Archive for the Mount Hood Category

[#pdx] Photos on Sunday: Mr Plywood and Mount Hood From Downtown Montavilla

Posted in Montavilla, Mount Hood, Photos on Sunday, Portland Photos, Portland Street Scenes, SE PDX Photos on June 9, 2014 by Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis
Not too many photos on this edition of Photos on Sunday, because we had a real day of downtime. And, noting the way I feel right now, it was needed. 
But that’s as may be. Today, The Wife™ needed a bit of board for a little thing she was trying to do to organize the closet, so we do what we usually do in these cases: we went to Mr. Plywood, in downtown Montavilla, at 76th and SE Stark. It’s been in Portland a long, long time … I don’t know what year it was founded in, but I remember the dryly-narrated commercials that Mike Falconer used to do back in the 70s. Since there are fewer and fewer of the good old local retailers that exist around here that did when I was a kid, we put a high importance on patronizing them. We do, after all, want to help them stay in business for as long as they can.

Mr Plywood’s store is hard to miss. 7609 SE Stark Street, that’s on Stark Street, on the north side, filling the whole block between 76th and 77th. You won’t miss it, if only because it’s big sign, made of the mascot, draws your attention.

Inside, it’s your local lumber store … with an accent on the finished plywood sort of thing. Because, name.

Me and The Wife™ love it because the prices are good, the service is knowledgable, and if you stop in as a regular, they treat you like a friend. The Wife™ loves the access to materials. I love the free popcorn.

I’ve gone on in other venues about free popcorn at hardware and building supply stores. To this day, wife says I need some dowling or a cedar board, and my mouth starts watering.

The store’s in two main sections; the upper part, where the cashier is, the aisles with building and wooodworking supplies, and the finished plywood. Rougher stuff is in the other half of the building, which is reached through the large door with these delightful signs over:

They love DIYers and I love those signs. And observing the proceedings in the upper room is the store’s eponymous mascot … “Mr” Plywood.

In all his precise geometrical glory, he beams warmly to all who patronize.

But there something about him … those eyes …

Do you see they way they look? The way they seem to follow you across the room? The way they look not only at you … but into you? (cue theremin at this point. You may not want to, but you have to)

They bore into you in searing honesty … they are the abyss of building materials, and as you look into them, THEY LOOK INTO YOU!!!!! AAAAAAAUGH!!!!!!

Okay, now that I’ve turned a perfectly charming store logo into something you’re afraid will meet you on the other side and chase you after death, let’s move on! Mr Plywood is located in what I think of as ‘downtown Montavilla’. Montavilla is the neighborhood on the east side of Mount Tabor from the rest of Portland, and begins pretty much at the toe of the mountain. It’s main east-west axis is the one-way couplet of SE Stark and Washington Streets, from 76th to 82nd Avenues, where there are a flock of shops, a really nifty coffeehouse called the Bipartisan Cafe, and the best movie theatre on earth … The Academy.

For those who know me well, I’m about to go into another couple of photos where I further if possible, fetishize Mount Hood. I am what I am.

The mountain is visible from downtown Montavilla, and the best view is from the upper end, near SE 76th, in front of the Mr Plywood store. Taking the lessons in creating telephoto-style pictures a couple of missives ago, it quickly occurred to me that this was a chance to juxtapose the distant mountain with the human habiliment in the foreground. I remember seeing similar pictures taken of Mount Rainier from the Seattle suburbs when I was a kid, and they really had impact … impressions of them stayed with me to this day, and are playing across my mind as I write this. Here’s what I came up with, and the result really pleases my aesthetic sense.

The real coup, I think, is the tall facade to The Academy, even though it blocks the view of a shoulder of the mountain, its intrusion into the scene makes it kind of a valuable statement. The above is cropping a zoomed-in photo, and this …

… is at a few levels of digital zoom, which I’m finding, the Canon S-100 handles with deftness.

And it’s Mount Hood, Wy’east, which is its own justification.


[pdx] Moon Over Downtown Portland, or, Sunset Over America’s Most Photogenic City

Posted in downtown PDX, liff in oregon, Made In Oregon, Mount Hood, PDX photos, Photos on Sunday on April 14, 2014 by Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis
I wonder, when Henry Pittock built Portland’s most famous residence, now a museum and grounds held in trust for all the citizens of the city he helped build, I wonder if he knew, somehow, just what a view would eventually obtain from that perch?

As The Wife™ pointed out aptly, it was undoubtedly a gorgeous view back in 1913. It’s built on a geographical prominence that obviously affords a spectacular view naturally. But Portland’s a very very photogenic city. It’s almost as though she grew with the idea that she’d be seen from this viewpoint.

How did he know?

Adorably miniaturized Portland. Built of tilt-shift simulation settings, not of LEGOs.
To see that sort of thing, yo, go here.

I’m a native Oregonian, as I’ve smugly said ad nauseam. Silvertonian by birth, Portlander by choice. At this point, though, I’ve lived in Portland for longer than I’ve lived anywhere else in my life. While I’ve made my peace with a rather unhappy childhood in Silverton, and am in fact a little proud to be able to say I was born there, if I had my life to design over, I’d change my place of birth to Portland.

I love Portland that much. It’s because I respond so intensely to the visual, I suppose. The cityscape here has always stirred me.

We all have our favorite places, and that’s cool too, of course. But our hearts know what home is. For me, there could never be any other place.

[Out122ndWay] Famous Model Photoshopped By Local Photog! ZOMG!

Posted in Mount Hood, Out 122nd Way, Outer East Portlandia, PDX photos on March 8, 2014 by Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis

It’s true! Like many photographers, I have a favorite model, and occasionally I nudge a bit in Photoshop.

Well, it’s Mount Hood again. I don’t know whether the same ethical rules apply, but I find my favorite model voluptuous.

Today I went up 122nd from Sandy because of the beautiful slate-grayness of the clouds and how the bright-white of the mountains stood out against it. I got a photo of the mighty mountain that looked like this:

… and here’s where I actually admit I tell the lie. But it’s not a lie, not really, it’s an interpretation; the way cameras have trouble reflecting what I’m actually seeing. The mountain, since I know how to look at it, appears a certain way in my mind. More like the above, and less like this, which is close to what it actually looked like:

Not actually too bad, Wy’east is always gorgeous no matter the weather, provided it can be seen, of course (you know the old joke? You can use Mount Hood to forecast the weather. If you can’t see it, it’s raining; if you can, it’s going to). But a bit of tone and contrast adjustment in PS and it pops better, nudging the curves function makes it even better.

This next photo is more of the above (again, it’s cropped to give the mountain the scene-composition that it really needs to dominate) …

 … and I showed it to you so I can contrast it with this:

What a difference, yeah? I really went to town in the adjustments … earlier, I realized when I adjusted the curves thus and such, that rose-colored area emerged out of the left hand side of the picture. The clouds in the sky take on a certain nacre-like quality, and the scene, on the whole, acquires the feel, sort of, of a pastel picture.

[pdx_photo] Mt Hood and 122nd Avenue … Cropping Out Some Of The Crops

Posted in liff in Outer East Portland, Mount Hood, Out 122nd Way, Outer East Portlandia, PDX photos on February 28, 2014 by Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis
So, this is where I find myself, coming home after pulling some overtime, and I treat myself to going home via East 122nd Avenue … the 122nd Way in Out 122nd Way.

I adore 122nd. I don’t know, nor do I really care, who thinks that a bustling 4-lane boulevard with a turn-lane, capped at one end by a care-worn Kmart and at the other end by a 7 Eleven and businesses who habla Español with a vengeance would be treasured by someone as some of the most beautiful city-scape in the world would be a crazy or stupid thing. Pfui on the rest of you, Portland, for pretending that everything east of I-205 is unworthy of that peculiar Portlandia-style cool. We rock out here, and this is my heart.

122nd Avenue. Damn right.

Here, on a bright, fresh, clear morning, at the end of February, in the year 2014, is a picture of Mount Hood, that most perfect of volcanic cones, from a 1972 VW Beetle parked just south of the corner of NE 122nd and Shaver and just north of the entry to Rossi Farms (a little green stamp that remains of what was once farms all the way from 82nd Avenue to Gresham):

Just wonderful and poetic. The ice-cold peak, new in an even thicker blanket of snow than last month (twice what it was last month, and just in time too … we’re up to about 90% average snowpack in this basin, and it was starting to look more than a tecch dicey for the summer) wearing the clouds about it like a robe. The high clouds enhance the feeling of a distant chill; and the trees and buildings in the middleground, and the verdant spread of the Rossi property in front, juxtapose all that together and frame it thus-and-so, and you get the idea that the mountain fairly looms above you.

I don’t know where I’ve found my compositional mojo latterly, but I’ve found it; the pictures I’ve been taking of Wy’east latterly have come closer to my subjective impression of size and space than anything ever.

And an improvement, by cropping out more of the crops and eliminating the competition from that tall tree:

Look, I don’t get to participate in a lot of Portland. Despite my best efforts at schooling, all I can get anyone to give me is shift work that keeps me busy when things are happening and doesn’t give me enough scratch to get too involved if I could show up. No matter. It wasn’t the social whirl that attracted me to Portland anyway. It’s the landscape, the precious background to whatever it is I’m doing. I can go out to Division Street, ride with my wife down to the Dutch Bros at SE 136th, and the working class neighborhoods are warm and humming, the strugglers are struggling, the stragglers are straggling, we out here aren’t trying to be anything more than what we are or what we feel … and in the distance, this beautiful mountain peak, watching over all and saying “You’re all OK. I can see that from here”.

That said, if someone could see to it that I were a bit more well payed, I wouldn’t fight it. Daddy does need a new pair of shoes betimes. 

[pdx] A Portland Panorama from the Pittock Mansion

Posted in Iconic Portland, Mount Hood, PDX photos on February 7, 2014 by Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis

A more panoramic view than the one in this post, but, judging by the way I’ve managed to obscure Big Pink, it was taken from a slightly (or maybe vastly) different POV on the Pittock Mansion lawn. Well, practice, practice …

Happy with the way this one turned out. Not 100% satisfied though. No matter, it’s good. We’ll certainly be back to the Pittock grounds for another try when the weather turns better, whenever that may be.

[pdx] On A Clear Day You Can See Mount Hood, or, Portland From the Pittock Mansion Before The Snow

Posted in Iconic Portland, Mount Hood, PDX photos, portlandia on February 6, 2014 by Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis

Tomorrow at this time we expect to be engulfed by snow drifts measuring as much as three or four inches. Some say it’s global warming, others say that it’s the opening salvo softening us up for the kaiju invasion from the Fukushima event. Either way, this is what Portland looked like before the white hammer fell:

This is a wonderful angle and thanks to the free week at the Pittock Mansion, a photo I finally got round to taking.

Got more of this coming in entries to come; the Pittock is one place that has brought Portland history alive like no other for me. Learning something truly new is a good thing, and the wonderful Pittock makes it all vibrant and real.

See you all on the other side of the snowstorm.

[pdx_photo] Workaday Mt Hood At Sunrise

Posted in Mount Hood, Outer East Portlandia, PDX photos on January 24, 2014 by Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis

There is a stretch of NE Killingsworth Street I use daily, near I-205.

It gives fine views and usual memorable sunrises. Thus.

My day begins after most of yours ends; conversely, mine ends when most of yours starts.

You look upon the morning commute with dread. Me, not so much. And I can take a moment out to look, really look.

Of course, some feel Oregonian is just a granfalloon. Whatever, it’s an excellent thing to be.