Staycation photos

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365 photo project: Day 78. The Portland skyline from Bug Light Park.

When work slows down after a busy season, everyone tries to take a little time off. When work slowed down just in time for my birthday, I was ready for a little time off.

I didn’t make any plans for this vacation, a nice stretch of nine days off, I just wanted to have some time to take it easy, and maybe catch up with family and friends. In that sense, vacation has been a success.

I also made a point to try to get out of the house with my camera and shoot some photos. I’ve met that goal with varying degrees of success. At least twice this week I have hopped in the car with the express purpose of taking pictures.

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Hadlock Field, the day after a snowstorm, and Opening Day is closing in fast. 

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My newphew in front of the dope graffiti at The Great Lost Bear. 

At the start of my time off, I took a trip to Hadlock Field and Loring Memorial Park to shoot the stadium and the sunset. Sunday, I took my camera to lunch with my family and snapped a couple shots, and Tuesday I went on a lighthouse tour. Well, I only went to two lighthouses – Portland Head Light and Bug Light Park.

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Portland Head Light. I should have stuck around for the sunset. 

Turns out, the sunset turned the Portland skyline this amazing red, orange, blue mix. I spent 30-45 minutes, if not an hour, trying to capture it. I can’t wait to go back, when I’m better prepared (I need a tripod and a longer lens to start) and try to capture it again.

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Bug Light Park and the Portland skyline. It was pretty epic. 

For the most part, this vacation has been a success. I’ve had some fun and created some images I’m happy with. I think I’ve learned a few things as well, which is really the most important thing about this “create every day” journey.

Baseball and sunsets

74. March 16, 2018

365 photo project: Day 73. Checking out the sunset. 

Earlier this week, I ran past Hadlock Field in Portland. I stopped jogging and paused my Garmin, spending a second to look at the stadium and dream of warm summer nights of baseball.

The statue of the team’s mascot, Slugger, in front of the stadium holds a sign. On that day it read, “Think Spring. Opening day is 32 days away.”

We got 18 inches of snow over the next two days.

I drove over to Hadlock Field today because I thought it would be a fun image to make of that sign in front of the stadium surrounded by snow. Plus, I love baseball stadiums (I have a blog about that, too).

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There wasn’t a ton of snow in front of the stadium, so I didn’t exactly nail the image I wanted. Still, it was fun to be at the stadium, dreaming of those warm summer nights, and making images. IMG_0064IMG_0070

On the walk back to my car, the sky started to turn to a glorious mixture of blue and pink and red. I decided then to find a spot to try to capture those colors. The sky was impressive, my ability to capture it was a mixed bag. IMG_0090IMG_0093

Rookie mistake

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I love random art. This is one of my favorites, on Tukey’s Bridge in Portland. Also, this might be my favorite photo of my 365 photo project so far.

Driving around town, doing errands this afternoon, I really wanted to go for a run. I’m slowly working my way back after some arthritis-induced inflammation in my knees put me on the shelf for a few months, and I’m still dealing with some aches and pains. My knees are so, so much better than they were in October, thanks to a lot of physical therapy and cortisone, but the last couple of days I’ve been a little achey.

So I decided it wasn’t a good idea to run today, which would have been three days in a row. I haven’t run three days in a row since the end of September, so I need to cut myself some slack.

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The B&M Baked Beans building with the evening commute flowing by.

Still, I wanted to make use of the not quite spring weather, so I grabbed my camera and drove to the Back Cove. Last night, jogging with my running buddies, I saw a few spots I thought would make for awesome photos, so I went back there tonight.

And I made a rookie mistake.

Actually, I made two.

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I need a few more minutes to really capture this image. This isn’t too bad, but if my battery hadn’t died, this would have been much better. 

The first was I didn’t plan well enough. The sun was starting to set when I got out of the car at Payson Park, which was great, but I wanted to shoot the interstate from the overpass on Washington Ave., with the sunset, so I could get some good light trails and I was about an hour too early.

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I love running the Back Cove Trail, for views like this.

I knew that when I got out of the car, so I tried to kill time and make as many photos as possible. I took shots of the setting sun over the Back Cove from the path that surrounds it, with as many possible foreground subjects as I could find. I also took shots from Tukey’s Bridge, including that awesome painting in the picture to start this post.

That, however, led to my second mistake. The costly one.

Shooting so many pictures drained my camera battery. And since I don’t shoot nearly as much as I would like, I don’t charge it that often. And, you guessed it, as soon as the sun really set and the sky started to get dark enough to get those light trails, my battery died.

It wasn’t a total bust. I captured a few photos I like and I found a couple of spots that are definitely worth trying to shoot again. So, regardless of my carelessness, today was a win.

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Drawing inspiration

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I don’t have cable, so when I’m home and want to chill out by watching television, I spend a lot of time watching YouTube. Lately, though I haven’t always acted on it, I’ve drawn a lot of creative inspiration from the platform. I subscribe to a ton of photographers and filmmakers, not only because I find them educational, but I find them inspiring.

A few of the photographers I subscribe to have recently done videos about night photography. Night photos are already my favorite, even though they are really hard to make.

After watching those videos, I was inspired to give it a try myself. I drove a few miles down the road to the overpass over 295 on Brighton Ave. to see if I could get some shots during evening commute.

It went OK. It was a good learning experience and on the drive home, I got a few more ideas for different night photo sessions, so all in all, it was a win.

Here are a few of the shots. (Oh, and here are a few links to videos that inspired me. HERE and HERE.)

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