My Photo Blog & Themes
This page complements my About page on Flickr.
Photoblogging Walks 2010-2022
In 2010, when my mom started to become ill, I decided to leave my job in downtown Portland and switch to a contract position at a workplace closer to our house. My move prompted me to begin commuting year-round on foot, which I did for three years. I recognized this was (is) a privilege. My round-trip walk was 5-7 miles. It would vary depending on the routes I took.
As I began to see unique scenes and changes along my routes, I decided to start photoblogging my work walks. This helped me practice and improve my photography skills.
When my weekday work walks led to longer weekend walks, I started photoblogging those walks as well. I've continued this practice to this day. In the Portland metro region, I've explored Portland proper, Gresham, Sellwood, Milwaukie, Tigard, Beaverton, St Johns, Hillsboro, and Vancouver. When I travel, I try to explore the cities I'm in on foot.
My long walks are often rambles without a purpose or a destination. In addition to maintaining my physical fitness, I've also found my walks and hikes to be therapeutic. That was especially helpful for me when my mom was ill.
I stopped counting my steps years ago, and I've never had the ambition to walk every street or stick pins in a map. I'm always vigilant at intersection crossings.
Selected photos from each of my 2022, 2021, 2020, and 2019 walks on Flickr are in individual albums [photos]. On my site, I also have individual albums for my 2018 and 2017 walks. The albums on Flickr and my site are in reverse-chronological order. The photos in each album are in chronological order.
I have a large Flickr album titled 'Portland Metro Selected Street Scenes 2010-2022' and separate albums for each year in case you want to browse the photos in that manner. I'm still adding photos to my 2016 albums. I have many.
The structure of the albums on my site enables you to take virtual walks. Mapping services today also let you take virtual walks, but I don't track your steps or sell your data...
I don't geotag my photowalks for privacy purposes, so look for the photos of signs and signposts I took along the way.
I frequently add reference links to my photo descriptions on Flickr. I frequently like to learn more about what I captured and also share it for context. In Flickr, right-click to open the link on a new web page. The links are not active on my site.
Photography Genres & Themes
I haven't specialized in a particular photography genre, but I'd like to learn about a few in-depth. Nature, macro, B&W, abstract, and still life photography are all intriguing to me. I’ve been a point-and-shoot amateur for many years, so I’ll need to re-learn some photography basics for any genre I decide to tackle. I might need to purchase new camera gear as well ;-)
Since 2010, I’ve favored the themes that follow. On Flickr, I've started to create dedicated albums for specific subjects, such as my ongoing Portland Doors album [photos]. I plan to create more albums of this type in the future.
Given most of my walks are in the Portland metro region, I like to capture sights that are unique to my hometown of 36 years. These include scenes that show us having fun, being creative, being quirky (weird), being mindful of our natural environment, and demonstrating kindness and compassion.
With a few exceptions [photo, photo], I don’t focus on Portland’s negatives. It’s just not my shtick.
Architecture & Urban Planning Themes
I like fine architecture and design patterns. In high school, my drafting classes were among my favorites. On weekends, I'd read Architectural Record and Architectural Digest at our branch library. I sometimes regret not following my dream of becoming an architect. The closest I came in my career in IT was working as an enterprise technology architect and a data architect ;-)
I also like urban planning principles and programs, in part because there are strong parallels to IT enterprise architecture. Since Portland has a strong tradition in urban planning, you'll find many examples among my photos that pertain to housing, transportation, sustainability, land use planning, and so forth.
When I first moved from Anchorage to Portland in 1980, I was impressed with the urban planning projects that I saw firsthand when I worked downtown and (literally) saw from my studio apartment. Over the past few years, however, I think Portland has been lagging behind other metro regions. To me, it seems our regional leaders no longer have the vision or ambition to tackle big projects. I think analysis-paralysis has also become a factor, not only in Portland, but in other (progressive) west coast cities. Ezra Klein addressed this in his 7/23/2021 podcast.
An architect, city planner, and urban designer who I respect is Jeff Speck. I highly recommend his books and articles. I purchased my copy of Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time, after I attended a presentation by Jeff at Powell's Books in Portland in 2012.
Active & Public Transportation Themes
As my narrative on bicycling, hiking, and walking suggests, I’ve always had an interest in active (human-powered) transportation. My interest in getting around on foot started in high school, when I competed as a cross-country runner and a cross-country skier. I was never very fast, but I always finished.
Public transportation is another theme I like. In the early 80s, 90s, and later from 2015 to 2020, I commuted by bus to my different workplaces. I enjoyed getting to know some other regular riders on my bus lines. My wife and I rode one line together [photo] for the past few years. We can now get front-row seats :)
When needed, I've taken public transit to and/or from all but five of my walks in the Portland metro region since 2010. Sometimes I take a TriMet bus or a MAX light rail train to the end of the line and walk home.
My interest in active transportation led me to become involved with several local organizations over the years. When I was commuting by bicycle, I supported the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (now The Street Trust). When I was commuting on foot, I did volunteer work for the Lloyd District Transportation Management Association (now Go Lloyd), the Willamette Pedestrian Coalition (now Oregon Walks), and the City of Portland (The Ten-Toe Express, Sunday Parkways). In 2019, I helped AARP Oregon with its Community Neighbor Walks program.
I recently started helping SOLVE with their cleanup efforts in the Portland metro region. This is me holding the paper [photo]. I've been trying to participate in one to two events each week. I think it's a good way for me to help out in Portland right now (and meet nice folks). You can find some of my SOLVE photos on Flickr.
My wife is also helping out in Portland right now. Through the Jesuit EnCorps, she is doing meal prep and delivery for Transition Projects and working at a food pantry.
Last updated: 4/2/2022