Liz Strikes A Pose

Liz and I headed for the Portland Japanese Garden on the final day of January and the last day we could get in for free with our zoo membership. It was truly gorgeous outside so the place was packed with visitors. The ticket attendant said over 75% of those so far were zoo members . I’m not surprised as this new program is quite a good deal.

I asked Liz, my photography student, to pose under this archway to demonstrate the versatility of shooting in RAW and just how far you could recover a photo that is underexposed. I deliberately left Liz silhouetted  under the arch because of the strong, bright, backlight. I recovered the right amount odf detail by using layering techniques with masking to recover detail and color.

Original Unedited

JG Liz #1 Original

Recovered & Edited

JG Liz #1




We’ve had the warmest, driest Winter in years recently. The sun isn’t usually visible this time of year but we had temperatures in the 60s this past week. It’s crazy, especially when the “left” coast is buried under 2-3 feet of snow. Brrrr! Our lions are taking full advantage of the sunny weather which is a win win for visitors as well. We get to see all 9 of our lions out playing with their parents or each other. Zawadi felt he deserved a break and did a bit of sunbathing in this shot.

Zawadi On A Sunny Day

WP Weekly Photo Challenge: Depth

This would be my entry into “Depth”. It’s a shot I took high above Vista House in the Columbia River Gorge. I was at a well known spot known as The Portland Women’s Forum, a fancy name for an empty parking lot with a view that won’t quit. I’ve been there many times but this is the only photograph I took at sunset.

PWF 1 Framed

Cub Scratching Post

At some point you must accept that the cute little lion cubs are wild animals. If the calf carcass picked and licked clean doesn’t convince you maybe watching them sharpen their claws on a lion sized scratching post my remind you, these are not your house variety kitties. There’s a reason the zoo staff puts tree protectors on all their trees.

Cub Scratching Post

Sleepy Kitty Kitty

Tell me our lions don’t like the sunshine! Between their heated boulders and the bright sunshine we’ve had lately you’d think it was Summer not the end of January. Zawadi was catching some serious snooze time in this photograph. I had plenty of light to be able to zoom in on this shot with a tight crop. You can certainly count every hair on his magnificent head.

Sleepy Kitty Kitty

Japanese Garden Waterfall

It’s been years since I last photographed the sights at the Portland Japanese Garden. They are continuously trying to upgrade and improve it as it is the best garden of its type outside of Japan. Here are two versions I now have that I took through the years. I should have slowed down my shutter speed on the new shot but didn’t have a tripod with me. Since I’m return there Saturday I’ll carry one tomorrow and try again. More to follow….

Old Waterfall

JG_Waterfall Panoramic

New Waterfall 2015

JG Waterfall #1

Inji Reveals All

Ok, so there are a few new kids in town, Kumar & Bob to be precise. Inji has met the competition and decided to show why she, at 55, is still the top orangutan at the Oregon Zoo. Wearing a smashing robe of many colors she had a “wardrobe malfunction” right in front of all the visitors the other day. The staff at the zoo is taking turns placing the orangutans out in the viewing area. They haven’t let Kumar & Inji out at the same time yet. So Inji has resorted to baring it all to get attention. I love the look on her face. What do you think she was thinking when I snapped this picture?

Visiting With Inji

How NOT To Hold Your Camera

“Nobody’s totally useless, you can always serve as a horrible example”.  I have no idea where that saying comes from but it seems to be in my memory for as far back as I can recall. The lady in the photograph below serves that purpose, to illustrate the wrong way to hold a camera. Her right hand is triggering the camera which is being held by her fingertips. The second she pushes the shutter button the whole camera can move freely, causing camera movement. Most of her shots will not be sharp, especially in low light, slow shutter speeds. Her triggering hand needs to be on top of the camera, not supporting the weight. Next her left hand needs to support that DSLR & big lens on the heel of her left hand with the fingers of that left hand under the lens. Now you have less wiggle and better pictures. She needs to spend a little of the money the Canon camera and fancy lens on basic camera lessons. I fought the urge to approach her and give a free lesson. 🙂

Holding Error