Arrived in Portland

Virginia Cafe
Virginia Cafe, Portland Oregon

I arrived in Portland earlier today and spent part of the afternoon so far solo photo walking around the City. I’m struck by the trees and architecture in Portland. The trees are all bare and look great when set against much of the modern architecture.

I shot a building earlier today that looks alot like my favorite building in SF Shaklee Terrace at 444 Market Street. I’m going to research it later but I’d be willing to bet that it’s a Skidmore Owings and Merrill Building.

The museums in Portland suck for photography. I went to both the art museum as well as the historical society and neither of them allow photography. I thought about trying to renegade shoot them, but I’ve only got a weekend here and there are lots of other things I can shoot so I just skipped them instead. It felt good not giving them my money.

City Hall on the other hand is open to the public and they do allow photography there so I shot in there a bit. I also wandered around the streets mostly downtown shooting like I normally do.

I’m surprised at how friendly the people of Portland are compared to San Francisco. I had at least 5 people today strike up a conversation with me. Even when I had my iPhone headphones on I had people stop to interrupt me and ask things like how tall I thought a bridge was. People here seem very comfortable just talking to strangers. That’s kind of nice.

One big bummer is that the focus ring on my 135 f/2 Canon lens went out. This is my favorite lens of all and I’m super bummed that I won’t be able to use it this weekend. I went by the biggest camera store in Portland, Camera World, and also called the other major camera store, Pro Photo Supply and neither of them have the 135 f/2 in stock, so it looks like I’m going to be without that lens this weekend. I even checked craigslist Portland in case I might try to find one used, but no luck. Looks like I’ll just have to send it back to Canon when I return to the Bay Area. I still have my five other lenses, my 50mm f/1.2, my 100 f/2.8, my 24mm f/1.4, and my 14mm f/2.8 and my 70-200mm f/4 zoom.

Going out to dinner with the Mrs. tonight. We’re having sushi somewhere — looking forward to that. Also especially looking forward to tomorrow’s photowalk. It looks like it’s going to be a fun walk with over 45 people signed up so far on

The neon in Portland is awesome. Shot a bunch of vintage stuff earlier today and looking forward to shooting more tonight and over the weekend.

7 Replies to “Arrived in Portland”

  1. I’m glad you’re liking Portland so far. Bummer about the museums, but there are plenty of other things to shoot, as you’re finding out. Have fun, and I hope you have a happy birthday.

  2. Looking at your Shaklee Terraces photos, I’m wondering if you shot the Key West Tower.

    Aaron, yep, exactly! Thanks.

    Did you try shutterbug?

    Thanks for the tip. Unfortunately it doesn’t look like they carry the 135 f/2 according to their website. 🙁

  3. Arrgh! Looks like I’m going to have to miss this. Came down with some nasty flu Thursday and it hasn’t let me go yet. I’ll look forward to seeing your shots.

    – Wayne

  4. Bummer about the lens, but I’m sure you’ll manage to create some great art anyhow.

    Your initial impression about the people is interesting. I have noticed that, no matter where I have gone, people are generally more friendly than they are here in San Francisco. That has always puzzled me.

    Have a great time. I’m looking forward to seeing the results — especially the neon!

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