Jake Egbert Photography Blog

Oregon Zoo Visit

I had a couple of hours to kill in Portland this past Saturday afternoon so I made my first visit to the Oregon Zoo. Between the intermittent rain showers I photographed some of the more interesting animals (and people).

I've been to quite a few zoos, and this one ranks high on my list. I found the Great Northwest area of the zoo to be particularly impressive with its diverse animals, habitats, and forested layout. Maybe it was because of the lower temperatures or the on-again off-again rain, but many of the animals seemed particularly alert and active.

I probably only saw half of the exhibits on this visit so I'll be wanting to go back again soon. Although, during a particularly heavy rain shower I got to spend over 20 minutes inside the Elephant Museum; plenty of time to read each and every plaque within the display, some of them twice. So, I may not need to go back to that part of the zoo...

This bobcat was pacing its habitat

The two mountain lions were very active, stalking one another...

...and pouncing when the other least expected it.

This polar bear was snoozing until rain started falling more heavily.  I snapped this as the rain woke it up.  It soon moved out of the rain.

The damara zebra.  Not just black and white.

Reticulated giraffe

Train in the rain (and sunshine)

Rocky Mountain Goat

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Bunker Hill Monument - Boston

The Bunker Hill Monument sits atop Breed's Hill in Charlestown, MA (that's where the battle Bunker Hill actually took place). This granite obelisk stands an impressive 221 feet tall. The first major commemorative monument built in the United States, it is a reminder of the first major conflict between Colonial forces and the British in the Revolutionary war.

I've been to the monument several times before but this was the first time we happened to arrive before closing time. As it turns out, when you visit during normal business hours you can climb the 294 steps that rise in a tight spiral to a small observation deck at the top of the monument. My two boys hiked with gusto, counting off the conveniently labeled stairs on their way to the top. The three-year-old mentioned a few times that it was "a lot of stairs" but he didn't slow down until he hit the traffic jam that began on the last four steps. He certainly seemed less winded than I did by the experience!

Bunker Hill Monument from a few blocks away

Tall Tower / Short Boys

Looking up

Looking down. An steam powered elevator was used to lift construction materials up the center column but it was removed in 1844 to the detriment of out-of-shape photographers with mountain goats for children.

Resting up in preparation for the trip back down those 294 steps!

The Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge is visible through the smudged and weathered windows at the top of the monument in the last light of the day

During a celebratory firing in 1821 a hole was blown in the side of the cannon on display on the observation platform

Down we go!

The Bunker Hill Monument is at the the north end of the Freedom Trail, a fantastic self-guided walking tour through all the historic highlights of Boston. Just follow the red brick line through the city (not shown here because I was practically standing on it to take this).

A candid capture of the family also inadvertently captures some Bunker Hill lovin' that I didn't notice until I downloaded these at home...

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Trinity Church & Wall St.

On our recent trip to NYC we also visited the Wall Street area of Manhattan. We walked around and through Trinity Church and then headed down Broadway to see the iconic Wall Street sculpture Charging Bull. Unfortunately, the bull is still under constant police surveillance and barricaded to prevent anyone from approaching it. We walked back a few blocks until we could skirt the truck barricades and crowd-control fencing and walk past the front of the New York Stock Exchange, a tree that appears bigger than the one at Rockefeller Center, and Federal Hall.

Many of the "Occupy Wall Street" protesters have moved on now that Zuccotti Park has been cleared out (eventually I may get around to posting some of the pictures that I happened to take during the first week of the protests back in September). Anyway, the police presence at the NSYE is considerably smaller now but the barricades there, just like at the bull, still remain in place. I suppose most of the cops have migrated north with the crowds flocking to Times Square and Rockefeller Center.

Trinity Church - Looking South on Broadway

Ashes from a thousand candles

Bull Pen -- The Charging Bull sculpture is guarded and fenced off from tourists

Now that's a Christmas tree

George Washington surveys the NYSE from the steps of Federal Hall

"Integrity Protecting the Works of Man" -- Pediment sculpture by John Quincy Adams Ward

Hello, there George

Trinity Church looking west up Wall Street

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Carlo's Bake Shop - Hoboken

Carlo's Bake Shop sits nearly hidden on Washington Street (or I guess it has technically been renamed Carlo's Bakery Way) in Hoboken, NJ. You might walk right past and completely miss the little shop... if it weren't for the crowds of people lined up for a city block and half, that is. Thanks, in large part, to the successful TLC special "Cake Boss" people come from miles around for a chance to elbow their way up to the glass cabinets and sample cupcakes, chocolate cannolis, lobster tails, and countless other pastries.

As we wandered through Hoboken a couple of weeks ago, however, we discovered that the line that morning consisted of a mere five people! We glanced down the block, but there was no sign of the typical queue along side the CVS. A stop at the bakery was not even in our plans (we were headed to Manhattan) but you just don't pass up on these treats when there's no line to get in. It's just not done!

So, we waited in line for mere minutes before we were ushered in. Then we realized that there was no line because half of Hoboken had already crammed themselves into the tiny bake shop! I understand that this is typical and part of the mystique surrounding the Carlo's experience. Somehow the cupcakes taste better if you have to fight your way up to the cabinet, pushing, shoving, biting if necessary... Somehow, the chocolate on the cannoli tastes even richer after being crammed into a box by a loud, gloveless Italian-American bakery clerk!

Are the pastries overrated? Maybe. But you won't convince my kids of that! We enjoyed every last crumb!

This photo is taken thousands of times a day in some form or another

Longing... For so long!

Mmm... Chocolate!

La Famiglia

I want the blue one!

The Crowd. Some were patient and kind. Some were not.

Are these really worth standing in this line for?

Worth it!

Darth Vader prefers the dark cakes

Lobster Tail

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Christmas Time In the City

Despite warnings about record level crowds of tourists in New York City this holiday season we decided to try our luck in the Big Apple. We have guests in town for Christmas so we bundled up and headed for Rockefeller Center and the Christmas tree. There were crowds, but they weren't nearly as difficult to get around and through as I had feared.

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Portland - The One in Oregon #2

After my work conference was over I was able to hook up with my best friend and his wife for dinner. While I was waiting for him to finish work (less than 3 blocks from my hotel!) I took in some more of the local sights.

Portland is a city full of beautiful green parks, hipsters, and homeless people. Actually, I don't know if they're all really homeless, they could just be regular people that choose to sleep in the park at all times of the day... Homeless or not, I came within 25 feet of a few individuals that had used neither soap nor deoderant in many long and aromatic days (Yes, 25 feet and it nearly knocked me over!).

How many sleeping lumps of humanity can you spot in these pictures?



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Portland - The One in Oregon

I took a business trip to Portland, Oregon in September. I was tied up in conference meetings most of the week but I did get a little down time. I was able to get in a couple of nice workouts jogging the trails around the waterfront (unfortunately I haven't exercised since then...) and I took my camera for a walk one evening before dinner. Here are a few shots from 9/14/10 on the Portland Waterfront.


Apparently, Dragon Boats are all the rage in the Rose City these days. I saw business professionals wandering around the city each evening toting life vests and a single paddle on their way down to their team practice.


I stayed at the Waterfront Marriott and had a very nice view of the river and lots of homeless people from my window.

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Rainy Day in VT/NH

The Quechee Gorge

The dominant theme of our day was rain. Rain. And more rain.

On the wildlife front, I did see a weasel running around in the woods from my hotel window, which was cool. We saw a porcupine waddling alongside the road yesterday, but we were disappointed not to see any moose or bear (there were signs warning to be on the lookout for both all over the place).

We we headed out into the rain to do some sightseeing. We looked into the Quechee Gorge and wandered down to the dam during the one break we got from the drizzle. Once we got to the dam, though, the rain picked up again and I had to stow the camera. We were planning to hike into the gorge, but decided against slogging the extra mile with the group.

We drove through Woodstock, VT, which is an honest-to-goodness postcard of a town. If you ever get a chance to visit, I highly recommend it. I was driving and it was still raining so the only pictures we brought back were shot from the back of the moving van.

We cut back through New Hampshire headed for Maine and saw miles of red-orange hills choked with clouds and mist. We saw Lake Winnipesaukee from the van and Tiffany rolled down the window and snapped a few shots.

It was a beautiful day, but it really didn't lend itself to photography. I hope we find Maine to be a bit drier tomorrow!

This spillway feeds the Quechee Gorge

I snapped this before the heavier rain started. This water made me long for a fly rod.

Lake Winnipesaukee from Center Harbor, NH
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Joseph Smith Birthplace Memorial

We made a trip to Vermont to see if there are still any colored leaves up here. We missed the peak leaf season but it is still beautiful. And cold! It dropped to 34 degrees just after dark!

We stopped at the Joseph Smith Jr. Birthplace Memorial in Sharon, VT. I was hoping to get there in time to shoot some photographs at sunset... Well, we missed that by about a half an hour. After the visitor center closed up I got out the tripod to play around with some night photography.


In this long exposure I was hoping to get some star trails around the North Star. You can see some starting, but the monument is so bright that any longer exposure would have washed out even more than this.

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Lighthouse Park, New Haven, CT #2

Here are a few more pictures from Lighthouse Park in New Haven. I tried a few different compositions to try and make the lighthouse a little more interesting. Do you have a favorite?



This shot caught the last reflected light of the sunset on the waves out on the point. Literally, seconds after I snapped this the sunlight that was reflecting off the clouds was gone. My kids like this shot more than any of the lighthouse shots...

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Lighthouse Park, New Haven, CT

Yesterday evening we were in New Haven and we stopped at Lighthouse Park to watch the sunset. I enjoyed watching a ship with red sails make its way out past the outer light then turn around and head back for the city. There was also a large wedding party that had the carousel rented out. Counting me, the wedding photographers and all the other people wandering the beach taking in the scenery there were probably over 150 cameras in action...





I couldn't help but capture this photo shoot that was happening on the beach. They stood here taking pictures for a few minutes and all the while the red-sailed ship was working its way closer. However, right after I snapped this shot they finished up and headed back to take pictures on the carousel. With the angle they were shooting I'm pretty sure they missed the ship. Maybe it's just me but I think they missed a great photo opportunity.

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Chateau Sur Mer - Newport, RI

Here are a few select shots from a recent trip to Chateau Sur Mer one of the oldest mansions in Newport, RI.

These mushrooms seemed a bit out of place on this perfectly manicured croquet pitch. I had never seen a croquet pitch before, least of all one with fungi sprouting up in the middle of it...

Squinty-eyed kids being good sports for the photographer

Girl in a HUGE English Oak

Chateau Sur Mer. Even the picture brings back the smell of "old" that permeated this grand place. Not just old money, but old in general.
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