I must say that this is the best panoramic image of Portland I have ever seen. I always judge pictures based on my gut reaction. The best images always elicit — “Dang, I wish I’d taken that.” Like most photographers out there, that thought usually turns into — “Hey, I can do that, too.”

Not true. Michael was in the right place at the right time.

Sure, it will happen again, and other photographers will capture similar Portland panoramic images, but those will never make me think, “Wow, I’ve never seen that before,” because we have now. 

I met Michael Arellano on the sidelines of University of Oregon football games. He was a student photographer for the Daily Emerald. There was something peculiar about the guy. He ALWAYS ran at almost a full sprint from one spot to another. His walk is faster than my run. Full of energy unlike anything I’ve seen before or since, this guy hustles. We asked him to write about his experience shooting this great image, and it is posted below. You see the part where he said he hiked up a road with all his gear? I guarantee he didn’t hike. He ran. 

Arellano is selling the image on his web site.

— Bruce Ely / Staff

My name is Michael Cary Arellano and I am a wedding & portrait photographer based in my hometown of Portland, Oregon. With an upbringing in photojournalism throughout college, I still think of myself as a visual journalist at heart, and I have spent much of my free time during the past year traveling to pursue landscape work for my own pleasure. These images that I was fortunate enough to capture on Sunday evening from the Pittock Mansion overlook have only reinforced to me that sometimes the most spectacular photos can be found, quite literally, in your own backyard.

As I was driving home through the dense fog on Sunday evening around 9.p.m., I saw another photographer post online about the incredible sights of Portland from the bluffs of Pittock Mansion. After parking at the closed entrance to Pittock and walking the rest of the way up, I was greeted by the amazing sight of downtown Portland completely enveloped in a rolling blanket of fog. I quickly set up my tripod to begin taking long exposure photos of the city, but my first attempts with a 24mm wide angle lens made the city look distant, and were not very compelling. I switched to a 105mm telephoto lens to draw the viewer in much closer to the downtown skyline peeking through the fog, and began shooting a large panoramic of the scene. This technique involves taking multiple photos of an overall scene, moving the camera’s direction slightly between each frame to create an image “puzzle” of sorts that can be overlaid and digitally stitched together later.

I was thrilled to produce the final, overall panoramic image once I returned home around midnight and finished editing, because the image is comprised of so many single photos that the resolution provides for incredible detail while zooming in, say, on individual buildings. I hope you enjoy these images as much I did while capturing them.” 

— Michael Cary Arellano

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