You Never Know What You’ll See Looking Up


Another sunny day for the city of roses. Yay! I am not sure I should get excited even considering the weather report is for the rain, turning to snow by Tuesday! Snow. FFS! Really! Boo.

Last Sunday Lloyd and I went into Downtown Portland for a little walk along the river and streets. I find in Portland, there is never a dull moment and the people are such characters. We love watching people as we wander effortlessly waiting for the perfect moment, that special something catches our eyes. Then snap, snap, snap goes the camera.

As we walked, we could hear a dog barking. Looking around, we couldn’t figure out where the dog was. It wasn’t until we looked to the skies did we see it. The dog was in an open window barking its heart out. It wanted to escape like Rapunzel, from its place in the castle window or in this case the apartment. A moderate size dog, perhaps a springer spaniel; barking at, whatever struck its fancy at the moment. I grabbed my camera and snap, snap it went. ‘I Thought I Shot the Dog,’ five floors up open window on the left. Nope. I looked down at the camera and to my dismay, forgot to put the damn photo card back in the camera after the last photos were downloaded. Stupid. Thankfully, I carry spare parts. The moment gone. Another lesson learned. By the time I was ready, the dog of course had finished complaining. It was then I decided on the topic for this blog.

You never know what you’ll find when looking up!

‘Four Tiers Skyline’

The idea got me thinking, one rarely ever looks up as they are always so busy looking where they are going, they forget to look up to the skyline. How it was for me to pull this concept together for a blog. Never before I had taken time to notice some of Portland’s building facades, particularly the ones looking up? I pretty sure, considering, this activity did not require photographing moving objects, the task would be a simple one. And for the most part it was. With the one exception of the dog. The building where the dog lived was beautiful. To the Skies it is?  ‘Four Tiers Skyline’ was derived from looking up and seeing the four levels or tiers in the frame of the picture. I found the patterns (stripes) and formations (building layout) unique. This particular shot was beautiful especially because of the blue sky in the background made the tan color of the building pop and the colors appeared like sapphires and gold.

Two Tiers Skyline

‘Two Tiers Skyline’ provided a similar yet more simple view with only two buildings in the image. A similar view –  different perspective.

‘Cement Bones’

When one looks to the sky, they mustn’t forget to watch where they are going. It so happened I looked down and this uniquely peculiar sculpture perched in a bricked box area. Inside was cement bone? I blinked the sun was bright as my eyes adjusted the strange configuration of art they indeed resembled bones, so I coined the name ‘Cement Bones’. I am not sure what message if any the artist was trying to convey, but for me it was dinosaur bones; parts of a spine of one such creature. In a basin. Strange yes. Maybe to me, but to others someone probably paid a lot of money to this artist to design cement bones, at the entrance to their building. What message does this portray? Clueless.

‘Bijou, Cafe’ in black and white.

I didn’t understand the ‘Cement Bones’, and likely never would but I did understand the ‘Bijou, Cafe’ Both Lloyd and I had always wanted to eat here, yet each and every time we tried, people were cued out the door, waiting to eat. Is it possible a restaurant is worth waiting outside to get in? Every time? I say a job well done. While I still haven’t eaten here and sadly never will, it must be a gastronomic delight to have so many people waiting to get into your restaurant. I can think of only one restaurant in the world that was worthy of such a wait.  I am pretty sure there are many more, but the place I recall, and Lloyd will agree, the restaurant that prepares the best food I have ever, in a word ‘Myst’. How many people can honestly say they have eaten at such a place? I am not talking chain restaurants here, those are merely fast food restaurants dressed up. The food is still crap.

Is it possible one exists? Yes! ‘Myst by the Sea’ was awesome and fit my eclectic and finicky palate and stomach catering to anyone who stops in. So, I ask the question, can any one meal be such a  gastronomic delight? Yes! It is a feat, but yes it can happen and when it does you will be looking to the skies! It is that good!  The restaurant I rave about is practically in the middle of no where along a congested highway, (think Highway 101 in California) and travel across the Pacific Ocean about 3,000 miles and you will find the little gem, and yourself in, Australia, travel south of Brisbane to Gold Coast, and continue south of Gold Coast and there it will be a little mecca – a tre chic restaurant called ‘Myst, by the Sea’. The view, the oceanfront, the food,  outside table seating, fantastic.  I have photos to prove at least the presentation of the food was awesome. From this one can presume, the food tastes as good as it looks.

Okay this is an example of the inside. Very eclectic.

Some of the inside artwork.

Okay now for some of the food. Drum roll please…..

Here is one first course pumpkin souffle with hints of cinnamon and nutmeg, which according to Lloyd was the best meal he had ever eaten. I had a chicken dish that was to die for, the food was indeed as good if not better, than the presentation.

This meal proves that gluten-free food can look and taste out of this world. With each bit, the palate experiences a gastronomic journey, one of the best if not the best food ever consumed. Our friend, who was traveling down this road with us agreed. He had worked in the restaurant industry at five-star restaurants and agreed this place was the best.  A true gastronomic orgasm. And of course we had this with bubblie, wonderful sparkling prosecco. The best yet to come…

But the grand finale of the entire meal was the dessert tray. And when I say tray…..

Fantasmagorical eatery with a chic, atmosphere and food that well is fantasmagorical. One last glance at the interior. Most of the people were outside of the photo op enjoying the fresh air. Most people around were all sitting outside at the various eateries along this strip of highway. We literally spent a few hours here as the bubbles flowed and the view nearly as fabulous as the food. Oceanfront.

Okay, if you can’t find something at the restaurant to eat well bad luck for you. You must be either mad, or plain stupid. The have gluten-free food, and will make what ever you want gluten-free no problem, no questions asked. They don’t look at you like – ah what is that? They cater to nearly every whim you may encounter.  And you think the desert tray was their example to show customers. Think again. That was our desert tray not just the example tray, they even had gluten-free dessert for me. The best cherry sorbet on the planet. And that is saying something as I dislike cherries. Anyway the entire restaurant experience was fabulous, sitting outside, drinking sparkling wine, beach view. And food of gastronomic excellence. So it might not be ‘Bijou, ‘Cafe’,  everything about this comparison is rather like comparing apples to oranges, they are both food, but beyond that they don’t compare. You want to go to Australia now don’t you. And just for the dessert. I would go again. I hope to as returning to Australia, my husbands home, is high up there on my ever-growing bucket list. And how did we run into this wonderful place to eat, looking to the skies! I am telling you. You never know what you will find.

Returning to planet Portland and the skies within.

The following photograph was taken along the waterfront facing the city. I thought it would be fun to try some textures, so there are a couple of versions to some of the next photos.

The next one was taken along the river facing back toward the city. ‘Three Tiers and a Crane’. The textures are a new feature we have on in a software program called ‘Perfect Photos Suite.’ Photographers will know it. While it is good, it does have its limitations. I generally prefer a natural look to my photos most times, but I must admit the textures provided for an interesting composition, and added a lot to an image. Here is a comparison between the two files one with texture, which I think is pretty cool to a photo without the texture.

When I framed the shot I noticed the crane in the back ground. But I liked the shot so I went for it. It is by no means a prize winner, but it is pretty cool. You cab decide for yourself which photo you like better. I now find I prefer the fun textures. But not every photo needs this tool, some actually benefit from them.

This photo was taken from a slightly different angle and the sun was in unique place. Like I said, I like the textured image the best. I opted to for no texture, merely the image with a little orange-colored filter.

Walking along the waterfront I was looking up toward the buildings. The following image I liked because it has an old tree the tip of an older building, next to a tall striped skyscraper. The sun is behind the tree on its way down. It was a lovely day for a walk through the city. There were a lot along the river walk. The texture used is called a rice paper vignette.

‘Tree, Two Buildings, Texture.’ While I like bot images, I believe I prefer the textured version.

Tree, Two buildings, and No Texture’ I prefer the photo with the texture.

The building above I swear I had never seen it before this day. See what you miss out on when you don’t take the time to look up once in a while? This building looked as though it was right out of outerspace or Ancient Egypt. I couldn’t decide. The vivid blues and gold sparkled in the sun. Amazing what your eyes capture when you look to the skies.

This image, is likely the image I preferred the most. In fact I love this image. It is simple, three buildings, and three colors. It reminds me of the buildings I have seen in Europe, which a majority are built practically on top of one another.  I liked the lines and the colors. Neat and clean.

I thought it might be fun to play around with this image a bit and added a texture. It didn’t work. The this photo without the texture is preferred. I am not thrilled about this, but it does make for an interesting photo. Perhaps this particular texture is not the right one.

As I go through the photos for this post amazed by the fact I swear I had never seen half of these buildings before. This one is very trendy and chic. I guess we are always so focus at where we are going in life we fail to look up to see what is really going on. I prefer the blue image to the one I created with the orange filter.

I Liked this building it was simple, and sheen from the sun seemed to make the building sparkle or shine.

This photo was interesting as they were in the middle of construction of the metal building. It is hard to say if the metal parts of the building are an embellishment or if it is merely an unfinished section of the building.  I like the image.

This image below was developed using a filter and the texture feature. Okay, maybe I am warming to the use of the texture tool after all. It depends on what you are trying to convey for sure. I love the colors in both. I like both images. The metal building seems a bit out of place next to the older structure. Do we really need new buildings? Why can’t we convert old office building into something new? Portland is suppose to be a green city. I don’t see a lot of green projects going on. We have become such a tear it down and build some thing new society.

I have to say that I really like the texture on this image above. It softened the image and completely changed the dynamic and feel of the photo. The story changed for me.

New Metal

‘New Metal Blue’ is a great clean crisp photo in my opinion. I love the image, but continue to believe we don’t necessarily need more new buildings. We could renovate some of the older buildings in some parts of the city. I know that Portland does this, and has for some time, but there were also a lot of construction.

The following image is eerie. I love how the light shimmers against the metal. This is the natural image. The following image is the same photograph but a filer is used. It changes the image from a definite daylight shot to one of mystery and wonderment as to whether the bright light comes from the sun or the moon.  I used a blur vignette to capture the mood.

I love the seals out front of the Courthouse.This was pretty amazing. Okay I was looking up, then my eyes caught the seals. What can I say.

It was such a nice afternoon on Sunday I had fun getting out and then even more fun using the new software we bought. I am warming up to the features and think there is definitely time to use all the different features it contains. I merely used a couple of them. There are many more. I will have to figure them out on another day after some new photo time. The weather has not been kind to photographers the past few days. It seemed like it was nice all week then the weekend arrived to rain.

Okay when I saw this next image. I cracked up. Mother’s Bar. In all likelihood it is a dive bar. I have no idea. It might not be. Portland is likely the giant in brew pubs around the country. I will have to ask a friend of ours. He will know. For that matter, Lloyd probably knows. My son would get a kick out of the name, that is for sure. in all likelihood he would say something like, ‘hey mom it’s a bar just for you!’

I do love the name of the bar that is for sure.  A bar just for mothers! What a great name for a bar. See what happens when you look up. You never know what you will find when you do.

Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed the texture added to some of the images and the view!

L&L

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