Brian's Photo Blog — Article 421
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Portland — West Bank Willamette
Saturday 2 May 2015   —   Category: Outings
This is the third in a series about last month’s photo outing to downtown Portland, Oregon. The first article, A Country Bumpkin in the Big City, gives an overview.

My walking tour of downtown Portland began at Union Station. I soon made my way to the northern end of the downtown section of the Willamette River Greenway Trail on the west bank of the Willamette River, near the corner of Naito Pkwy and 9th Ave, between the Fremont and Broadway bridges, in the Pearl District.

When I had first started thinking about this outing, I had intended to stay on the west bank the entire walk, all the way down to Marquam Bridge, which carries I-5 over the Willamette.

However, the lure of the Eastbank Esplanade proved irresistible. After walking under Broadway Bridge, I crossed over to the other side of the river on the historic, one-of-a-kind Steel Bridge, built in 1912. I was eager to try out the lower-level pedestrian / bicycle path which was installed in 2001 — a fairly-recent addition compared to the age of the bridge.

I ended up spending almost twice as much time, walking a 50% longer distance, and taking 80% more photos on the east bank than I did on the poor neglected west bank, which was my original objective. I am planning on making up for that neglect on an upcoming outing to Portland, which will focus exclusively on the sections of the west side of the Willamette which I missed the first time.

Still, even though I walked only two-thirds of a mile along the west bank, I still took nearly 200 pictures during that hour and a quarter. I surely was a trigger-happy country bumpkin in the big city! The best 45 images are now on display in the new Portland Waterfront West 2015 album.

Before the outing, I was strongly wishing I would be able to see a ship pass under the Steel Bridge. Imagine my delight when it actually happened, right when I arrived at the bridge! Caught by surprise, I tried to capture the event the best I could, despite my lack of planning.

Unfortunately, in the pressure of the moment, I neglected to put the camera on a tripod. Nor did I keep the same focal length on my zoom lens for all of the shots. These issues made it harder to put together a good presentation of the event later.

Nevertheless, with the help of Photoshop’s wonderful Load Files into Stack script, I was able to create three sequences of photos which show some of the movement of the bridge and the boat. Here are links so you can jump straight to them in the album: Sequence One, Sequence Two, Sequence Three.

Shortly after the bridge was back down, I was crossing over it to the east bank. I did not return to the west bank until I crossed the Hawthorne Bridge a mile upriver. That is where the last three photos in the Portland Waterfront West 2015 album were taken.

Well, I have a lot more pictures to share of the Willamette River area in downtown Portland — all the ones I have taken on the east bank, photos I took while on bridges, and the new batch I will take on my next trip to the rest of the west bank. It is amazing how much there is to see and photograph along this short two-mile stretch of urban waterway!

Other articles about this outing: Albums of photos from this outing:
Brian's Photo Blog — Article 421
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