Trip to Oregon

At the end of May, I had a chance to visit Portland and Salem, OR for work. My job was sending me to a Bearded Iris Farm to take photos of every variety of Bearded Iris I could find! One of my jobs as the graphic designer is to maintain the look and feel of the site and that includes updating product images. Our images of Bearded Iris were what I’d call “old and crusty”. So it was my hope to get better photos that looked more realistic, group photos and lifestyle garden shots.

So here is the rundown…

6:20am on Tuesday, we fly out of Milwaukee. We make a stop in Denver and Reno before we get to Portland at 12:00pm (pacific time). Flying into Portland was basically a scene out of twilight. No vampires to be seen, but definitely had the setting of a moody, foggy northwestern indie film, and of course we arrived and it was raining (story of the entire trip). We got our rental car and hit the freeway to Salem which in theory was only an hour away.

Due to the rain, there was a few accidents on the freeway and kept stalling us in traffic. We finally got off and ate lunch at a small cafe. We finally get to Schreiners and it’s raining (of course), but we decide to check out the gardens and we spend an hour or two taking some images before the rain gets worse. Then we head to the hotel and order pizza. I was passed out at like 8:45pm… it was a long travel day.

Basically most of these photos are of flowers (hence why I was there), sorry + enjoy! I however was pretty proud of myself that I shot on manual mode the entire time…. that is why it doesn’t really look rainy (except for the awesome raindrops) because I’d adjust the light settings to still let in a bunch of it. Taking photos with great light is key! Overall I’m pretty proud of myself!

6:00am Wednesday… we both wake up early – probably because we are still stuck on central time and the fact that we went to bed so early didn’t help. We figured we’d get a head start on the day since it’s raining (of course) and it was only supposed to get worse as the day went on. We stop at Walmart (to get a golf umbrella) and grab Starbucks.

We head to the farm again, but on the way we see the fields of Iris that we didn’t yesterday. The sign says no visitors, but we still pull over on the side of the road to take a few photos. Jenny, our operations manager, traveled with me mainly so I didn’t have to go alone, but also she could scope out new iris varieties we could carry. She also did a fabulous job of holding the umbrella over me at times the rain was heavy – we had to protect the really expensive work camera!

I also asked her to take this photo below…. however she claimed to be no photographer and she was right, at least she got the flowers in focus! Thanks Jenny 🙂

We spent the rest of the morning at the gardens photographing everything we found, even some perennials such as allium, hostas and columbine.

12:30pm Wednesday… the rain was getting worse so we decided to call it a day. We had gotten to every area of the farm with gardens, so we felt it was ok to leave. We grabbed lunch at Applebees and headed back to Portland where we spent the night to flight out in the early AM.

5:00pm Wednesday… we adventured out into Portland and tried Frank’s Noodle House for some Chinese dishes and then had dessert at Voodoo Donut. Voodoo Donut is a very popular food attraction within Portland. It’s been featured on various food network shows. After dinner, we head back to the hotel because we have an early flight back home.

3:45am Thursday… we are up and ready to head to the airport. As we fly out of Portland and past the clouds, it was the first time we saw the sun in a few days! We head to Las Vegas for a transfer then back to Milwaukee… it was amazing to fly over the rockies and other mountains in that part of the country!

Overall, Portland was a great city to add to the “places I’ve been” and would love to head back some day to really check out what makes Portland so weird. One of the things I couldn’t get over is how much Portland-ers love to garden and how crazy big things grow there. Literally, the hostas were up to my waist! Crazy.

2 thoughts on “Trip to Oregon

  1. Beautiful photos Vanessa! I’d love to know the camera and lens you used. I still have a hard time in manual but am trying to learn. Come on out to Idaho sometime and you can do some wildlife photography.

    • Thanks aunt Brenda! The iris photos were with my work’s camera (Canon 40D) and lens (28-135m Macro f.5/1.6). For my own personal use, I use a canon rebel and then a 50m f/1.8 lens which seems to suit my needs mostly and a lot cheaper 🙂