27 October 2017

[Out122ndWay] Morning on Big 122

Another photo taken today when I was lensing Wy'east. A look up slope, south on Big 122, from the SE corner of NE 122nd and Shaver. This is the stretch of major arterial road that crosses the Rossi property.

We welcome you to rush hour, Outer East Portlandia, which is already in progress.

[Wy'East] Two Dawns Over Wy'East

The Mountain was in beauteous form today. Also a few days back. As circumstance would have it, I happened to be on Big 122 at the viewpoint just as the sun was coming up.

The first time, about two days back, I couldn't get to the corner soon enough to catch the sunrise without intervening human artifice. Such is life. I get the shot, and I don't know about anyone else, I see the composite beauty within. The marks of civilization in front of me just make it that much more interesting.

This involved parking Olivia on Shaver Street just west of 122nd in the first legal parking area (the first sign back from 122, and just across the street from the driveway to Parkrose High School) and walking over.

The parking on 122nd from Shaver all the way up the hill to Fremont has been eliminated in favor of a bike lane. It's a pretty nice looking bike lane. And ain't no thing as I need the movement.

Back there today, it was rather dark. I got out of work a little early because things that happen. Most of the wait for dawn was very poetically dusk:

Up there n the upper right, there's a single star struggling against the encroaching dawn. I admired its audacity.

This, though, was the big show:

The shadow being thrown by Wy'east in the direction of Larch Mountain was just a bonus. I didn't count on that. One can see the steady southward track of the Sun, made manifest by the difference in the positions of the bright spots. There's a clear difference between this and the first.

And the entrance.

Pretty nice reveal.

The last few entries has been nothing but Wy'east, and if you're anything like me (and you might be), its during times of great dexterity that one narrows ones focus on what nourishes one. Wy'east is a heartening thing for me, so I seek it out more right now than normally.

I anticipate the waters calming soon, though, there's one major thing I need to get through. And I will. It's not a sinking boat, more like choppy waters, but one must keep one's hand on the tiller. So, bear with.

And so it goes.

16 October 2017

[Wy'East] The Mountain In the Bright Sunshine

Not much to say today, so I'll leave this here:

Bright sunshine, peak gleaming with the first snows of autumn. We haven't heard about any ski-resort openings, but surely, they can't be that far off.

14 October 2017

[Wy'East] Fog And Sun Across The Mountain

There hasn't been a post in the last week; more overtime at work, more personal drama (nothing catastrophic, but to the dysthymic, the phrase going through a patch takes on a certain dimension) and with the weather the way it's been this week, views of Wy'east have been few and far between.

Coming home from work along NE Sandy Boulevard east of 102nd Avenue the over-riding thing was the fog. It's That Time Of Year In Oregon, which, near the rivers, means a great deal of fog and a slightly-cutting chill. It was decidedly and deliciously gray and dark as I traveled along that old Portland road. I didn't expect to see any of the peak when I travelled south on Big 122 from Sandy, but as I cleared the Kmart and the Parkrose post office, there it was - big and semi-obscured in cloud that was rapidly coming in.

The time of day that I have usually means I'm seeing the peak in silhouette, so the real secret, I've found, is finding those moments of visual drama.

This mountain has been an obsession with me for most of my life, keeping watch on me even when I was a kid on the east side of Silverton, where this peak can be seen from the hilltop out on Steelhammer Road. In that adorable way we people think the universe is centered on us, I fancy a connection. Sometimes I feel as though the mountain arranges itself for me.

But it's a pretty fancy, and nothing more. However, if you're going to have a fancy, make it count.

I still can't help thinking of myself as George Orr, in a way, in The Lathe Of Heaven, where Ursula K. LeGuin uses appearances of Mount Hood like a slowly-tolling bell, a subtext which ties the whole book together and sets a kind of meta-cadence for the whole story, almost a spirit which watches over the whole changing universe and yet, keeps its own counsel.

It can hide behind the advancing clouds, but you know it's always there.


03 October 2017

[Out122ndWay] Fall In The Rossi Farms Flower Bed

In the big field east of NE 122nd, across from the Rossi Farms barn, they grow veggies usually. I've seen corn, cabbages, kale, things of that nature.

The patch of ground going east from Big 122 on Skidmore, south side of the street, just before you get to Parkrose High, is given over to flowers.

The following pictures are big'uns.

Still a small spot of country in the city. Can anyone from these parts anymore imagine what it must have looked like when all of Portland east of Mount Tabor, all the way to Gresham, was like this? Swathed in farms?

It does give one excuse to go wild with saturating them colors, though. That ain't no bad thing.

[WyEast] In Which We Again Stare At The Sun, But Are Careful About It, Seriously.

Another crisp, clear morning, another chance to see The Mountain.

Over in front of Rossi Farms, the City has done one of those traffic-pattern remodels that they are of late so very fond. All parking along 122nd south of Skidmore and going all the way up to the hill to Fremont is gone, replaced by bicycle space. Which means I have to, to stay legal, park Olivia the Little Yellow Beetle down Skidmore about a hundred-fifty feet or so, right about across from the front of Parkrose High School.

It's not a welcome thing to do but I find the bright side. Not only is a little more walking required (and I need all of that I can get), as I left the scene, a passing high-school student told me she thought I had a cool car. And a cool car it is. And a little friendly complimenting of what style I have from anyone of any age always makes my day just a little.

It's just past the beginning of fall, as everyone knows, and the air is crisp in that way, and the sun is rising a little farther to the south each day. That means here, not long after sunrise, it's right in the picture. I used the camera judiciously, not lingering on the scene. So far, my caution has paid off, there's been no apparent damage to the camera, and I get shots like these:

Now, normally, I'm across the street there on the same size as the big Rossi field, because that gets the cars and people out of the shot. I squoze off a few snaps as I approached the Big 122 from the west on Skidmore, leaving some of the traffic and people in the frame, and it really speaks to and resonates with the emotion I have in looking at the mountain and the impression of its size I get.

This is an experiential issue because, as many who've pointed a camera for fun have found out, you point it as this beautiful view and close the shutter and bam it's yours, but when you look at it on a light table or in a print or even on the screen, the frame and everything else in it make it look like it's just this little point on the horizon with absolutely none of the experiential and emotional weight you felt when you were looking at it in the real

This teaches you an essential thing that all artists, self-made, aspiring, or what-have-you, learn about framing. Composition is paramount. It's the first thing, or you have nothing ... at the very least, you don't have the punch that the sense memory of the way you felt when you looked at it. I have never witnessed it in action, except in the rearview - it's like the eye trying to look at itself without a mirror - but your mind and your vision, always on the lookout for beauty, frame and compose your vision for you. It's only clear after you take that picture of the mountain on the horizon without framing it to include some things in and other things out and you see how small it seems in the full frame that judicious looking and inclusion, like setting a stage for effect, tell the story you want to tell. Most specifically, the phalanxes of trees in the mid-distance have always helped me in this regard. But the cars on the street and the person I happened to capture walking through really ground the subjective perspective in a way that begins to most truly tell the story of how big this mountain feels and how majestic it seems when I look at it with only my eyes.

As I said, the Sun has moved back toward the mountain. Here was it today:

I didn't linger on it too long; eyes can recover, at least to a large degree; camera parts, not so much

The clouds and mist were a welcome thing, contributing their own stories of scale and size.