Brian's Photo Blog — Article 576
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Of Bikes, Beauties and Bell Towers
Sunday 3 July 2016   —   Category: Outings
On a photo outing last month, I had to walk through part of downtown Portland to get to the beginning of that day’s route. As is often the case, I just couldn’t resist taking some pictures along the way, before the outing officially began.

The first thing I saw when I got off the bus was the People’s Bike Library of Portland sculpture on the corner of West Burnside Street and SW 13th Avenue. I don’t know why I didn’t notice this during my Burn­side hike last year, but for some reason I had missed it.

At first I thought that the pile of bikes at the base was part of the sculpture, but after some research I found that they are bikes which can be borrowed for the weekly Zoobomb event. Just one more way to keep Portland weird!

After a great breakfast at McMenamins Zeus Café, I set out to walk to the starting point of my outing.

The next photo-worthy sight I saw was the 2013 Every Rose Has Its Thorn mural, on a building at SW 12th Avenue and Washington Street, painted by Australian street artist Rone.

Apparently, he has painted many variations of this beautiful woman at numerous locations all over the world.
Continuing one block southwest on 12th Avenue, I came to the historic (built 1890) First Presbyterian Church, which occupies the city block between SW Morrison & Alder Streets, and 12th & 13th Avenues.

It was quite a challenge to photograph its 185-foot bell tower. I was standing across the street, only 60 feet away, so it was not possible to fit the entire tower into a single shot. Therefore I had the idea to take multiple photos and stitch them together back home to create a panorama.

There are a couple of problems with this method which can cause the results to be less than ideal. First, there are parallax errors which occur when moving the cam­era between shots. I was shooting hand-held, but it is equally a problem when using a tripod.

On top of parallax errors is the extreme perspective distortion inherent in wide-angle-lens photography. Combined, these two problems can be enough to make it impossible to create a good-quality panorama.

In the past I had used the PTGui software to create my panoramas. However, I have been making panoramas right inside Adobe Lightroom ever since they added that feature to version 6.0 in April 2015. It works well enough that I have stopped using PTGui.

Once Lightroom stitched together the three original photos, I did some manual tweaking to try to improve the image. Despite the significant parallax and per­spec­tive problems, I think the final version turned out quite well. There is still some distortion, but that is due to laws of optics which cannot be overcome.

It wasn’t until I was writing the caption for this photo that I realized I had taken photos of this church last year. Those were from the south side of the property, while this one here was from the north.

As usual, you can click on the photos on this page to see larger versions. Or you can browse through them in the Portland Miscellaneous 2016 album.

Of course, this little walk was only the precursor of my primary outing that day. For all of those details, see A Pictorial ABC of Portland’s NW Alphabet District.
Brian's Photo Blog — Article 576
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