Sunday, July 31, 2016

Roses in the Rose Garden

The day we hiked to Portland's Rose Garden was very bright and sunny, so it was actually rather difficult to make photos of the roses that weren't too bright and glaring. Here is one that turned out OK.

This one is an interesting mistake. I was doing in-camera HDR to reduce the contrast in the pictures. Even though the shutter speed was very fast, and the interval between exposures was a fraction of a second, a breeze moved the roses enough so that the images weren't perfectly superimposed. I kind of like the effect.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Rose Garden

The International Rose Test Garden in Portland's Washington Park is "the oldest continuously operated public rose test garden in the United States." We hiked there a couple of days ago, and found everything in riotous full bloom. One of the pleasures of the Garden is the landscaping, with the roses backgrounded by Oregon forest scenes or bright blue skies.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Stones of the Japanese Garden

The aesthetic of the Japanese garden, in Portland or elsewhere, does exquisite things with the combination of vegetation and stone, whether natural or sculpted. Some examples from last spring:

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Spring in the Japanese Garden

From an outing in March to Portland's Japanese Garden. The foliage was so fresh!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Construction in Black and White

Yesterday's post was about the color of construction activity. Here are some photos from last year, at different sites in our Portland neighborhood, in black and white. Very different, but both are good, I think.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Concrete Pour in Portland

Meanwhile, back home in Portland, we were awakened at 3 AM this morning by the sounds of heavy trucks and machinery outside our window. This was expected: a high-rise is being built across the street, and the foundation—five feet thick of concrete for an entire city block (about an acre)—needs to be poured before further construction can commence. We were told that this needed to be done early today because only on a Saturday can the factory manufacture enough concrete, which will be trucked to the site at the rate of about 50 loads an hour for about 10 hours. So we were prepared, but annoyed nonetheless. However, when I went out at midmorning to take some pictures, the scene did reflect some of the large-scale drama of modern construction—so maybe it was worth it.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Sheki Shopkeepers (2)

Some more photos of vendors and their produce in the lively, picturesque market in the mountain city of Sheki, Azerbaijan:

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Sheki Shopkeepers (1)

Having returned from two great months in the TransCaucasus and Europe, I'm returning to the many good photos I took there. This time I'm emphasizing themes and common elements rather than daily highlights. Here is the first of two sets of photos from the market in Sheki, Azerbaijan.

As stated in WikiTravel, "Sheki is Azerbaijan's true travel gem, a small city off on the forested slopes of the Greater Caucasus Mountains. Rich in Islamic architecture, Silk Road history, good food, and friendly people, this is travel and leisure in the Caucasus at its finest."

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Flame Towers in Baku

The Flame Towers in Baku, the capitol of Azerbaijan, are dramatic at night, when they are lit with an ever-changing light display. Even during the day, they are the most prominent and striking skyscrapers in the city. Here they are seen from a variety of vantage points.