“The genius of the place”

Stoneboat CSA Farm, Helvetia. Hillsboro, OR.

“Two opposing philosophies of farm life”

The farm is a food-factory, and the criterion of its success is salable products.”

The farm is a place to live. The criterion of success is a harmonious balance between plants, animals, and people; between the domestic and the wild; between utility and beauty.”

Aldo Leopold, “The Outlook for Farm Wildlife”. Also referenced by Wendell Berry, “Limits in a Prodigal Age”.

Wandering at 85mm

photo of silo and farm near a corn field in Banks, Oregon

There are photography assignments, pet photo shoots, and student work. All of them are worthwhile and keep me plenty busy. But every once-in-awhile I have to go back to my roots in photography and just walk somewhere with a camera in hand. I don’t over think shot selection or composition. I just stand in places that intuitively seem right and get the exposure. It’s not quite random snap shooting or photojournalist style, although both can be fun, but it’s certainly photography for pure enjoyment and freedom in the moment.

Lately the autumn weather has been wonderful here in the Portland, Oregon area and so last week I decided to take an afternoon photo walk on the Banks Vernonia trail. I had recently acquired a new 85mm f/1.8 lens, and knowing its best function is for portraiture I wanted to see what else it could do. As I said above, I just shot when it felt right to shoot. Whatever could fit into an 85mm frame is what I captured.

The photo of the silo you see above is my favorite from the photo walk. I like the layering and the lens’ ability to shoot for moderate depth-of-field with a bright sun front light. I’m also a sucker for trees, especially during autumn.

photo of creek near Banks Vernonia trail

Here is another shot I like from the walk, but not for any technical reason. It’s a nice stream in a picturesque area that has a bit of mans laziness and ingenuity mixed in with the natural driftwood. The title of this photo is “Driftwood Bucket” for that reason.

It’s always nice to do a photo walk simply for the experience.  I highly recommend that you do the same on occasion.


Forest Grove

corn field landscape and tractor near Forest Grove Oregon

I went for a drive in the country late yesterday afternoon and stumbled across a valley near Forest Grove, Oregon. It was hot and dusty. Cars were zooming by on the highway. Middle-aged men were playing basketball on a nearby court with a great view. It was fun. Sometimes it pays to get lost.