Back in March of 2019, I visited Portland, OR and was able to get several photographs in the city. Especially interesting to me was the Willamette River which runs through Portland and the numerous bridges which cross over the river. For reference, check out my blog post of “Three Bridges” dated 3-3-19.
Even though I took several photographs which I really liked that evening, there is always more. There are only so many hours in the evening and I couldn’t get everything in just one evening. Especially considering that was my first time looking for night photos in Portland, it made me research more possibilities and I wanted to return.
I had done some research over the following months and had some ideas about different areas to try. Now I just needed to make the trip and see what I could do. An opportunity presented itself and I was excited to go back and get some more photographs.
When I was there in March, I had visited the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) and noticed they had a submarine (USS Blueback) docked along the river. It is open for tours, but I was too late to take advantage of it. I never even thought of trying to take a photo of the submarine until I was doing my research for a return visit. It seemed access for photography was good, even though I thought it would be gated and inaccessible.
When I went there on this trip, I found the walkway down to the submarine was surprisingly open. I made it all the way down to the water and right next to the submarine. I was able to walk down and set up without anyone else around or telling me the area was off-limits. Even though this surprised me, I am still more surprised at how close I was able to get.
The view of the Portland skyline with the submarine in the foreground was fantastic. I took several photos from different angles and locations, looking for that ‘special one’ I was hoping for. I really enjoyed the location and scene and to me, all the photos were good, but this one I thought was the best.
The other lucky part of this adventure was the weather. If you know anything about the Pacific Northwest and particularly Portland, rain is a common occurrence. As I was driving to Portland from Northern California, I encountered rain most of the way. I had checked the forecast and it said there should be a break in the rain that evening with more returning the following day. When I got to Portland in the late afternoon, it was still raining. But after a nice dinner, I went back out to grab as many night photos as I could and the rain had stopped. All the photos I took that evening, it did not rain. When done, I went to my hotel room for the evening and woke up to rain! Sometimes you just get lucky.