Sunday, June 21, 2009

again to Eugene

Over two weeks ago I returned from a long and tiring five-day trip to Oregon again. Two days were actually spent in Eugene shooting some great friends and families, then left Eugene Monday morning at about

5am, driving to gorgeous Crater Lake a final time as I think I won’t be able to see it again due to the packing and readying for my return to Spain next year. I had a bit of self-inflicted food-poisoning which made the latter portion of my return even worst, though I didn't know it was due to my reusing coffee cups obtained during the SF to Eugene portion. So much for future trips being green and reusing disposable cups!

Driving in Eugene is sooo easy and carefree, not like the hassle and rush in the Bay Area. It was wonderful seeing all the tree-lined streets, which I think one takes for granted. There are many streets in SF full of trees but it’s just one of many – but when one drives the Eugene streets and thorough-ways, trees are on practically every street! I think it’s a very soothing effect on a driver…. The other thing I enjoyed seeing is the Christmas snowflakes effect the tree pollen gives one…. And just as big as a flake in a heavy snowfall!!

Saturday morning I had a family shoot and also another family session Sunday afternoon in Amazon Park, then a private session Sunday morning. Photography is something I love as it allows me to see uniquely the surrounding world to create new visions – perhaps that’s half the source of my problems as I have to be always living in front of a small monitor to organize, edit and archive my image files. There is something wrong with this equation and though this is the normal progression of photography, I know I was not born to stay cooped up within a dwelling no matter where I am, looking at the small screen to organize and view images, nor to contact others. This isn’t the life I expect nor want it to be, and soon after I return to Spain, I’ll revert back to film….

Regardless, it was great to be in Eugene again, and to finally see an end to most of the I-5 road work that was going on all the months I spent there. The people of Eugene should be proud of what they have there…. I am always happy to let people know I used to be a Eugene resident and wish I were still! I went by my old neighborhood, and saw the little garage cottage where I lived. It looked empty though there was a new couple who both smoke living in the main house.

I was again surprised to see a few business closures, typical during these hard times but I thought they were going strong after seeing them late last year when I was in Eugene last. Though the homeless scene is just as obvious in Eugene as it is in San Francisco,

Crater Lake was a blast, with wispy clouds later appearing to my surprise, then I decided to get to the east side of the lake to prevent lens flare by not shooting into the sun. There was snow at the lake, and I soon discovered the east side closed due to this large amount of snow! So, I drove back to the northern side and continued taking pictures. Fortunately by time I returned, the sun had risen higher and allowed me more latitude in getting the shots I wanted. I even climbed to some deserted spots to which I’ve never been previously.

Leaving Crater Lake I drove on HWY 199 south toward the Californian coast. I was hoping to get some shots of the Oregon coast too, but that wasn’t to be. Instead it was the Californian coast I saw first and I wasn’t happy at all till I noticed the city had a lighthouse. Everyone knows I like lighthouses!! Ha! It's amazing that on my GPS the California borderline showed up as a non-descriptive thick black line! Right as I crossed the border I saw out of the corner of my eye a sign welcoming me back to my home state! Amazingly, the weather in Oregon this day was nice, warm and sunny and as soon as I crossed the border headed south, instead of sun it was immediately overcast and coooold!! What gives!?! wow!!I was also tired enough to stop to look at the tall redwoods again, and that is something that always keeps me in awe as I look skyward to see the heights of these beautiful trees.

Since my return I've been working on the trip image files plus others created before I departed. The files just add up and accumulates in more sitting and more monitor work for me. I would have never thought my passion for photography would be affected by the post-work that follows creating an image: the endless hours of viewing each and every image, deleting or maintaining a file, organizing everything then archiving the massive amounts of files later. While I am happy to have such great images from the trip, I am so disappointed that my life now has been reduced to 100hrs a day computer work which distracts from the pleasure in my recent past when all I had was a darkroom and that was all I needed. In those days, I would shoot film all day, then spend hours in the darkroom during the cooler night, the breeze coming in through an open window being a welcome break in the darkness....

Those days are gone…. for now.