World Wide Pinhole Day was last Sunday and I managed to take 4 rolls of film between my two pinhole cameras, the Zero Image 6×6 and the 6×9.
I started out by meeting up with a group of Portland pinholers at the Bishop Close Garden in Lake Oswego, Oregon. The group was debating on our location when one of them saw a photo I had posted earlier in the week from this garden and so it was decided to go there. I didn’t mind going back because this beautiful garden that sits above the Willamette River changes with each passing season. Spring does not disappoint with the rhodies, azaleas, poppies, lily of the valley, and dogwoods in bloom. The group seemed happy with the place and many of them had never been here before.
The house was sited on the property by Frederick Olmsted who designed both Central and Prospect Parks in New York City. It is situated to take in the view of Mt Hood, but the windows in the house are very small. I would expect large picture windows, but Peter Kerr, the home’s original owner, wanted the house to resemble the manor homes of Scotland where he was from. And so the house has a kind of moorish feel to it.
As I wander around the grounds I can only imagine what it was like to grow up here. Peter had two daughters and I was fortunate to know them both, but never asked them what childhood was like here. A missed opportunity.
After the group finished their shoot we moved on to leisurely breakfast to chat about homemade pinhole cameras and locations for more shooting in the future. As we broke up and with sunshine the mode of the day I moved on to Lewis and Clark College on my own. I had not been to L&C College for several years and forgot what a great campus it is. Once again I was greeted by another lovely manor house built on the Arts and Crafts style by one Frank Meier. The home and 137 acres was his private home until he turned it over so that it could become a small private college.
The original home, garden and carriage house are all still here to enjoy. There are trails throughout the campus for easy walking on this hilly site above the Bishops Close location.
The college itself has some very modern architecture. I wish they would have built in the same Arts and Crafts style, but seldom do colleges and universities keep the style of the original buildings. I guess it is just too expensive.
I had a great day exploring just a tiny slice of Portland history. Each week I am going out and exploring another piece of the Portland landscape. So often we think we must travel far to find photo opportunities, but look around your own city. Play tourist at home. It’s fun to find little treasures tucked away but close to home. Put that extra gas money you have saved into a jar and save for your next far-away adventure.