Sunday, February 7, 2010

Photographing The St Johns Bridge

St Johns Bridge
Many Oregon photographers enjoy shooting our local bridges, and you will find no finer bridge than the St Johns Bridge in North Portland. This bridge has frankly been shot to death but having said that there’s nothing like having your own files and also to enjoy the experience first hand. I have seen this bridge shot from so many perspectives over the years but one caught my eye especially from a great local photographer named Jesse Estes. His night shot is truly spectacular. This renewed my interest in this bridge and wondered how he got that particular vantage point. Well it turns out it’s really quite simple to find, although I made it extra tough on myself by taking the long way up the ravine and cross country with dog in tow.
If you are heading West on Hwy #30 and take the St Johns bridge exit to climb the steep road to the bridge entrance you will see a turnout about ¾ of the way up on you’re left. Park here and proceed West on foot approximately 1000 ft until you come to a series of steep concrete steps that lead to a landing with a hand rail. Continue west a very short distance until you come to a wood footbridge that overlooks the bridge and that is relatively free from blocking trees. This will be your tripod spot.

Architectural Lines
After shooting here and arriving back at you’re car feel free to cross the Columbia River on said bridge and proceed to Cathedral City Park located at the foot of the bridge on the North side.

You will find many compositions in this area as well.

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