Exploring Mosier, On Film

One of my favorite things about living in Portland has always been the easy access to fun activities outside of the Portland city limits. Now don't get me wrong - having access to all the wonderful PDX restaurants, concerts, art galleries, and parks is great. But exploring the less traveled parts of Oregon is just as fun! Recently I went out to the tiny town of Mosier and hiked along a trail that cut right through the middle of town. I thought it would be fun to share what I found. 




If you've never heard of Mosier don't feel too bad. It's not a particularly big place. It's a small town located just a few minutes east of Hood River right along the Columbia River. The town can't have a population of more than a few hundred and the moment you drive into the city limits everyone in town recognizes you as an outsider.

There is a nature trail that runs right through the middle of town along a ravine that heads straight uphill supposedly ending with a spectacular view of the Columbia River. However, as you can see from this first image it was a very overcast and misty day. Having the ability to photograph anything that was more than about ten feet in front of me was going to be a difficult proposition. 




About a mile up the trail one comes to an old cemetery populated with the graves of the people who founded the town of Mosier. Most of the headstones are difficult to read having faded down over more than a century of pacific northwest wind and rain. This one was dated 1896 and has clearly shifted to the left over the years.

I found the site to be incredibly cool however. It's not every day that I'm hiking along a nature trail and I find myself walking through a cemetery with headstones dating back more than one-hundred years!




Big gnarly and overbearing trees were clearly my theme for the day. I only had a few rolls of film with me and I didn't want to get too sporadic with my subject matter. Plus, I was working with a camera that absolutely must be used on a tri-pod. Holding the camera in my hand just was not an option so I needed to keep to subjects that weren't going to move around much on me.

I thought this tree looked like something right out of The Legend of Sleep Hollow. Big and creepy, especially in the morning mist. 




When I reached the highest point on the trail I came across this wonderful patch of trees that made me chuckle just a little bit. Clearly more often than not the wind has a tendency to blow one particular direction on the top of this hill.

The was no wind at all on this particular day as the mist was keeping everything nice and still and quite, which made this particular scene all the more interesting to photograph. 




Right about the time I was getting ready to start heading back to the car, with only a few frames of film left to expose, the sun started to make its presence known through the thick foggy mist. I was pretty darn cold this entire hike and my fingers were starting to turn a little blue trying to work the settings on my camera without gloves on so the tiny little bit of extra warmth was very welcome.

To show my gratitude I pointed the camera right into the sun, exposed a sheet of film, and then made my way home.  

Andrew Kaiser

My name is Andrew Kaiser, welcome to my site! I have a passion for making images wherever and whenever I can. I seek to capture humanity and the world around me with a focus on the figure. Film, digital, pinhole, and instant photography are all fair game for me.

I grew up in the California Bay Area and started taking photography seriously in High School. I was one of the lucky few who had a chance to go to a high school with a working darkroom and a teacher who understood that making images was an art form – care and patience was a necessity in the image making process from start to finish.

Later in life I attended the University of California in Santa Cruz where I received a Bachelors Degree in the History of Art and Visual Culture. After having my fill of the California sunshine I packed up my life and moved to the Pacific Northwest. I quickly found the overcast skies, lush forests, cooler temperatures, and creative communities to be a perfect match for my work.

Over the years I have exhibited my photographs in several galleries and art shows including the Seattle Erotic Arts Festival and Cascade AIDS Project. I’ve published a few books and taught workshops up and down the west coast of the United States. Through this site I’m hoping to share my work and perhaps inspire others along the way.