Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Construction Update

A few views of the current state of the big construction project across from our condo. The below-ground structure is gradually filling in, with steel plates over what used to be bare concrete. And the pillars seem shorter, as the base level rises. Impressive work.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Hard and Soft

One of the things I find intriguing about Portland's Pearl District is the juxtaposition of hard, gritty concrete and iron with soft grasses and flowers, both cultivated and growing wild. Here are two photos at the same apartment building, one with the support structures of the Fremont Bridge in the background and a freight train passing by, the other with wild grasses in front of the building courtyard.

Monday, August 29, 2016

The Bridge Behind

The Fremont Bridge carries I-405 across the Willamette River in Portland. It's the most modern of the auto bridges in Portland (the more recent Tillikum Bridge is for light rail, bikes, and pedestrians only) and is the only auto bridge that is likely to survive the predicted Cascadian Subduction earthquake. It marks the north end of the Pearl District, and is a graceful background in photos of that area, where construction of apartment buildings is beginning.

Its visibility from so many different viewpoints reminds me of Saint Louis & The Arch, the fine book by Joel Meyerowitz.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Forest Park Ferns

From last October in Forest Park. To my eye, an interesting blend of order and disorder.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Friday, August 26, 2016

Colorful Glass

We've been back in Minnesota this week. I haven't taken many photos, but this morning I took some of the iridescent glass facade of Amundson Hall, the building that houses Chemical Engineering at the University of Minnesota.

Thursday, August 25, 2016


A few more signs in Portland's Pearl District that struck my fancy.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Waiting for a Purpose

A few blocks in the Pearl are empty, waiting for permissions and financing to build new high-rises. They're ugly, but have their own ominous appeal.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Shadows on Black

From a warehouse building on the edge of the Pearl District in Portland, Oregon. Part of my abstracts in black and white series.

Monday, August 22, 2016


The rough, unshielded structures on overhead utility poles lead to some dramatic photos. I like them in black and white, but can imagine them as semi-abstract paintings also: vivid reds, yellows, and blacks against a dark blue sky.

Sunday, August 21, 2016


Each apartment or office building in the Pearl has an external cluster of pipes and meters. Some of them have interesting sculptural qualities, and make good subjects for black & white photography.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Working in the Pearl

A couple of people I encountered on my walk yesterday.

Pulling a hose the full length of the block

Marking the sidewalk for utility work

Friday, August 19, 2016


The northwest corner of the Pearl District in Portland is occupied mainly by large apartment buildings and small offices and shops. The signs tend to be small, reticent, almost shy.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Construction in Color

This is the current stage of the apartment and office building (16 and 5 stories, respectively) going up across the street from our condo. Now that they've dug out and laid concrete for the foundation, they're rapidly filling the basement with structures whose purpose is not yet clear, at least to me.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Complex Geometries of Construction

The skeleton of a big apartment building, as it's being built, is regular but multi-layered, leading to a perceived complexity close to chaos. Sort of as if Piet Mondrian and Jackson Pollock had collaborated on a painting.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016


Lots of construction going on in Portland's Pearl District. It's reflected in the street corners, sidewalks, and shop windows surrounding the site.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Near-Far Perspective

I find something powerful and dramatic in this mode of composition, even though the near object is rather mundane.