The first item on the agenda of photographing a sun event is finding a place that is above the trees and is also not blocked by an obnoxious building. The I-5 bridge that crosses the Columbia River and puts you into Vancouver, Washington is a perfect place if you want to avoid obstacles, not to mention the added bonus of the reflections in the water to add to the interest. The picture with the twin contrails was taken on a January morning when I was headed to in the Vancouver office of my firm. The picture above it was taken along a sidewalk that runs above the river. The Portland airport is off in the distance. That turned out to be a bonus because several Southwest planes came in to land as I watched. Planes weren't the only thing in the air that day. Canadian geese also chose that moment to show off their acrobatics over the still waters.
However, driving to Vancouver is not an option before going to work so with a little observation and thought I located three places within a five to ten minute drive from my house that give some decent views of both Mt. Hood and the sun for the morning and the sun's solo performance at night.The picture on the right was taken on an early March morning. I was taking the day off from work and could have slept in, but no, the sun had to wake me up. The nerve! The pink sunrise was on the way to work, and is unusual in that I've not seen the sky that color since then.
Sunsets are another issue. The best place to get a really clear shot would, again, be Vancouver but evening traffic is a hindrance and there's nothing more frustrating than sitting in your car as the sun sets. I have decided the sun moves a lot faster as it gets close to setting, probably something to do with gravitational pull (scientist that I am). The picture to the left and the one below it were taken from an area known as Council Crest in Southwest Portland. It was a cold, windy day but sunny so everyone was out trying to soak up some Vitamin D.
These last two pictures were captured spur of the moment after I looked out the window and saw that even with all the clouds (or maybe because of them) the sunset was going to be very colorful even if you didn't actually see the sun. I particularly liked the bird sitting in the tree, almost like he was the designated watchbird who was to make sure the sun really did set before reporting back to the flock. Now that sunrises and sunsets are seen more rarely I appreciate them more and have learned to be grateful for the things I was taking granted before they become only summertime memories.