• Erin Tolie

Water & Light Abstracts

(8 Photos) A few days ago, I headed into Portland, OR to the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Gardens in hopes that something might be blooming. The weather was favorable this morning, however nothing was blooming yet except a few daffodils and the cherry blossoms. There are always an abundance of ducks which are fun to watch, even photograph, but aside from that I struggled to find something to shoot. It was a beautiful morning and it felt great to have the rising sun's warmth on my face but sometimes you just want to press that shutter button! At least I do. The act of taking a picture, searching, composing, experimenting with settings, etc. gives me a feeling I cant get from anything else. It's therapeutic, challenging and just plain fun. So what to shoot then? Water reflections and water movement on the lake! This is a way of shooting I am only just starting to get into. Usually it's a creek's flow over rocks or a waterfall base I focus on when shooting intimate water abstracts. But this offers so much more creatively. Using the light, its reflection on the water, the movement of the water by either wind or passing ducks, using different angles, shutter speeds, exposures.. You can get some very unique abstracts. And as the light changes, your colors and tones and reflections change with it.

Hopefully in a month or so things will start budding and blooming here. I highly recommend this place if you like to shoot the local flora or want to get up close and personal with some ducks :) This is a beautiful garden! However, with what Portland has become lately (you locals know what I mean) if you plan on getting there early when they open at sunrise, before the hustle and bustle. DO bring a partner. Wandering around completely alone with expensive camera gear is asking for it. And yes, car break ins are common in the morning in this area. I have arrived only to find a homeless man, messed up on something, literally having a physical altercation with a bicycle at the entrance gates. Needless to say, I left. Ah, Portland... You used to be so nice... kind of... maybe.. or so I've heard.