Most creatives know that Portland is a hotbed of talent. And of course, with all that talent comes a lot of inspiration. So what is it about Portland that keeps the lightning striking for artists, musicians, writers, and all around creative folks? Is it the small-town feel of this up-and-coming city, or the stunning vistas and landscapes a stone's-throw from downtown?
"Maybe it's the beer," Jamie Chabot says. He's got a camera in hand as he says this, aiming out his 19th-floor window at Cappelli Miles overlooking the Willamette River. He's hoping to catch what might be the last clear view of majestic Mt. Hood before Portland's notoriously overcast autumn settles in for the long haul. "But the view from up here certainly doesn't hurt."
This shot is one of hundreds catalogued at 19th and Hood, a site Chabot has dedicated to capturing photos of the mountain from his office window. His pet project has been ongoing for over six years, but it sprung from the simple creative exercise of just looking out the window. "Portland's a really active city, and being up here is great for seeing how things work in a big picture way," he says. "It's the weather, it's the kids playing in the Salmon Street Fountain, it's the panhandler on the street corner, traffic, the bridges, all of it's just out there happening every minute of the day."
While his photography is purely a hobby, Chabot views his window as a tool for inspiration. Even when idly staring out at the city, there's always something that catches his eye. "The perspective from up here breaks you out of that pedestrian mindset, the way we traditionally experience a city from ground level. There's a lot of that in advertising. How do we take what we know and view it in a totally different way?"