The light is changing here in Portland. The days are shorter and often when I go for a morning photo walk it’s too dark at 8:00am. I really like that I don’t have to get up at 6:00am to get good morning light. The light these days is rosy pink as the sun rises in the East and casts a gentle glow over the street, if there is a little bit of cloud-break. I’m learning to make technical adjustments to compensate for the higher contrast and subtle color-casts.
One “benefit” of walking the dog in the morning is that I can catch the morning light.
When we moved into our house the garage on the corner, Vian’s, came in handy pretty often. I had an old Isuzu Trooper (that I loved) and being push distance from a mechanic was very convenient. Although, Andy’s old BMW was pushed down there more often than the Trooper. We consolidated into one newer vehicle, and the garage on the corner morphed into a shop run by another family. They painted the building tropical blues and greens, and planted flowers in the cement box. For a bit there was a coffee truck, and then a taco truck with carefully placed tables and chairs. There were piles of tires for sale, and one day everything was gone and the parking lot was under excavation. They removed some old fuel storage tanks, and then a large fence went up around the building. Then people moved in and started making picnic tables. They moved some of the tables outside, and someone painted the kind- of-horrible mural on the building.
I’ve been photographing that corner a lot over the years, and finally made a picture that is a little bit beautiful. We still don’t know what the hell is going on in that garage. Over the last few days there was someone painting a boat inside. There is a nice new air-conditioning unit waiting to be installed. The picnic tables are all chained together and people waiting for the 17 bus occasionally make use of them. Some are under a carport so drier than standing at the bus stop in the rain.
I made this photo for part of the “Transformation” assignment for my Understanding Light class.
One thing I struggle with as a new photographer is finding the words to describe what I’m trying to convey with a project. While watching Paul Graham speak about the exhibition, “The Whiteness of the Whale,” I found myself making exclamatory notes with a few “That’s it!” Graham talks about the nature of seeing in terms of time, light and focus, and how photography can …”mimic a state of mind.” There are many more gems in this interview, and much resonated with me in my attempt at seeing my neighborhood, the Alberta Arts District in Portland, Oregon.