Frable (right) of St. George, Utah, finished first with a time of 15:25.05.

Last Saturday I covered the track & field and swimming events at Mt. Hood Community College for The Outlook. You can see more photos in the July 11 edition of the paper.

U.S. Open Footbag Championships Saturday, July 07, 2007

Pat Keehan (right) watches as P.T. Lovern puts the bag over the net July 7 at the 2007 U.S. Open Footbag Championships in Portland, Ore. Lovern and Jack Harris, representing Oakland's Chaos Footbag Club, defeated Keehan and David Bernard 2 games to 0. Keehan also plays for Chaos, Bernard is from Portland.

It is pretty routine for visitors to Pioneer Courthouse Square to see a group of people kicking around a little beanbag. So routine, that most people hardly take notice.

Sunday, they will be hard to ignore. Some of the best footbaggers in the country will be on stage in downtown Portland, showing off their moves at the U.S. Open Footbag Championships.

Footbag—often known by the brand name "Hacky Sack"—has long roots in Portland. In fact, it was invented in Oregon City in 1972. Today it is a global sport, with strong followings in Europe and Australia, as well as North America.

Competitive footbag includes two distinct sports: net and freestyle. The net event is similar
to volleyball, where players try to score points on the other team. Freestyle is the artistic side of the sport, where players try to show off their tricks with the sack in a routine choreographed to music. You can read more about the different styles here.

The annual U.S. Open is organized by Portland's Sole Purpose Footbag Club. This year's event is being held at two venues: Pioneer Courthouse Square (freestyle events), and Willamette Park (net events).

David Bernard III of Portland attacks July 7 in his doubles match against P.T. Lovern (left) and Jack Harris of Chaos Footbag Club.

Canada Day in Portland Sunday, July 01, 2007

Canadian expatriots and American friends celebrate Canada's 140th birthday Sunday in Beaverton at a party organized by the Canada-America Society of Oregon.

Dozens of Canadians living in the Portland area gathered at the Red Tail golf course in Beaverton Sunday to celebrate Canada Day. It was the first event organized by the newly-formed Canada-America Society of Oregon (CASO).

Eighty-eight people played golf, ate burgers and hot dogs, and drank Canad
ian beer and wine. There was a hockey net to shoot at, and a cardboard Mountie who patiently posed with anyone who wanted a photo. The Winter Hawks' mascot, Tom-A-Hawk, was also on hand.

Portland Winter Hawks' mascot Tom-A-Hawk juggles for children on Canada Day.

Initiated by Honorary Consul Jim Baumgartner, CASO is modeled on the Canada-America Society in Seattle. That organization is "devoted to strengthening economic and cultural ties between Canada and the United States," and "serves as a platform for Canadian expatriates and Americans to interface within Seattle's community."