Monthly Archives: September 2014

Coast Life

(Above is a cover of one of my all-time favorite songs. It is the closest to the Frank Sinatra original I could find and should add a layer of enjoyment to the photos below.)

Coast Life_cover

Another summer break stop was the coast. Not a specific place on the coast. Random stops across the whole thing.

Coast Life_Beach Panorama

Every beach along the coast was different. Different sand. Different color water. Different weather conditions.

Same frigid water temperature.

Coast Life_Ocean Mist

Coast Life_Crab Claw

Coast Life_Canon Beach Panorama

I don’t normally post photos of people, and I also try not to toot my own horn, but this next photo. NAILED IT.

Coast Life_Model Sister

^Look at that super-model sister!

Coast Life_Seagull

^Look at that super-model seagull!

Coast Life_From atop the dunes

Coast Life_sand

One of my favorite things to photograph at the coast is the sunset. Maybe because it is easy to make a picture look cool and artsy when you just point the camera directly at the sun…

Coast Life_Sunset 01

I think the real question is… Which blown-out, sun-burst photo is the best?

Coast Life_Sunset 03

Coast Life_Sunset 02

My personal favorite:

Coast Life_Sunset 04

The Northwestern coast is lovely. The best part is it is so cold that it is rarely crowded!

It almost makes the sand bearable. 

Oregon photos

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Very Tall Trees


Much exploration has occurred since the end of summer term. Perhaps too much exploration. 

One of the several trips I’ve taken led my sister and I to the Redwood forest. It was my first time visiting and has changed the scale I use to understand trees forever.

vERY tALL tREES_Sunbeam through Redwoods

The forest was lush and green. We didn’t see too much wildlife, perhaps because we were too busy looking up.

vERY tALL tREES_Looking up at Redwoods

We were sure to visit the super cheesy, super tourist-y “Trees of Mystery”, which turned out to be the best thing I’ve ever seen.

vERY tALL tREES_Redwood Chapel

vERY tALL tREES_Light through moss

vERY tALL tREES_Hanging Moss

There seemed to have been a fire happening near by because the forest was incredibly hazy.

vERY tALL tREES_Smoggy Day

But, under the cover of the trees, the haze made the morning sun’s rays glow orange.

vERY tALL tREES_Hanging Flowers

vERY tALL tREES_Hollow Tree

vERY tALL tREES_green covered sign

After finishing our tour of the “Trees of Mystery”, we went on a small hike in an area called Fern Canyon.

It was very pretty.

vERY tALL tREES_Fern Canyon 1

Did you see the ferns? Growing on the canyon walls? Get it? …Fern? …Canyon?

vERY tALL tREES_Fern Canyon 3

vERY tALL tREES_Fern Canyon 2

After exiting the canyon and hiking for a short while, we were slightly frightened. One, because we didn’t exactly know where we were, and two, because we saw an ominous figure in the forest…

vERY tALL tREES_Figure in the Trees 1

Do you see it? Slightly below and to the right of the center of the image? Does that not look exactly like a hooded, bearded man? Freaky, right?!

vERY tALL tREES_Figure in the Trees 2

I was certain it was sign… A SIGN OF OUR IMMEDIATE DOOM!

But, as far as I know we are both okay and we lived on to see a lovely red sun fall behind the giant trees of Northern California.

vERY tALL tREES_Sunset

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Communication Breakdown

I like making pretty pictures.

In every good architecture presentation (specifically in an academic setting) there are a few key drawings that help communicate the design of a building/landscape/object/whatever. Site plans, floor plans, sections, elevations, axonometric drawings and diagrams all help to communicate what the building looks like and why it looks like that. But architecture is much more than just looks. Architecture also feels a certain way.

With all of that said, my favorite part of the architecture design process is creating renderings that express how a building should feel. So, I’ve decided to use examples from my summer studio to share three different renderings of (essentially) the same building done in three different styles.

Midterm Rendering

This first  rendering was made for the studio midterm. It is left purposefully abstract because… well… I didn’t know much about the building yet! It is essentially a Sketchup massing model with some light overdrawing and material overlay. Some things are strategically detailed while others are strategically covered by women on horseback or sheep in the pasture. At this point in the design process, the important thing to show was how the building sat in the landscape and the major design moves I was making (a long gabled structure intersected by projecting volumes).

If you think that is abstract, then hang on…

Abstract Exterior

I am a HUGE fan of very abstract renderings, though I will admit I am no where near a master. There is a very fine balance between what should be illustrated and what should be left out that I find very difficult to manage. This illustration is again attempting to show the major design decisions I’ve made while leaving out any design details I have yet to consider. Someday I would love to do an extremely abstract, collage-like rendering and proudly pin it up for my final presentation… but that didn’t happen this summer…

Instead, I went with my go-to rendering style:

Exterior Rendering For Portfolio

The above image has become a pretty typical rendering style for me: a basic Revit rendering for the building followed by a fairly intensive layer of Photoshop love. 

My portfolio is now filled with renderings that look like this, which receives mixed reviews. Some say, “Wow! Look at that chipmunk!” Others exclaim, “Ooh! Nice! That is the kind of meadow I want to be in! It just looks like it feels nice!” Some even say, “That looks pretty goofy…”

The point is, it doesn’t matter really what the image looks like. There are a dozen ways to represent the same project, and everyone will like a different style. What matters is what the image is communicating

In this case: This wool production facility is the most heavenly most over-rendered place on earth. If you are good, when you die you will go here.

Design Work



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Manual Panorama

Manual Panorama_Willamette Hall


adjective; (of a machine or device) worked by hand, not automatically or electronically.


noun; an unbroken view of the whole region surrounding an observer.

Manual Panorama_Franklin Boulevard

In these modern times, there are many ways to create a panoramic image. Many digital cameras have a panorama feature built in, including cell-phone cameras. Photoshop has a “Photomerge” feature that allows you to easily take any series of photos and combine them into a panorama. However, very frequently panoramas are a very wide strip of horizon that show a fair amount of lateral information, but don’t necessarily show “an unbroken view of the whole region surrounding an observer.” So, every once in a while I like to take the time to make a manual panorama.

Manual Panorama_Cave of the Winds

When manually placing and distorting images in Photoshop, you can start to build a suggestion of dimension within a flat image.

Manual Panorama_Orange Sky

Manually creating a panorama requires you to make decisions about what you want to present as important within the image. Photo color and exposure can be adjusted and layered in a certain order to create a hierarchy of elements within the image (ie foreground vs background, shadow vs highlight, etc.).

Manual Panorama_Just outside Portland

The density of placed images can make a sense of importance within the panorama. Also, excluding parts of the panorama can be just as effective.

Manual Panorama_Crater Lake

Distortion is inevitable, but again helps you to illustrate what you think is important (and should not be distorted) and what is unimportant (and can be skewed or covered up).

Manual Panorama_Crescent City

If done very carefully, manual panoramas can give a viewer an idea of what it is like to be in the image.

Manual Panorama_Gold Bluffs Beach

You can even use this technique to illustrate where the viewer is standing within the image.

If you have the patience and the time, try making your own Manual Panorama! (or whatever other name you know this technique by)

Try not to get lost in the pixels though… It is a challenge…

Design Work

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American Sheep

To fully enjoy the following blog post, I recommend pushing play on the SoundCloud widget below.

Imperial Stock Ranch_Cover

In Eastern Oregon is a ranch that has made a reputation for itself as a success story in favor of sustainable farming practices and as an All-American ranch producing All-American wool. If you haven’t heard of them, check out this video about Imperial Stock Ranch and their contribution to the 2014 Winter Olympics. Aside from this brief account of their accomplishments, the Imperial Stock Ranch served as a type of precedent and site for this summer studio’s project: a Wool Production Facility (now featured in the updated version of my portfolio)

The following are some of my site visit photos that chronicle the All-American visit taken to this All-American ranch this past All-American summer.

Imperial Stock Ranch_Panorama

Unlike Eugene and Portland, this part of Oregon is incredibly hot and dry. In fact, Eastern Oregon is mostly a high desert ecosystem and climate.

Imperial Stock Ranch_Mountain  View

In the rolling plains near Shaniko, Oregon, the sun-bleached structures of Imperial Stock Ranch lean and weather with age.

Imperial Stock Ranch_Shearing Facility Exterior

Simply typing the word “Ranch” reminds me of the picturesque beauty present at the property. This ranch was filled with a romanticized sense of Americana found in any part of the country where old things are still good.

Imperial Stock Ranch_Shearing Facility

Imperial Stock Ranch_From the Shade

Imperial Stock Ranch_Barn Structure Silohuette

The ranch is home to cattle, sheep, horses, dogs,cats,  and whatever wild-animals seek shelter in the shade of the old barns.

Imperial Stock Ranch_Cattle

Imperial Stock Ranch_Herd Dog

In the valleys, protected from the wind are tall, old, untamed trees that reach up towards the sky.

Imperial Stock Ranch_Vegetation 1

Imperial Stock Ranch_Vegetastion 2

The buildings are old. Their construction technique is of another time.

Imperial Stock Ranch_Cool Structure

Imperial Stock Ranch_Trctor in Barn

Imperial Stock Ranch_ROOFS

Equipment is scattered across the property and furnishes the outdoors like sculpture.

Imperial Stock Ranch_Gas Tanks

Imperial Stock Ranch_Wagon Wheel

The textures of the area are unmistakable earth tones, mixed with Cobalt skies. With human intervention comes colors of a different nature.

Imperial Stock Ranch_Textures

On the property is the original home of the settler who founded the Imperial Stock Ranch.

Imperial Stock Ranch_Old Home

And in the shadow of this historic home was the highlight of the trip:

This little University of Colorado Fan.

Imperial Stock Ranch_Go Buffs

I think there’s always been a part of me that fantasized about being a rancher. There is something so attractive about being miles from civilization and working the land for a living.

But I guess Architecture is cool too…

Oregon photos


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