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Mother Mother & Sam Roberts Saturday, March 28, 2009

I had the opportunity to interview Mother Mother's Ryan Guldemond (below, left) last night before their show at Berbati's Pan in Portland, and then photographed the show. They were awesome. The interview and slide show will be up on Northwest CanCon in the near future.

Also shot a bit of Sam Roberts' excellent performance (below, right).

Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge Monday, March 23, 2009

On Sunday afternoon, Perrie and I braved the rain to check out Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, in Washington about 25 miles north of downtown Portland.

We were fortunate that it stayed basically dry for our whole visit, even verging on sunshine at one point, although we did get caught in a brief downpour on the way back to the car.

The refuge is a 5,150-acre preserve in a swampy stretch of land in the floodplain of the Columbia River. We visited the "Carty unit" because it is the only one with a year-round trail. (The "River-S unit" has a driving loop and seasonal trail; the other three units are not open to the public.)

Birds and other wildlife abound, particularly during migration seasons. However, neither my lens nor my patience were long enough to get any particularly good wildlife shots, so you'll have to trust my description.

In the refuge we saw bald eagles, owls, several different types of du
cks, a great blue heron and various sparrows and thrushes, as well as the standard robins, scrub jays (below right), crows, and hundreds of Canada geese (right).

The highlight, though, were the Trumpeter Swans. Apart from a cluster in the Yellowstone area, this is about as far south as these huge birds (up to 72" from tip to tail) venture. They summer in Alaska and the Yukon, and their winter range is mostly along the coast of British Columbia. We found a flock of a couple dozen of the big white birds idling in a shallow pond just north of the refuge boundary. They seemed very shy, staying mostly out of sight behind a hummock, and never venturing within a couple hundred yards of our position.

The trail is nominally a two-mile loop, but there are numerous side-trails and bypasses. I think we walked all of them on Sunday afternoon. It's generally well-marked.

There are numerous plaques along the way identifying trees and plants (including Poison Oak), but it was often hard to figure out which piece of vegetation the labels refered to. We didn't touch any of them.

The only bad thing about the refuge, from a people-perspective at least, is that the trail (which barely enters the park at all) is almost right next to the main rail line between Seattle and Portland. In our brief visit, the pleasant stillness of the forest was routinely interrupted by the heavy rumble of freight and passenger trains. Not much you can do about that, I suppose, but it was rather a distraction. Still, I look forward to a return visit in the summer when the weather is nicer.

More on the Mitchelldyer Lighting Workshop Friday, March 20, 2009

Craig set up a gallery for the Workshop participants to share their work. Here's a little slide show:

Half a dozen of those are mine. And in case you were left wondering in the previous post, Craig is the awesomest photographer in Portland. Well, maybe the second-awesomest. ;)

Mitchelldyer Lighting Workshop Thursday, March 19, 2009

Portland photographer Craig Mitchelldyer (center) explains lighting techniques to other local photographers in a session on the East Bank Esplanade.

When I heard that Craig Mitchelldyer was offering a free lighting workshop for local photographers, I jumped all over it, emailing him immediately to have my name added to the list. Good thing, as it turns out—the response was overwhelming, and he capped the list less than 12 hours later.

Craig, who shoots everything from sports to weddings to corporate work, is one of the young masters of photography here in Portland. He was one of the first pros I met when I moved here three years ago, and I've even covered a couple of small gigs for him when he ran into unexpected conflicts.

[right] About 50 photographers gather on the East Bank Esplanade Mar. 18 to practice lighting techniques in a workshop organized by Craig Mitchelldyer.

With about 50 photographers participating, the event was pretty crazy. We started at Eric Cable's studio in SE Portland, and it was worth the price of admission just to see that place. To the untrained eye it might look pretty bare-bones, but he has a lot of space, a lot of flexibility in his lighting and backgrounds, and some really cool equipment.

After a short demonstration there, we moved over to the East Bank Esplanade, under the Hawthorne Bridge, to continue. There, Craig demonstrated how to use similar lighting techniques without the aid of the studio space. Then, with the aid of Craig's large array of gear, supplemented by equipment from Pro Photo Supply, the crowd was free to shoot the two models he had proffered for the event.

Rather than fight the crowd for face time with the models, I suckered David Barss into posing for me in a slightly different location. With the aid of someone's speedlight-on-monopod contraption, we had all the light we needed.

You can read Craig's report on the event—including one of my photos—here.

OSAA state wrestling championships Thursday, March 12, 2009

Time for me to play a bit of catch-up. These images are from the title bouts at the state wrestling tournament Feb. 28 at Memorial Coliseum.

[right] Rosario Resendez-Rios (top) turns Colby Byers of Wallowa in the class 2A/1A, 112-pound final. After finishing second the past two years, the senior from Irrigon High School became a state champion with a 10-8 decision. (Additional photos of Colby Byers in action are available here.)

[below] Crater's Brock Gutches (right) topples Hermiston's Cody Britt in the class 5A, 152-pound final. Gutches pinned his opponent at 2:15 to capture his second state title.

[below] Bryce McMahon of Hermiston (top) tries in vain to turn Eric Luna Feb. 28 at the state wrestling tournament in Portland. McMahon lost to the Cleveland senior 6-0 in the 140-pound title bout. For Luna, it was his third state title in as many years.

[below] If you're in the front row of a group shot, and there are 20 cameras pointed at you, for God's sake, please keep your fingers out of your nose.

Architectural photography for Portland and beyond Tuesday, March 10, 2009

It took about two months longer than I'd hoped, but my new website is now live.

Homestead Images provides photographic services for architects, engineers, builders and developers across the United States and Canada. We are also available to travel elsewhere as necessary.

Pictured at left and below: Sum-Thing New Condominiums, in SE Portland. Designed by Sum Design Studio.

Oregon City back on top

The Pioneers celebrate after Oregon City beats South Eugene 46-37 in the 6A girls basketball final Mar. 7 at the University of Portland.

Oregon City claimed its record 11th state basketball championship Mar. 7 with a 46-37 win over South Eugene. The Pioneers, whose titles are spread over just 18 years, had been kept off the top step of the podium since 2004.

[right] South Eugene junior Sasha Teninty steals the ball from Oregon City's Melair Holterhoff in the first quarter.

After beating four-time defending champions Southridge Feb. 27 in the second round of the playoffs, Oregon City was nearly ousted by Central Catholic in the semifinals, holding on to win in triple overtime.

In the final, the Pioneers met previously-unbeaten South Eugene. The game was close throughout, and tied at the end of the third quarter. Oregon City opened up a bit of space with about two minutes left, though, and made their free throws as the Axemen were forced to foul.

[left] Mackenzie Kerins of South Eugene shoots a jumper over Oregon City's Ashley Reed.

Free throws were the difference in the game. Oregon City's aim was true on their first 21 attempts of the game. South Eugene shot well from the floor, but was only 9-18 at the line.

[below left] Oregon City sophomore Ashleigh Anderson fights for control of a rebound with South Eugene's Ellen Cook. [below right] Apparently the game was a bit tiring for at least one fan.

Willamette beats North Eugene for second title in three years

Just catching up with some basketball photos from last weekend's big-school girls tournament at the Chiles Center.

In the 5A game, Willamette beat North Eugene 49-33. It was the fourth game of the year between the cross-town rivals, all of which ended with the Wolverines on top.

If the past three years are any indication, whoever wins the semifinal match between Willamette and Jefferson will go on to take the state title. In 2007 the Wolverines beat the Demos 64-45 en route to their first championship. Last year Jefferson ended their season in the semifinal round. This year nobody could stop the Wolverines, who finished with a perfect 27-0 record.

[left] Willamette's Sunny Greinacher grabs a rebound in the second quarter of the Wolverines' 49-33 win over North Eugene in the girls 5A basketball finals Mar. 7 at the University of Portland. The 6-4 German exchange student led all players with 24 points and 12 rebounds in the game, and was a unanimous selection for the first all-tournament team.

[right] Alyxe Bruns of Willamette fights off the half-court trap of Kelsie Knight (left) and Yvonne Couts. [below left] A.J. Smith (no. 5), Alyxe Bruns, Alyssa Garner, Katie Collins and Tori Mahaffie celebrate as time runs out in the Wolverine's 49-33 win over North Eugene. [bottom right] Willamette senior Alyxe Bruns is all smiles as she brings the first place trophy back to her team.

OSAA State Basketball Tournament (girls) Thursday, March 05, 2009

A quick post with some photos from this week's action at the 6A and 5A girls state basketball tournament at the University of Portland (left).

The tournament started Wednesday with the 6A quarterfinals. The 5A quarterfinals started today. Up-to-date scores and stats are on the OSAA website. More photos to come ...

[left] South Eugene players storm the court after Ellen Cook sank a three-point buzzer-beater to tie the game at 50. South Eugene beat Jesuit 59-53 in overtime. [below, right] Sasha Teninty (left) hugs Elizabeth Severson after the Axemen won in overtime.

[above, left] Shayla Ball of Hillsboro (right) stretches for a loose ball around Ashland's Allison Gida Mar. 5 in the Spartans' 58-46 loss
in the quarterfinals of the class 5A state basketball tournament in Portland.

[right] Allison Gida of Ashland (right) drives in on Hillsboro's Shayla Ball in the third quarter. [left] Brenna Heater (left) and Allison Gida celebrate Mar. 5 after Ashland comes from behind to beat Hillsboro. [below] Brenna Heater shoots from inside the paint. The senior, who scored 14 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, was named player of the game for the Grizzlies.