The Peter Iredale Shipwreck | Oregon Coast

The Peter Iredale Shipwreck
(please click to view on black // canon 5d mark iii, canon 17-40mm f/4 l, 17mm, iso 50, f/16, 119 sec, b+w 10-stop // buy print)

Last week my wife and I took a much needed mommy-daddy ONLY vacation up to the Oregon coast. No kids, no worries…just relaxing in a beach house, reading, eating good food and seeing the sights. I miss it already.

This is the Peter Iredale shipwreck. It ran ashore back in 1906 meaning it’s been sitting there for over 106 years. Incredible. Slowly over the years it’s been buried and worn away from ocean waves, wind and probably vandals. It was amazing to me how it’s there without protection. No ropes, no fences, no nothing. In fact a Toyota pickup was just off camera to the left here by about 50 feet. The guy was clamming out in the waves. I was surprised you could just drive right by it and park.

It’s a lot bigger than you would think from a picture…at the high point there it’s about 15-18 feet. It was kind of crazy walking from our car over a bluff and seeing it for the first time. No words to describe it. Looking at something that has been in the same place for 106 years and is slowly disappearing was magical and thought-provoking.

When we were planning this trip, I knew I wanted to go here. I’d seen a few photos and couldn’t believe how close it was to Cannon Beach. I’ve been up that way before but had no idea about the ship wreck until recently.

The day was foggy and rainy, so I opted for some black and white long exposures.


Over the Fence: Auto Union

(Enjoy a larger view by clicking the image to view in lightbox…I know I do)

This is another shot in my “Over the Fence” series, which is in reality my neighbor’s backyard. A few weeks ago I posted how this came about and you can read more about it right here.

I cannot be sure, but this car appears to be closely related to an Auto Union 1000, a compact front-wheel vehicle manufactured between 1958 and 1963.  It builds a bit of a picture in my head of the kind of old cars my neighbor likes, because another one I found was also a compact, or “micro” car, from 1953.

Hidden behind a walled in area except for this little portion of the trunk, I dug the contrast between the rust and the green grass and oleanders. And despite not exactly wanting to shoot at the time I did, I kind of enjoy the little dots of light coming through the bushes.

More to come at some point…and likely a second trip through that yard.

(exif: canon eos 5d mark ii, canon 50mm 1.4, f/2.0, iso 100, 1/250 sec)

Over the Fence: Oxidation

(Image looks a bit sharper and cooler if you click to view in lightbox)

This is the first image of what will be an ongoing series that I’m dubbing “Over the Fence.” There is a bit of a backstory on this, so hopefully you don’t mind reading a few extra words today.

We moved  into this 100-year old, downtown Phoenix house back in November and met a few of our neighbors right off the bat. Great people. One of them was a guy named John who has lived on our block for over 20 years and owns five houses just on our street. He rents them, fixes them up and is usually seen running up and down the sidewalks working on something.

From our upstairs guest house we can see down into a small portion of one his backyards. Ever since I saw the rusted old cars he has back there, I’ve longed to explore what else might exist “over the fence.” It took me a bit of time to ask, because I didn’t want to appear like some weirdo, but when I finally did he had no problem. Sure, go over there anytime I want and here is where you open the gate.

I took him up on the offer last Friday afternoon. My daughter and I wandered over to what is actually TWO backyards since he owns the adjoining house and has a portion of the fence taken down. After a brief overall exploration, I was dumbfounded to find over TWELVE CARS in this guy’s backyard. Twelve.

Sadly or fantastically, depending on how you look at it…most of these cars are in vast degrees of deterioration and are hidden in little nooks and crannies of the backyard. I actually found out later than one of his houses which basically cannot be saved and needs to be bulldozed, has two cars INSIDE it. I’m kind of nervous about stepping foot inside a condemned house, but I think I may need to ask that question.

Now, he seems to collect a lot of “micro cars” from long ago. One of the pictures I’ll post later this week is of a 1953 BMW Isetta 300. It’s tiny, like a true and actual Mini Cooper.

This one in the above picture was pretty amazing, especially when you got to the front of the car and the exposed, completely rusted out engine. The view in the photo is the rear-left tail light or what is left of it. I was struck by the rich details of the paint, the rust and the streaks of white coming from these “legions” all over the trunk.

Needless to say, I’m hoping to get back in that yard soon. I believe on my first run I only got about 1/10th of what is possible and I only left because Lyla told me it was time to go. She has a way of getting me to do what she wants…I think it’s because she’s super cute and I’m a big pushover.

Regardless, I hope you are jealous. Having this kind of stuff to shoot about 20 feet away is heck of a lot of fun.

As Kenny Banya once said: “That’s GOLD Jerry…GOLD!”

(exif: canon eos 5d mark ii, canon 50mm 1.4, iso 100, f/2.2)

Who holds the key?

My first thought when I saw this lock through the broken glass wasn’t what it should have been. There are at least two other aspects of this scene that are way more interesting than the question that went through my head at the time:

I wonder who has the key to the lock…or does anyone even know where it is anymore?

So now you may wonder, what are the other two things?

Both of them only occurred to me AFTER I embedded this photo tonight. Which means to me that I need to take my time more. But it kind of makes sense…because I found this abandoned water/power structure while on the way to Lake Mead while the sun was going down and I honestly was a little nervous being all alone. I was rushing to get shots quickly, composing fast, without really noticing what was around me.

Yet even during post-processing I didn’t see it. Not until now.

Okay, the first may not be a big deal, but the fact that the chain is going through the broken windows is kind of amusing to me. Obviously someone decided they needed to keep people out after they’ve tried to get in a few times.

The bigger thing is that the friggin’ door is OPEN. I mean, I don’t know how far I could have pulled it ajar…but maybe enough to get a camera slid inside to take a couple of brackets? Maybe it would still be too tight.

But the strange thing is that I just didn’t even notice.

Regardless of all that, I just loved this old door and I still can’t sing enough praises about using the 50mm on stuff like this. It’s just brilliant.

(exif: canon 5d mark ii, canon 50mm 1.4, f/2.0, iso 100)

The Shawshank Redemption

Bars Urban Urbex Downtown Phoenix Windows

I was scouring some of my images last night looking for the right one to post for Movie Title Wednesday. Usually I save my best work for these days (in my eyes of course), but the ones that I really, really loved just couldn’t be connected to a movie for some reason. But then I saw this one, thought “Shawshank” and immediately knew I had today’s photograph. And I actually really like this image.

What can I say about The Shawshank Redemption that most of you wouldn’t know already? I mean, it’s in a lot of people’s top 10 favorite movies list (including mine), it was nominated for 12 Oscars (I’m amazed that it didn’t win any now that I look back) and it had one of the best little plot twists in recent memory. You got emotionally tied to the characters…and end up feeling their struggle when it comes to suddenly being in the outside world after 30 years in prison. But the message of hope was key to me…it’s something that no one can ever take away from you. What a great scene that was between Andy and Red:

Andy Dufresne: That’s the beauty of music. They can’t get that from you… Haven’t you ever felt that way about music?
Red: I played a mean harmonica as a younger man. Lost interest in it though. Didn’t make much sense in here.
Andy Dufresne: Here’s where it makes the most sense. You need it so you don’t forget.
Red: Forget?
Andy Dufresne: Forget that… there are places in this world that aren’t made out of stone. That there’s something inside… that they can’t get to, that they can’t touch. That’s yours.
Red: What’re you talking about?
Andy Dufresne: Hope.

Gives me chills just reading it again. What a fantastic film.

This image had the feel to me of an old prison…mangled bars, fading metal mesh…stained, dirty glass…worn and weathered bricks. Shot this back in late December during our downtown Phoenix photowalk. Once again, it’s an image using my 50mm 1.4 and I played around with it in live view to find the place I wanted to focus on the most. It wasn’t too hard to quickly spot the kind of “cross” in the middle that appears to be bound together with a piece of rusted wire.

Excited to go explore the urban areas of Phoenix once again…the February 5th photowalk is packed with people, we’re up to 13 and if you are interested in joining us, check out this blog post.

(exif: canon rebel xsi, 50mm 1.4, f/2.5, iso100)

An old, rusty water trough

This shot is from way back in May of this year. Sometimes I take brackets, smash them into an HDR shot, they end up being removed from my laptop to save disk space and get lost on my backup drives until I stumble across them eventually. I was browsing my HDR library on the backup disk last night and found this little guy sitting there.

Yet another gorgeous scene from my trip to Northern Arizona. This was on the way to Grand Falls and I just had to turnaround, drive down a dirt road in the rain in my little two-door and hope I didn’t get stuck anywhere. My only wish looking back is that I had my 17-35mm for this and had gotten a little closer to the water trough.

At least, I think it’s a water trough…the little bucket in the front appeared to be able to hold liquid, there were cow prints around and it seemed to serve no other purpose. I loved the rust and graffiti on it in contrast with the sort of smooth terrain around it and the stormy skies.

An old water trough

Just another random find along the way to Grand Falls. This appeared to be a makeshift water trough for cattle I believe, but it was awesomely rusted and decorated with some great graffiti. Loved the look of it against the stormy skies.