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Thread: Best Locations to Shoot the Skyline of Portland, Oregon?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Oct 1999
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    Pendleton, Oregon
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    30

    Best Locations to Shoot the Skyline of Portland, Oregon?

    I'll be travelling to Portland, Oregon next week (8/23). I'm interested in shooting the Portland skyline (e.g. reflections at night, sunrise, sunset, etc.). I live in Pendleton, Oregon so I'm not very familiar with the layout of Portland so detailed instructions about excellent photographic locations would be greatly appreciated. I'll be shooting 4x5 and some medium format. Are there any great sunset or sunrise locations? Where's the best location for skyline reflections?

    Thanks in advance,

    Wade

  2. #2
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    Dec 1999
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    Best Locations to Shoot the Skyline of Portland, Oregon?

    There are good views from Rocky Point on the east side of Portland. If you drive east on Freemont, you can sort of figure how to get up to Rocky Pt, or you can also ask someone in the area. (Do you have a Portland map?)

    You can find other views from the Rose Gardens in Washington Park, although some of these "good" views can be obscured by items in the way.

    The Japanese Gardens nearby has an excellent view of Mt. Hood. This requires quite a long lens. Might be better for 35mm than LF. The Japanese Gardens are themselves very photogenic. Lots of good photographs, and they're tolerant of photographers with tripods. But they'll ask you not to publish or use the images professionally.

    There are also pedestrian sidewalks across the bridges which give good views of the Portland skyline. These are best in the morning, where the sun is behind you. Especially earlier in the morning when you can catch the sunrise. Stay visible on top of the bridge.

    There's a path that runs beside the Willamette on the east side that can give you a variety of skyline views of the city. I wouldn't be on these paths until later, when there are other people around.

    If Kerry's watching, you will probably get additional suggestions.

  3. #3

    Best Locations to Shoot the Skyline of Portland, Oregon?

    It's been a lot of years since I left Portland (messy divorce), but if you've got a longer lens (I used a 70-210mm on 35mm, back before I got hooked on the larger stuff), there is an impressive view of Mt. Hood at sunrise if the weather is clear from the Park & Ride on 99W, opposite Taylor's Ferry Road.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
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    133

    Best Locations to Shoot the Skyline of Portland, Oregon?

    Neil, it's actually called Rocky Butte, but you won't get any skyline reflections from there, and the downtown skyline is actually quite far from Rocky Butte.

    Wade, your best bet for the downtown skyline is the bike path on the east side of the Willamette River. Even then you won't get the greatest reflections, because the surface of the Willamette is a few dozen feet below street level. But there is still a very nice view of downtown from there. There are also some views of downtown from up in Washington Park, the location of the Japanese Gardens Neil mentioned. Shoot me an email if you want any more specifics, and I'll be glad to try to help.

    Mike

  5. #5

    Best Locations to Shoot the Skyline of Portland, Oregon?

    Portland has a skyline? If it did, how would anyone know through the rain?

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Oct 1999
    Location
    Pendleton, Oregon
    Posts
    30

    Best Locations to Shoot the Skyline of Portland, Oregon?

    James,

    You have an excellent point. It's the reason I live east of the Cascades. We only get about 14" of rain a year which mostly occurs in the Winter.

    Thanks for all the excellent suggestions. Unfortunately, it appears the weather is going to be very non-cooperative.

    Wade

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
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    133

    Best Locations to Shoot the Skyline of Portland, Oregon?

    It's unfortunate that the rain doesn't prevent people from moving here in droves. This weekend was the first rain we've had in forever, and it felt good.

  8. #8
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    Best Locations to Shoot the Skyline of Portland, Oregon?

    I was thinking more in terms of the view of Mt. Hood from Rocky Butte. One would need quite a long focus lens, though. It's been awhile since I've been there.

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