Recently, landmarks have become the primary focus of my stock photography. I have naturally migrated to a list of local favorites that I try to capture in all different types of weather and seasonal surroundings. These include Vista House in the Columbia Gorge, St. John’s Bridge in Portland, many covered bridges scattered around the state, and the Oregon State Capitol.
One of the big challenges for this sort of photography here in the Northwest is the surroundings are more interesting in the Spring and Fall when there are either flowers or leaves turning color, but around here at this time of year we have lots of rain and grey skies. Thus, when the cherry blossoms reached their peak here in Salem, I vowed to watch the weather closely and head downtown whenever it looked promising.
The first day that looked promising we had a nice break in the rain towards late afternoon when the light promised to be good. We went downtown and the scene was absolutely beautiful when we arrived. There were storm clouds all around but breaks in the right places to illuminate the scene and make for an interesting sky. The first shot I made turned out to be one of my favorites ever of this sort of photography.
Unfortunately, soon after the storms moved back in and we were confronted with grey skies. This did allow for some interesting compositions but made the full variety of the images I wanted impossible. Thus, I knew I had to return soon before all the blossoms fell off.
On the return trip, the blossoms had progressed a little past peak, but the weather was perfect, allowing me to get the full variety of images I wanted. Upon walking into the middle of a bunch of the cherry trees I made another of my favorite architectural images.
These visits were made all the more fun because they doubled as a day out with my parents and we played with some of the puppies the other visitors had brought to the park.