Sometime in December 2011 I found myself up on top of Rocky Butte on the East side of Portland, OR, where Interstate 205 meets I-84 just before crossing over the mighty Columbia River. I was watching the sunset on this evening. Rocky Butte is one of seven extinct volcanoes that unevenly line the Eastern edge of the city of Portland stretching South to the Clackamas area. All seven offer outstanding views from different perspectives of the Northern Willamette Valley, which stretches all the way down to Eugene, OR. Rocky Butte is the Northern most of these 7 extinct volcanoes, located just South of Portland International Airport.
So, I’m up there one day for the sunset, early, because the sun sets way early in December, and I’m wondering what it would be like to see the sun set from here in the Summer time. Then the mind really started wondering, especially about what it would be like to essentially track the sun setting through out the year as the sun tracks back North and then back South the following year. And I thought wouldn’t that be a neat project? So I decided right then and there to start that project, the very next month. But to be honest it’s difficult, for me anyway, to get some where to take pictures of the sunset. Taking into consideration usually in the afternoons, or evenings, I’m busy doing something. Whether it’s working, hanging with friends, or whatever. I’m a morning person anyway, having looked East while up at Rocky Butte on the fateful day, and seeing the beautiful view of Mt. Hood, I made a commitment to myself to make it up to Rocky Butte 3 – 4 mornings a month for the next 6 months and take pictures of the sunrise behind the beautiful and majestic Mt Hood.
I met that commitment, and throughout the year of 2012 I ended heading up to Rocky Butte around 50 mornings. I took well over 5000 digital images of the sun rising in the East, tracking it North as it passed by Mt. Hood all the way North to where I could include Mt. St. Helens in the sunrise image taken during the month of June. Easily 90% of those images are just bad images. Because I took pictures at different settings, the wind was blowing on many mornings, and despite using a tripod, it kept shaking my camera, creating a lot of blurred images; or just the scenery wasn’t very spectacular that morning either filled with fog or clouds. I did manage to create just over 100 images that are included in what I’m now calling my 2012 Portland Sunrise series. I’ve divided those into 3 groups – Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Hood, & Abstracts – Included with this first post, of 3, are 15 of my favorite Abstract Sunrise images, out of the entire 100 images in the series.
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