Tag Archives: nature

Photomerge the Missing Years

It has been close to two years since I posted anything of recent relevance. 

Since I went on that epic trip overseas I have sort of rested on my laurels and continued to post images from a trip I took two years ago. Since then life has continued to roll on. I finished school and got a big boy job. And other important life things happened (wink wink). So what happened during those missing two years??? Well… here they are in photomerge form. 

Salt Lake City, Utah;


Chicago, Illinois;


Washington D.C.;


Shoshone Falls, Idaho:


Heber Valley, Utah;


Houston, Texas;


This is only showing places where I remembered to take photomerge style photos… much much more happened. But I don’t have time to talk about that now.

When one challenge is overcome, its time to face the next one… Wish me luck.


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Helsinki Files 01: Miscellaneous

This is rushed, because I’m already being pulled a hundred different directions. But, it is too early in the term to quit regular blogging. So, in an act of rebellion, here is the first of many posts about my visit to Helsinki:

Helsinki_Misc_Helsinki Cover

We saw so many things in Helsinki (excluding the sun). So many of them fall into nice, neat blogging categories. This post is all about the things that don’t. 

To counter how Scandinavian the above image is, enjoy this image:

Helsinki_Misc_Helsinki Burgers

An overwhelming presence in the city is the Helsinki Cathedral. I know it is overwhelming based on the building’s siting. Also, the shear number of photographs I have taken leads me to believe the building is important…

Helsinki_Misc_Helsinki Cathedral 03

Helsinki_Misc_Helsinki Cathedral 02

Helsinki_Misc_Helsinki Cathedral 04

Helsinki_Misc_Helsinki Cathedral 01

The interior of this commanding presence is… rather underwhelming…

Helsinki_Misc_Helsinki Cathedral Interior

In almost complete opposition, the Russian Orthodox is pulled up and away from the city. It’s importance is recognizable, however it is not embraced by the urban fabric as the Helsinki Cathedral is.

Helsinki_Misc_Helsinki Russian Orthodox Church 03

Again, in opposition, this church’s interior is highly ornamented and intricate.

Helsinki_Misc_Helsinki Russian Orthodox Church 02

Helsinki_Misc_Helsinki Russian Orthodox Church 01

But, Helsinki is a lot more than gloomy skies and churches. The train station, by Eliel Saarinen, embraces the national romanticist movement.

Helsinki_Misc_Helsinki Train Station 01

It is very carefully detailed.

Helsinki_Misc_Helsinki Train Station 04

And is home to the nicest Burger King I’ve ever seen.

Helsinki_Misc_Helsinki Train Station 02

Helsinki_Misc_Helsinki Train Station 03

Other architecture of historical importance seems to embrace bears. Lots of bears. Bears everywhere.

Helsinki_Misc_Helsinki Traditional Detail

Also, fish. Fish everywhere.

Helsinki_Misc_Helsinki Fish

There are also many more examples of Modern and Contemporary architecture. This is the home field of famous modernist Alvar Aalto (we’ll get to that later, I promise!).

Helsinki_Misc_Helsinki Housing

Helsinki_Misc_Helsinki Contemporary Detail 2

Helsinki_Misc_Helsinki Mall

Helsinki_Misc_Helsinki Contemporary Detail

The University of Helsinki has also commissioned several new libraries. All of which are nice though some are much more impressive than others.

Helsinki_Misc_Helsinki University Library 1

Helsinki_Misc_Helsinki University Library 2

Of course, Kiasma is one of architect Steven Holl’s most famous projects. Of course, the one time I visit Helsinki it is closed for rennovation…

Helsinki_Misc_Helsinki Kiasma Detail

Though I am sour about not seeing Kiasma, a photograph of the building will prove that I did see the Scandinavian sun during my trip up north.

Helsinki_Misc_Helsinki Kiasma Sun

More to come!

Now for some homework! Hooray!


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Tie-dye Earth

The following tune calls to mind the kind of epic landscapes present during my visit to the John Day Fossil Beds and the Painted Hills in Eastern Oregon.

Painted Hills_Tie-Dye Earth

Continuing with my journey to the Seven Wonders of Oregon, I paid a visit to Eastern Oregon in search of the Painted Hills. They are fabled to be a set of beautiful, volcanic earth hills you can find on many Oregon postcards. This famed site eluded me for the majority of the trip. Instead, I spent most of the day on tight, winding roads between massive rock formations.

Painted Hills_On the Road 1

In fact, the most amazing part of the trip wasn’t the “hikes” (that are actually just paved, loop paths), it was beautiful landscapes the road cut through.

Painted Hills_On the Road 7

Painted Hills_On the Road 5

Painted Hills_On the Road 3

And the wide variety of lush greenery and barren hills just off the roads…

Painted Hills_On the Road 8

Painted Hills_On the Road 4

Painted Hills_On the Road 2

Painted Hills_On the Road 6

Painted Hills_Small Stream

Painted Hills_Rainbow Earth

Painted Hills_Small Stream 2

Painted Hills_Earth Columns

Painted Hills_Vegetaion

Eventually I found that dang red hill you see on so many Oregon postcards:

Painted Hills_The Actual Hill 2

I’ve come to notice that many National and State parks have the best signs:

Painted Hills_Warning Sign 2

Painted Hills_Warning Sign 1

So, in the end, the “Painted Hills” were really pretty. They were geologically interesting…

Painted Hills_The Actual Hill

Painted Hills_The Actual Hill 3

But, even with the glorious glow of the sunset sky paired with the red-ish hills, the drive there and back was still the highlight of the entire trip (Which is good when the total travel time is around eight hours…)

Painted Hills_On the Road Sunset

In case you are keeping track, there are still two “Oregon Wonders” I have left to visit and eventually post about.

That is assuming I can get away from Lawrence Hall for longer than half a day…

Oregon photos

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Just a Rock

To match the grand Smith Rock landscape, one would think that I would be listening to the work of classical American composers. Something like Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man or Seger’s Like a Rock. But the point of the blog isn’t to make a Smith Rock experience. It is to document an adventure. To be true to the events that transpired, I suggest you click play on the widget below. It was the theme song for this adventure.

Smith Rock_Cover

What is Smith Rock? Is it just a rock?

Yes. Yes it is.

Smith Rock_01

It is a very beautiful rock. A red-toned piece of the earth that shoots out of the surrounding plains. At its base a  river gently curves, avoiding the mass.

Smith Rock_Panorama

Hiking to the top of Smith Rock isn’t easy, but it is worth the effort.

Smith Rock_Monkey Face

Besides, everyone knows that hiking down is the worst part.

Smith Rock_03

Once you make it back down safely you get to enjoy a leisurely stroll along the river.

Smith Rock_River

Which is basically the only thing I photographed for the rest of the trip…

Smith Rock_06

Smith Rock_02

Smith Rock_04

^Look at that reflection! Hot Dang that is pretty!

Smith Rock_07

Hopefully I’ll find time soon to post whatever travel photos I have left. Maybe I’ll even get to see the rest of the Seven Wonders of Oregon!

So far, the Seven Wonders have proven not to disappoint.

Lets just hope I survive the term so I can live to tell the tales of my journeys. 

Oregon photos

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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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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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A Search for the Texas Vernacular: Episode 14

Mansfield, Texas: Elmer W. Oliver Nature Park

Elmer W Oliver Nature Park 2

Who would have ever thought I’d be able to continue the Texas Vernacular series from Oregon? I think I’ve got a few good episodes left in me. Lets start with this surprisingly beautiful park in Mansfield.

Elmer W Oliver Nature Park_Picnic Table

Parks tend to be a “one-and-done” kind of deal in my mind. If you’ve seen one park, you’ve kinda seen them all.

This park is an exception.

Elmer W Oliver Nature Park_Pond 1

Even though Texas was hot enough to make a man of my size and age cry, I still spent hours wandering around this park admiring the natural beauty I did not know existed in this part of Texas.

Elmer W Oliver Nature Park_Pond Bench

I don’t want to write too much about the experience, but it was surprising how varied the trail was. I have seen forests, and plains, and lakes, and rivers separately, but here you journey through them one by one.

Just stop reading this and scroll down to see what I’m talking about.

Elmer W Oliver Nature Park_Bench on trail

Elmer W Oliver Nature Park_Log and Trail

Elmer W Oliver Nature Park_Trail

Elmer W Oliver Nature Park_Bridge

All along the trail you stumble across little moments of interest. Sometimes its nothing more than a bench in a clearing, other times it is an overlook to the river below.

Elmer W Oliver Nature Park_Shelter

Elmer W Oliver Nature Park_Rocky Ford 1

Elmer W Oliver Nature Park_Rocky Ford 2

Elmer W Oliver Nature Park_Windmill

Sometimes you stumble across a tiny frog and you spend 20 minutes trying to photograph it as it attempts to escape to the forest.

Elmer W Oliver Nature Park_Frog

A few of my favorite things/places within the nature trail include this Treehouse Overlook that rises out of the landscape.

Elmer W Oliver Nature Park_Tree house 1

Elmer W Oliver Nature Park 4

Another is this Boardwalk, beautifully located and detailed to respond to the local flood plane.

Elmer W Oliver Nature Park_Boardwalk 1

Elmer W Oliver Nature Park_Boardwalk 3

Elmer W Oliver Nature Park_Boardwalk 4

But my most favorite thing….


Elmer W Oliver Nature Park_Wildflowers 1

Elmer W Oliver Nature Park_Wildflowers 2

Elmer W Oliver Nature Park_Wildflowers 3

If you live in the DFW area, go see this park. Sometimes it is easy to forget there is such beauty in a place that relies so heavily on cars for transportation, this park is a friendly reminder of the natural beauty of Texas.

More Texas trip stuff shortly. 

Also, Happy 2nd Birthday to the OH! design blog. Hopefully a second blog book is on the way!

texas vernacular


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Cool, Blue, Water.

Spring term has ended and Summer term has started with a vengeance. But between the two terms I managed to sneak away from the architecture school with a couple friends long enough to see an Oregon Attraction. The deepest lake in America. The most blue water I’ve ever seen. Crater Lake.

Crater Lake_Panorama

This visit took place a good way into June, but the ground was still slightly covered in snow!

Crater Lake_Snow Hill

It was almost as if we saw Crater Lake during the battle between winter and spring.

Crater Lake_Flowers Snow and Lake

Regardless of the snow and the slightly chilly breeze, this trip was full of grand views and sublime scenery.

Crater Lake_Fence

Three beautiful things were combined to make the Crater Lake experience. 

1-Steep, rocky walls

Crater Lake_Broken Rock

2- Blue, BLUE water.

Crater Lake_Edge of the Lake

3-Mountains and hilltops that border the horizon.

Crater Lake_Hilltops and Mountains

When you combine all three, you get spectacular views like this:

Crater Lake_Edge

Which makes you want to pose like these two:

Crater Lake_Adventurers in the Corner

I don’t need to tell you to go see Crater Lake. It is nothing unexpected. It is what you probably think it is. Beautiful Nature.

So, so much stuff to post about, so little time. I’ll try not to spam the internet with junk, but with so much junk to share it is going to be hard!

The nights are cool 
and I’m a fool 
each star’s a pool of water,
cool water.

Oregon photos

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Hawaiian Vacation (aka The Longest Post Ever)

I’m about to try something new. Rather than beginning a series of posts that continue for half a year and drag on until I can’t remember what/why I’m posting, I’m going to do one massive post. For spring break I traveled to Hawaii to visit my little sister. There are three things you should know about me:

1- I hate sand.

2- I hate sun.

3- I hate sand combined with sun.

You can imagine why I wasn’t terribly excited to take this trip. I hate to admit this, but my every reservation evaporated and I fell in love with the place.

The following is a large collection of images without description that I would like to share with whoever wants to see. Some of the photos may have been taken by my little sister (Who will soon have a growing collection of photos here). To help enhance the experience, I recommend hitting play on the soundcloud widget below as this tune served as the trip’s soundtrack.

After that I suggest you spend the next 3 minutes and 28 seconds scrolling through the long, LONG line of photos.

Hawaiian Vacation Intro Image


Hawaiian Vacation_Sunrise Beach 3

Hawaiian Vacation_Sunrise Boat

Hawaiian Vacation_Sunrise on the water

Hawaiian Vacation_Sunrise Beach

Hawaiian Vacation_Sunrise tide

Hawaiian Vacation_Sunny Trees

Hawaiian Vacation_Sunny plants

Hawaiian Vacation_City Sun beams

Hawaiian Vacation_Powerline

Hawaiian Vacation_IBM 2

Hawaiian Vacation_IBM 1

Hawaiian Vacation_Hotel Atrium

Hawaiian Vacation_Honolulu Convention Center 3

Hawaiian Vacation_Honolulu Convention Center 2

Hawaiian Vacation_IBM 6

Hawaiian Vacation_IBM 7

Hawaiian Vacation_Doris Duke Garden 1

Hawaiian Vacation_Doris Duke Backyard 1

Hawaiian Vacation_Doris Duke Play room

Hawaiian Vacation_Doris Duke Palm Trees

Hawaiian Vacation_Doris Duke Ocean view

Hawaiian Vacation_Pearl Harbor 7

Hawaiian Vacation_Pearl Harbor 6

Hawaiian Vacation_Pearl Harbor 5

Hawaiian Vacation_Pearl Harbor 4

Hawaiian Vacation_Pearl Harbor 3

Hawaiian Vacation_Pearl Harbor 2

Hawaiian Vacation_Pearl Harbor 1


Hawaiian Vacation_Sunburst ocean rocks

Hawaiian Vacation_Blue Ocean

Hawaiian Vacation_Sunburst Tree

Hawaiian Vacation_Crazy Trees (2)

Hawaiian Vacation_Crazy Trees

Hawaiian Vacation_Forest Stairs

Hawaiian Vacation_Sunburst ferns

Hawaiian Vacation_Lava Flow Valley

Hawaiian Vacation_Lava Flow Valley 2

Hawaiian Vacation_Lava Crack

Hawaiian Vacation_Lava Textures

Hawaiian Vacation_Fuzzy Greens

Hawaiian Vacation_Flower tree 2

Hawaiian Vacation_Farmland

Hawaiian Vacation_Steaming earth

Hawaiian Vacation_Ruins 3

Hawaiian Vacation_Ruins 2

Hawaiian Vacation_Ruins 1

Hawaiian Vacation_Combined forest view_small

Hawaiian Vacation_White flowers

Hawaiian Vacation_Illest Neon

Hawaiian Vacation_Art Museum 2

Hawaiian Vacation_Art Museum 1

Hawaiian Vacation_Chairs

Hawaiian Vacation_VW Americana Bus

Hawaiian Vacation_Old Shop

Hawaiian Vacation_Hawaiian Plane Flyby

Hawaiian Vacation_Green Rock Beach

Hawaiian Vacation_Crashing Waves

Hawaiian Vacation_Crashing waves 2

Hawaiian Vacation_Green Hills

Hawaiian Vacation_Stormy Sky

Hawaiian Vacation_Ocean hillside 1

Hawaiian Vacation_Ocen hillside 2

Hawaiian Vacation_Ocean hillside 2

Hawaiian Vacation_Sunset hills

Hawaiian Vacation_Sunset sky with greens

Hawaiian Vacation_Beach Greens

Hawaiian Vacation_Sunset trees

Hawaiian Vacation_Sunset tide

Hawaiian Vacation_Sunset 1

Hawaiian Vacation_Sunset Tide Pools

Hawaiian Vacation_Boat on the horizon

Hawaiian Vacation_Sunset waters

Hawaiian Vacation_Sunset 3



Hawaiian Vacation_Sunset Ocean rocks long exposure

Hawaiian Vacation_Sunset ocean rocks long exposure 2

Hawaiian Vacation The End

Taking into consideration the sand and the sun, it was still a really awesome trip.

Please excuse me now while I tearfully search for an Acai Bowl…

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