If you follow this blog regularly, you know that, while we’ve been doing a lot of air travel, our motorcoach has been parked between Portland and Eugene, Oregon, for quite some time. This is because I’ve been monitoring the progress of my vintage bus project, which has been going on in Eugene. This past week, we nailed down the designs for the interior, so the project can now go on autopilot (meaning the guys at the shop no longer need my input) and we’re free to roam the country again!
First things first, though. I started out the week in Seattle, where I presented my online class on Photoshop retouching & collaging at creativeLIVE. This class is part of a larger “Photoshop Mastery” series that I’ve been teaching once a month for the past few months. Next month, I’ll be returning to teach “Creative Explorations” in Photoshop. If you missed the recent classes, or want to enroll (for free) to the next one, visit my instructor page here.
On the set of my creativeLIVE class.
My friend and fellow photographer Rick Friedman was teaching a creativeLIVE class right after mine, so we got to meet up in Seattle!
After leaving Seattle, we returned to the bus in Eugene, Oregon and spent one night there before hitching up and heading out. We headed north through Portland, where we made a quick stop to pick up my new, custom-made hat! I’ll post pics of that soon. We then headed east along the Columbia Gorge, on the Oregon/Washington border. We had spent several days exploring the gorge area before, but there is lots to see there, so we spent a few nights near the town of Carson, which is right on the gorge, on the Washington side.
This area is just beautiful, and there’s lots to photograph. I am currently working on an e-book for shooting waterfalls, so that’s what we focused on. There are so many waterfalls in this area that you could literally spend weeks shooting them all. We had heard good things about Panther Creek Falls, so that’s the first one we hit up. It was about a 45-minute drive from Carson and a really short, easy hike to the falls. It was pretty spectacular, and we actually returned twice to shoot it in different light.
My shot of Panther Creek Falls. This is just a detail shot. The whole falls is shown below.
Karen got this shot of me near Panther Creek Falls. The red light on my camera looks so bright because it was actually the brightest thing in the scene. This was pushing 8:30 at night and it was actually quite dark.
The entirety of Panther Creek Falls.
Some of the rapids leading up to the waterfall.
I got this shot of Karen shooting near the falls.
We also drove out to see Lower Lewis Creek Falls, which was a longer trip from Carson (1.5 hours) but totally worth it because of the scenic drive and the beautiful weather. The waterfall was great, expanding a wide area. It was, however, in direct sunlight so it was hard to get any really nice shots of it. This is one of those waterfalls you really need to shoot on a cloudy/foggy day. It was still nice to see, though, and we enjoyed the exploring aspect of it. While we were driving to Lower Lewis Creek Falls, we also got several great views of Mount Saint Helen, which was an added bonus.
Karen’s shot of Lower Lewis Creek Falls. It would have been much better on a foggy day, but it was still nice to see.
After exploring the gorge area a bit, we continued eastward toward Walla Walla, Washington. We’ll spend a few days here visiting some vineyards (this is wine country) and celebrating my birthday! More to come.
Here’s a video Karen made from our time near the Columbia Gorge.
Also, click HERE for Karen’s post on the Columbia Gorge area
Two of my favorite topics! This week, I combined the two by lightpainting a vintage truck I had visited a few weeks ago. This truck is located at the Antique Powerland Museum in Salem, Oregon. The museum is full of vintage semis and other vehicles, and back when Karen and I got a tour, I spoke with our guide about returning one night to lightpaint my favorite vehicle. After seeing my work, the guide agreed to meet me after dark one night.
The vehicle is a 1938 Ford COE (cab-over-engine) that has a whopping 85 horsepower (my vintage bus has more like 400 for comparison). It was the first Ford truck to use the COE design. I just love the art deco/streamline moderne design of trucks of that vintage.
If you’re a photographer or photo enthusiast, know that there are only three things preventing you from making an image like this one: 1) time, 2) patience, 3) technical knowledge. I can only help you with #3. If you want to get started painting with light, check out my e-book on the subject. You can even download a free starter/sample pdf to get you started.
This is one of my mega light paintings… I shot no fewer than 120 exposures! But some of those where as short as one second long just to light the hood ornament for example. When it’s a big and complex object like this one, I tend to be excessive with the number of exposures I capture… if I miss something, it’s going to be just a black hole… so I better light be sure to light everything… and often from more then one angle. My main complaint about this image is the lack of shape in the near front fender. The far front fender is lit from light reflecting off the white wall next to the truck. If I were to do it again, I would have lit the ceiling to get some light to reflect into the near front fender.
While I was in the Salem area, I toured Gordon house, which is one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s usonian homes. I’ve always been a Frank Lloyd Wright fan, and whenever I’m near one of his buildings, I try to pay a visit.
Outside of lightpainting, I spent a good part of the week between Portland and Eugene, Oregon. My vintage bus is located in Eugene and the progress on the interior has been really consistent. Up until now, the interior of the bus has been a “mockup,” meaning a temporary interior that we would constantly tweak until we liked how everything was set up. Well, we finally got everything how we wanted it, so the mockup was pulled out, and progress has begun with the true materials. The guys started building our cabinets, and we completed the plans for the entryway design. If you’d like to follow the progress of the bus, I post everything on the Creative Cruiser’s Facebook Page.
The constantly-changing blueprint for my vintage bus.
This coming week, I’m heading to Seattle to teach the next segment in my Photoshop Mastery series on creativeLIVE. This class is on retouching and collage, and it’s free to watch while it’s live! Of course, if you like what you see, you can purchase the class for a discounted rate while it’s live. The class is Monday and Tuesday, 9 am – 4 pm PST. Check it out HERE.
While we both really like Portland, we’re counting down until the day we can get back on the road and actually leave Oregon (we’ve been parked there for a REALLY long time). So as you can probably guess, this past week was mostly spent in Portland. We did see some new things though…like the vintage vacuum museum! No, that’s not a joke. We spent a day going out and seeing really random things, and this was the first stop. Karen didn’t know where we were going, and she looked a little confused when I took her to a back hallway inside a huge vacuum cleaner store. She knows me pretty well though, so when she started to see all the old vacuums she just shook her head and laughed.
A scene from the vintage vacuum museum.
We also went to another oddball place called the Faux Museum. I don’t even know how to describe it, but some dude (who may or may not have been on a lot of drugs) decided to create this home-made museum based on his “journey to the 7th dimension.” Yeah. It was weird…. on a whole new level. THEN, we went somewhere really cool. Portland has a classic arcade that is full of classic arcade games. You literally walk in and are taken back in time. They have full sized Asteroids, Tempest, Centipede, Joust, Dig dug, Frogger, Donkey Kong, Galaga, and many, many more, plus classic pinball! All the arcade games cost only 25¢ to play, just like the old days. To make it even better, they have a bar that opens after 5 pm. I had a blast in there!
An iPhone shot from Ground Kontrol, the classic arcade in Portland.
This week, I also revisited a shooting location I had scouted before. It’s an old Signal Service Station that has since been turned into a pizza parlor. In order to photograph it, I had to move a lot of benches and other furniture, but hopefully, it will turn out pretty good. As soon as I process the final image, I’ll post it up here.
The Signal Station I photographed in Portland.
This coming week, I’ll be spending a lot of time preparing for my creativeLIVE course on June 10-11. The class is called “Photoshop Mastery: Retouching & Collage” and is part of the Photoshop Mastery series I’ve been teaching once a month. As with all creativeLIVE classes, it’s completely free to watch while it’s live. If you like what you see, you can purchase the course to watch (and re-watch) whenever you want. As I mentioned above, the classes is June 10 and 11, and runs from 9 am to 4 om PST. I hope you can tune in!
Ben: I'm a traveling Photoshop guru who loves to explore everything unique and extraordinary. I'm a photographer, former graphic designer and world traveler. Back on March 14th of 2006, I got sick of sitting still and waiting for my next vacation, so I sold 98% of my material possessions and started living on a tour bus and the rest is history.
Karen: I’m a photographer and graphic designer with an aptitude for anything involving pixels. I love being on the move, exploring the world and capturing it all with my camera. I joined Ben living on the road January 24th, 2010. For more on my work and play, visit my web site.