The origins of this image are nowhere near as hectic as some of my earlier tales. This incredible sunrise over Portland actually came at the end of whirlwind 7-day loop trip around Oregon. I had started my travels by taking a delayed late night flight into PDX and immediately heading for The Gorge. As my trip continued I drove around the state stopping at Mt. Hood, Smith Rock State Park, Crater Lake NP, Redwoods NP, Bandon, and Cannon Beach.
After spending some time photographing Cannon Beach at night, I decided to head to Portland that to grab a morning run at Forest Park and possibly a sunrise. I made my way east and stopped at the Sunset Rest Area for a couple hours sleep before arriving in town early that morning. I had read about Pittock Mansion, and it seemed the best place for sunrise, but I couldn't find out whether the road would be open or I would have to walk in.
I was still pretty tired so I found a nearby parking lot to grab a couple more hours sleep and decided to try driving first. Thankfully the road was open and I had the whole park to myself. The overlook of the city sits right behind the mansion and access couldn't have been easier. For once I had time to setup and take in the early morning view.
Most of Portland was covered in a blanket of clouds, but I could see a break towards the East. I had high hopes of a dramatic sunrise and was even more excited to see Mt. Hood was visible! Following the perfect setup by nature, the sun started to rise and intense color poured through the scene as I captured the dramatic light. Just as the city lights were starting to go out with sun's first rays morning fog and mist still coalesced in the city. I had a short but incredible moment of light beams and hanging shadows surrounding the buildings as I finished the last photos of my trip.
Full morning came soon after and a film crew showed up, which in my mind I'll hope was from Portlandia. I made my way back to the car, drove to another nearby park, and had a relaxing run in the city side temperate rainforest. Soon I was back at PDX and returning to the browns of early Denver spring.