Portland’s networks of light rail and vertical-lift bridges give the downtown a particular industrial style; I like to imagine that this is pretty close to what 1917’s “City of the Future” would look like if partially realized.
This week, Portland was visited by the US Navy ships USS Bunker Hill (the missile cruiser in the background) and USS Jackson (the stealthy littoral combat ship in the foreground). The futuristic structure and military aesthetic makes for odd juxtaposition with Portland’s Old Town/Voodoo Donuts reality.
Gaze over an enormous, Western, natural landscape, full of Bob-Ross-esque mountains, full of happy little trees. (Well, mostly happy. Probably not the ones in the areas that have been clear-cut.) HDR techniques make images detailed and unreal and unnatural; wet-plate effects (courtesy Analog Effex Pro 2) make images soft and faded. Using the two together, as in this photo of Mt. Jefferson taken from Mt. Hood, makes for something more supernatural than unnatural.
This is more than a vibrant, glowing, living moment of late-night city life from the Pearl District of Portland, Oregon; this picture is the first I’ve ever processed with a new piece of software, Aurora HDR. It was processed only with Aurora, with no other fiddling in other programs. (As you may know, I’m typically a die-hard Photomatix+Photoshop workflow guy.) I’m not sure what place Aurora will have in my workflow long-term, but I have to at least say this: its noise reduction algorithms are by far the best I’ve ever seen. (Noise is the main enemy of good HDR shots.) I’ll bring you a longer report when I’ve had more seat time with it.