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08-01-2009, 12:33 AM   #391
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Your Wish Is My Command...

In the best tourist tradition, the first thing the Sightseer did on arrival was to take a quick round of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. Best known for its sheer rock cliffs and many water falls, the entrance to "The Gorge" is less than 30 minutes from my house.

The Columbia River Gorge from the top of Cape Horn

Pentax SV, Tamron Adaptall-2 28/2.5, Ektar 100

Cape Horn is a prominent series of cliffs that form the north side of the entrance to the Columbia Gorge heading east.


Beacon Rock from Skamania Landing

Pentax SV, Tamron Adaptall-2 28/2.5, Ektar 100

A trail provides hikers access to the top of this basalt monolith. Popular with rock climbers as well, Beacon Rock is one of the most prominent landmarks of the lower Columbia Gorge.


Skamania Landing

Pentax SV, Tamron Adaptall-2 28/2.5, Ektar 100

This small public moorage is situated in a scenic bay of the river in the shadow of Beacon Rock on the Washington side.

Skamania Landing, II

Pentax SV, Tamron Adaptall-2 28/2.5, Ektar 100


Horsetail Falls

Pentax SV, Tamron Adaptall-2 28/2.5, Ektar 100

One of the prettier waterfalls visible from the Old Columbia River Highway.


Multnomah Falls

Pentax SV, Tamron Adaptall-2 28/2.5, Ektar 100

One of the most visited attractions in Oregon, two-tiered Multnomah Falls never fails to impress!

More tomorrow!

Steve


Last edited by stevebrot; 08-01-2009 at 06:56 AM.
08-01-2009, 02:35 PM   #392
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More from Portland/Vancouver...

Over the next several days, the Sightseeing Screwmount took a trip into the city, spent some time in a suburban refuge, and witnessed a spectacular sunset from the top of Larch Mountain.

Portlandia

Pentax SV, Vivitar 135/2.8, Ektar 100

This large bronze statue above the entrance to Portland's City Hall serves as one of Portland's more impressive symbols.


Its a Portland Thing...Pine State Biscuits

Pentax SV, Super-Takumar 55/1.8, Ektar 100

Standing in line for the famed biscuit breakfast at Pine State Biscuits on Belmont Street in Portland. This is take-out at its best!

Salmon Creek Bottomlands, Vancouver USA


Pentax SV, Super-Takumar 55/1.8, Ektar 100

One of my favorite spots. Not too far downstream from here Salmon Creek flows into Vancouver Lake and from there into Lake River and into the Columbia. Although surrounded on all sides by housing and businesses, this wetland has escaped development and provides sanctuary to all sorts of wild things.


A Little Urban Wilderness: Salmon Creek Bottomlands

Pentax SV, Tamron Adaptall-2 28/2.5, Ektar 100

As mentioned above, this area of ponds, streams, and wetlands shelters a wide variety of wildlife as well as providing a great place to run, bicycle, or walk.


Mt. Hood From the Top of Larch Mountain

Pentax SV, Super-Takumar 55/1.8, Ektar 100

The top of Larch Mountain offers the classic Mt. Hood view. The Sightseer arrived just a few minutes before sunset to take in the developing colors.


Mt. Adams and Mt. Rainier From the Summit of Larch Mountain

Pentax SV, Super-Takumar 55/1.8, Ektar 100

Also visible from the top of Larch mountain are several other Cascade Range Volcanoes. Mt. Rainier (left) is almost 100 miles distant with the Columbia River Gorge being the deep valley in the foreground. To get a sense of scale, the outcrop on the right flank of Rainier (Little Tahoma Peak) is approximately the same height and size as Mt. Hood.


Sunset From the Summit of Larch Mountain

Pentax SV, Super-Takumar 55/1.8, Ektar 100

What a beautiful scene! I had my digital with me, but it is the shots from the Sightseer that take the prize.


Mt. Hood From Summit of Larch Mountain II

Pentax SV, Vivitar 135/2.8, Ektar 100

I had my Vivitar 135/2.8 with me and decided to do the postcard shot with a little longer lens.


Lower Columbia River From the Summit of Larch Mountain

Pentax SV, Vivitar 135/2.8, Ektar 100

The sun having set, it was possible to point the Vivitar at the swiftly darkening valley. From Larch Mountain, the view to the west extends to the mountains of the Oregon Coast Range and, in this picture, to the banks of fog rolling in from the Pacific Ocean.

Mt. Hood From Summit of Larch Mountain III

Pentax SV, Vivitar 135/2.8, Ektar 100

I guess the Sightseer really liked this view of the mountain...


Mt. Adams

Pentax SV, Vivitar 135/2.8, Ektar 100

I guess I should have mentioned that Larch Mountain is a prominent high point near the entrance to the Columbia River Gorge. From the summit there are impressive view of the Lower Columbia River towards Portland as well as a vista that includes Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Rainier, Mt. Adams, Mt. Hood, and Mt. Jefferson. Both Mt. Adams and Mt. Hood figure prominently in native legend. The most famous being the story of the "Bridge of the Gods". Apparently both Mt. Adams (Pahto in the native tongue) and Mt. Hood (Wy'east) fell in love with the beautiful Mt. St. Helens (Loowit) (this was pre-eruption when St. Helens was still pretty). The two argued violently and did a lot of damage to the Columbia River valley that stood between them. One of the casualties was the great stone bridge over the river which was totally destroyed. Should you doubt the story, you can check it out. The northern footings of the bridge are visible to this day on a mountain north of the town of Cascade Locks. You can clearly see where the bridge was anchored and where the debris fell. (Sorry no picture, but you can look it up in the Wikipedia.)

Edit: I did a little research and apparently there are geologists that believe there is evidence (both physical and historic) of an actual natural bridge spanning the Columbia at the "Bridge of the Gods" site that collapsed within the last 300 years. If true, it really would have been somethun'...



Vista House Afterglow

Pentax SV, Super-Takumar 55/1.8, Ektar 100

The view from the Vista House on the Old Columbia River Highway is one of the classic Portland/Vancouver experiences. The Sightseer had to muscle its way through embracing couples to get this short time exposure, but it was worth the effort.

Well, so much for installment #2. There will be one final installment from the Portland/Vancouver leg of the journey tomorrow. We will get to see what happens when the Sightseer gets "Wet & Wild"!

Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 08-01-2009 at 08:18 PM.
08-01-2009, 04:58 PM   #393
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It is starting to look like a SightSeer thread now! Monochrome, your crew has just been handed a tall order to fill.
08-01-2009, 05:12 PM   #394
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Steve,

Great shots with the Sightseer and nice to see Ektar looking so good; I've been meaning to shoot a roll of it through my ME Super and haven't got around to it yet. These are certainly sufficient inspiration to do so. I've been eagerly following this thread waiting for just these kinds of "local" shots. Bravo!

Best,
Kevin

P. S. Looking forward to tomorrow's installment

08-01-2009, 07:25 PM   #395
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QuoteOriginally posted by KJon Quote
Steve,

Great shots with the Sightseer and nice to see Ektar looking so good; I've been meaning to shoot a roll of it through my ME Super and haven't got around to it yet. These are certainly sufficient inspiration to do so. I've been eagerly following this thread waiting for just these kinds of "local" shots. Bravo!

Best,
Kevin

P. S. Looking forward to tomorrow's installment
Thank you KJon. It was fun to sample the "local flavor", though I probably could have done a better job. The day I was downtown and shot "Portlandia", there was a sand castle competition in a central square that I had to skip due to a scheduling conflict. (Yes, sand in the city...) It would have made for some interesting street photography. I also managed to miss the Saturday Market (funky artsy handcraft stuff) and any of the neighborhood farmer's markets. Then there was the options of a side-trip to Timberline Lodge at Mt. Hood, sternwheeler cruise on the Columbia, the ocean...to much with too little time.

The Ektar 100 is a nice film, though if I were to do it over with the SV, I would probably opt for a film with a little faster ISO and that is a little less picky about exposure. The little Sekonic meter that accompanies the camera works well, but my skills with the manual meter leave much to be desired. It would have been nice to have had feedback from the first roll before shooting the second. Unfortunately the processing service I use runs film twice a week with a two day turn-around. Not enough time on the Sightseer's tight schedule.

Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 08-01-2009 at 07:47 PM.
08-01-2009, 07:45 PM   #396
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
It is starting to look like a SightSeer thread now! Monochrome, your crew has just been handed a tall order to fill.
Thanks Blue.

The cool thing is that I have a small quiver of M42 lenses to go with the SV body. It was nice to have a full kit with the option of a wide angle as well as both short and moderate telephotos. (I left the Vivitar 200/3.5 at home...too heavy for tourist stuff...)

Now the question remains...why do I have to go to Flicker to look at YOUR pics? Maybe you could go back and edit your post to link in your images to this thread as well

Steve
08-01-2009, 07:56 PM   #397
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Steve,

I'm loving this thread. I'm in line to receive the sightseeing SV later on. I love your pictures and I would like to ask about scanning the pics: Are you scanning the negs? Is the lab doing it? Your pics look very good and I have yet to find a scan of mine I like.

Thanks,
08-01-2009, 08:05 PM   #398
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Steve, I would count the Mt Hood, Mt Adams, and all the shots from the summit of Larch Mountain as "local" - all the shots have a strong sense of place, which for my money, is the whole point of being a tourist; getting a feel for a region (and/or a people) that are not your own. By that criteria, they're all a great success.

Thanks for the comments on Ektar, too. I'm still a film noob and feeling my way along the edges with what ASA for what use. I've been happiest with low ASA films (Fuji Reala 100, particularly), but I'll make myself a liar when I say I'm loving Tri X in the same breath. I sympathize with the film processing issue. The "pro" labs I like to use are closed on the weekends and I've got three rolls I'm dying to look at. Took two to my local Ritz for a quick turnaround today and found the place boarded up. I expected to find a camera store and was greeted with a wall and two Pepsi machines. Helluva way for the staff to find out they are out of work .

Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day for all of us.

Best,
Kevin

08-01-2009, 08:07 PM   #399
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QuoteOriginally posted by ismaelg Quote
Steve,

I'm loving this thread. I'm in line to receive the sightseeing SV later on. I love your pictures and I would like to ask about scanning the pics: Are you scanning the negs? Is the lab doing it? Your pics look very good and I have yet to find a scan of mine I like.

Thanks,
Hi Ishmael,
I scanned my own negs in batch mode on a Nikon 5000 ED. I scan at 1000 dpi with exposure on auto, digital ICE on, and everything else at the default setting. Pretty lazy actually. The Nikon does a real nice job, though I suspect that that many of the less expensive units on the market can do as well at the resolutions I generally scan at.

If you are not happy with your scans and you are doing your own, you might want to try a post to the either the film or post-processing forum asking for hints/advice.

Steve

(Very lazy with the scanner...)
08-02-2009, 05:43 AM   #400
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Steve -- amazing shots. Those "postcard" shots make me wish I was there.
08-02-2009, 09:01 AM   #401
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Portland/Vancouver III: The Sightseer Does Water Sports!

During its last full day in the Portland area, the Sightseer decided to live big and go where few of its generation dare to go:
Water Sports!
Yes, the Sightseer opted to accompany some friends to do a little wakeboarding on the Willamette River just upstream of downtown Portland. As strange as it may seem, the river that flows through the city is popular with kayakers, canoeists, fisherman, jet skis, as well as wakeboarders/waterskiers. So, with a minimum of further discussion, here are a few snapshots from the outing:


Willamette Park Boat Launch

Pentax SV, Super-Takumar 55/1.8, Ektar 100

This is the view downriver from the back of the boat shortly after we launched. The tall buildings are mostly residential condominiums.


Floating Homes on the Holgate Channel

Pentax SV, Super-Takumar 55/1.8, Ektar 100

Directly across the river from the boat launch is the wooded and privately owned Ross Island. The plan was to do our wakeboarding in Holgate Channel, the protected waterway on the other side of the island, and in a lagoon on the island itself. But first, we had to pilot through this most unusual neighborhood. Floating homes are popular in the Portland area on both the Willamette and Columbia rivers. This particular grouping has one of the best locations due to its urban wilderness setting and close proximity to the downtown area. Several of these homes have won awards for their striking designs.


More Floating Homes on the Holgate Channel

Pentax SV, Super-Takumar 55/1.8, Ektar 100

Most of these houseboats have very nicely planted decks off their front porches. I can imagine how pleasant it is to start a summer day on the deck with a cup of coffee watching the ducks swim past and the osprey fishing to feed its young. (Nice boats too...)


Floating Homes on the Holgate Channel III

Pentax SV, Super-Takumar 55/1.8, Ektar 100

I included this last shot to show that while life on the water can be idyllic, it is not without its hazards. There is an orange mark near the top of the right-most piling. This marks the high floodwater mark from the winter of 1996. The current pilings are taller replacements for moorings that failed during that flood. Several of these homes topped over their mooring and floated away. Other hazards include debris floating downriver and ice load from winter storms that might sink a home.


Andrus takes a serious approach to personal flight

Pentax SV, Vivitar 135/2.8, Ektar 100

With the houseboats behind us, we are free to generate a wake and put some riders out. The first to go was my friend and owner of the boat, Andrus. I was not sure about shooting water sports with an old manual camera, but am pretty happy with the results. One of the advantages of shooting a boarder or a skier is that the distance to the subject remains pretty constant if you are positioned near the rope anchor. So you focus once and pan for the action.


Carie cuts loose in the Ross Island Lagoon

Pentax SV, Vivitar 135/2.8, Ektar 100

My friend Carie was next to ride. By this time, we were in a lagoon that occupies the center of Ross Island. This lagoon was created as a result of sand and gravel mining on the island. You can see one of the gravel barges in the background. The gravel deposits have mostly paid out and operations at this site are limited to sorting and loading. In the near future, both the island and the lagoon are slated to become a public park and nature preserve. Since the island is private and off-limits to public access, it is rich in wildlife including things like deer, racoons, beaver, nesting bald eagles and osprey...all within sight of the downtown skyscrapers.


A Happy Boat Driver

Pentax SV, LZOS MC Jupiter-9 85/2, Ektar 100

Yes, you read the lens for this shot correctly. Since I was shooting "old style", I figured I might as well mount the J-9. Conventional wisdom is that this lens is more appropriate for subdued lighting. Apparently that wisdom does not account for use of a deep hood! Looks pretty good to me.

My friend Andrus looks pretty happy. Partially because he is on the river and partially because he is making arrangements for his lady friend to join us later. The reflection in his glasses makes it look like we were running a party boat.


Trevor doing a slide with the wake skate

Pentax SV, LZOS MC Jupiter-9 85/2, Ektar 100

Andrus' son Trevor is very good at board sports. It does not look like much, but the board he is riding has no binding beyond a deck of abrasive material. Only friction and a pair of tennis shoes holds him in place. This one was also taken with the Jupiter-9. Yes! Sports with the J-9!


Trevor Hucks the Wake With the Wake Skate

Pentax SV, LZOS MC Jupiter-9 85/2, Ektar 100

Here is another one with the Jupiter-9. Amazing as it may sound, you can catch a little air without bindings on the board. From what I understand, experience helps.


That was the end of the roll. The next morning, the Sightseer packed it all up and headed, tired but happy, for St. Louis. (A little sun-burnt as well...)

Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 08-02-2009 at 10:19 AM.
08-02-2009, 07:43 PM   #402
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Woohoo! Wasn't expecting *that,* Steve.
08-02-2009, 09:37 PM   #403
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ratmagiclady Quote
Woohoo! Wasn't expecting *that,* Steve.
Always full of surprises, that I am! Maybe you were expecting WET T-SHIRTS! I hope that Woof does not mind my taking the camera on a boat ride. The Sightseer was actually pretty safe. I was sitting in the spotters chair up front next to the driver and had very good protection from splash and spray. When not in active use, the camera was tucked away in a water resistant bag.

What is cool is that doing this kind of shooting is against all current conventional wisdom. People think you need 1/8000s, fast AF, and big lenses. I was shooting at 1/250 and 1/500s and could have gone to 1/1000s with faster film. A little longer focal length (say 150mm) would have been nice as well, but the results from the 85mm and 135mm are quite usable.

Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 08-03-2009 at 08:24 AM.
08-03-2009, 03:31 PM   #404
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Thanks Blue.

. . .

Now the question remains...why do I have to go to Flicker to look at YOUR pics? Maybe you could go back and edit your post to link in your images to this thread as well

Steve
Or you could go to page 21 of this thread.

QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
. . . Maybe you were expecting WET T-SHIRTS! I hope that Woof does not mind my taking the camera on a boat ride. The Sightseer was actually pretty safe. I was sitting in the spotters chair up front next to the driver and had very good protection from splash and spray. When not in active use, the camera was tucked away in a water resistant bag.

. . .
Steve
I guess we will have to see if Monochrome's St. Louis crew comes up with the wet t-shirts. They have been awfully quite after Steve's posts. That means they are either up to something or hiding.

Edit: At this point, a third of the photos at http://www.flickr.com/groups/sightseeingscrewmount/ were uploaded by Steve. Outstanding!

Last edited by Blue; 08-03-2009 at 05:38 PM.
08-03-2009, 05:50 PM   #405
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
...Or you could go to page 21 of this thread.
Sorry, I forgot that you had posted those up!

In any case, I am glad to be of service in getting some more pictures on this thread.

Now how about some sternwheelers from the Might Miss'?!

Steve
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