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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Photographs Taken On A Rainy Day In Astoria

I needed to go into town. A friend dropped me off and I found my way home by bus.

This was the first time in my life since the 60's I've used the bus to get around. I had many choices, these were the top three; all associated with using the bus. I could walk from Camp Rilea, or from the opposite direction walk from Sunset Beach, or not walk at all but ride the entire route and get off at the end of the driveway. It would be the same fare in $$$$ but cost me an hour or more in time.

I chose to get off at Sunset Beach. The walk was nice. It took 15 minutes to get home. The next time I’ll walk from Camp Rilea and see how that goes. I estimate it as being the same distance. I may have a better opportunity to spot oncoming log trucks from that direction as well.

The walking experience was enjoyable. As I walked I recalled being a kid riding my bike to the store or walking with mom. I’d go alone, or we’d walk together for a candy bar on a gravel path lined with maple trees alongside a highway. That’s your Norman Rockwell memory for the day. The maple trees are gone, the store is gone, and candy bars are smaller and no longer a nickel.

Back here in reality there was a bottleneck in the road made by the restriction of a bridge and I tried to avoid it by taking a side loop. There was a dog that did not want to be friends so I crossed the bridge. You can wait for trucks, but you can’t reason with dogs is the way I saw it at the moment.

Overall the trip to town was a positive experience. I didn’t get terribly wet. There was absolutely no dangerous or unhealthful exposure or discomfort from the sun. To top it off I returned from town with some fine photographs on this drizzly morning in Astoria.

The area is blessed with spectacular beauty associated with the totality of its environment. Four miles across the Columbia River by bridge is Washington State. (It’s probably the same distance by water.) The topographical gap between the two shores spreads out, opening until it blends seamlessly into the Pacific Ocean.

High humidity is partly responsible for the dramatic lighting effects.

The opening of the lands natural contours on each side of the river into the ocean seems to invite the weather in. It took a while for me to get used to the rain from November to May and appreciate the sun as much as I do today. In New York sunny days are as plentiful as pebbles on a path, here they are as rare as diamonds. I guess that's why I enjoy them more.

The sporadic and sudden appearance of the sun on the North Coast is a grand delight. The river, coast, bridges, and hillside spattered with houses as well as the heritage of the area are all treasures the sun illuminates differently through the many lenses the weather provides.

There’s weather humor that goes with living here. The funniest bumper sticker I have seen in the area had “Pray for Rain” printed on it. It might have been an old bumper sticker I don’t know. But the irony struck me and I couldn’t help but laugh.

Anyhow I had to run an errand in town and brought my camera along. Take a look. These are from along the river near the bus station. I was fascinated by the structure in the first photograph. The lines and reflections spoke to me. Afterward I walked along the streets a bit and was wowed by some commonplace objects I mistook for art materials.

I am not sure what attracted me to this. I suspect it was the sense of illusion present in the way object and reflection became merged.

This one spot had lots of photographic potential.

I began to fiddle with some images a little.

An old Chubby Checker song came to mind upon seeing this development.

I am fascinated by the city. Its architecture and ambiance simply charm me. The history is fascinating. I wonder if Walt Whitman ever got here. He would have loved it.

I had time to use waiting for the bus. On the streets I found a few images that required their photograph be taken. One was a grate in a sidewalk with glass or glass-like squares.

The image below turned out to be my favorite. It was just a few steps down from the where I photographed the grate. I saw it on the wall of a building. I surmise it was a community bulletin board at one time. The only indication of its past function is the outline of the place sheets of paper were placed. The outline as well as staples and the rust streaks below them remain as a testament to elapsed time.

This is the variation of the original image I like the most. I placed a 50 percent smaller image beneath and melded them together. I was hoping some kind of neat effect would occur. I think it did.

All images can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Images and text (C) 2012 by David H. Roche
a Clear Running Water state of mind

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A practitioner of the art of living with the intent of learning how to die without fear.