While it has become de rigueur for every tourist to have their picture snapped with Umbrella Man, a couple of giveaways suggest the beloved sculpture may not be from around here. First, he wears a suit. Nobody in Oregon wears a suit. Second, the eponymous umbrella. Even during the rainy season, Portlanders are as likely to throw on a raincoat as throw up an umbrella.
We’ll forgive him though, as his friendly attitude is a hallmark of the citizens of Portland, one of the many, many reasons I love living here.
I just got back from a trip to Austin where the temperatures were regularly above 100°, quite a bit warmer than we’re used to here in Portland, so here’s a picture from this past December when the weather was slightly cooler. We had gotten an unusual amount of snow so I walked from our house to downtown Portland to photograph the city in the snow.
We know the sculpture by Seward Johnson in Pioneer Square as Umbrella Man but his formal name is Allow Me. He is supposed to represent someone offering to lend a hand but he reminds me of someone trying to hail a cab.
One of my favorite images but I can’t explain exactly why. It’s not my typical subject matter, my typical angle, or my typical lens.
Life on Oregon’s coast is generally pretty peaceful and quiet, but the dawn especially so. It was a cool spring morning, the sun not yet risen, and little could be heard apart from the waves on the shore. As I looked out of my hotel window, a handful of people were out on the beach, exercising, walking their dogs, or just enjoying the beauty of the coast.
As I soaked in the tranquility of the morning, I wanted to stay in the moment, but the sun always rises.