Tag Archives: Seattle

Washington Vacation 2012 In Monochrome

94C0330_Ferry and Full Moon-BW

The other night, I upgraded to the most  current version of Nik Software’s Silver Efex Pro 2.  LOVE this conversion plug-in.  My aim was to take selected photos from my recent Washington vacation (April 2012) and convert them to black and white.

6267_Mt Rainier-BW

This software has a lot of very cool presets of which I made ample use, then tweaked here and there with my own changes.  One of the things that popped out immediately is how much black & white delineates texture, light, dark, shadow, and detail.  I saw things that I never noticed with the color images.  This is especially apparent with photos that have lots of clouds.

94C9612_Raincloud Tugboats Cargo Ship-BW

94C9932_Seattle Sky and Water with plane-BW

94C0549_Olympic Kind of Day-BW

94C0425_Morning Ferry Run PANO-BW

94C9594_Late Afternoon Clouds and Ferry Run-BW

6415-2_Deception Pass-BW

6329_Yellow Rows-BW

94C6563-2_Mountains And Valley-BW

94C6604_Wind Turbines-BW

94C3111_Mt Rainier-BW

6244_Mt Rainier-BW

94C0353_Ferry and Full Moon-BW

94C0988_Plying The Waters-BW

5030_Running Water-BW

I’m also pleased with my black and white conversions of people and pet photos.

94C6778_Elsa-BW

94C7195_Friends-BW

6106_Gammy and Savanna REV2-BW

5969_Enjoying Himself-BW

6186_Niece and Great-Niece-BW

6000_Logan and Casey-BW

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Filed under Black & White, family, Photography, Travel, Washington State

Evening On Elliott Bay, Seattle WA

I’ve been pretty darned prolific with the posts, I readily admit.  Probably because next weekend I doubt I will have a chance to post anything at all.  I’m photographing a wedding on the 29th and so will be readying myself and my cameras for that awesome event.  Hence, the reason for my prolific-ness (is that even a word??)

After publishing an earlier post about my Seattle 2012 stay, I found some more photos I took during that first wonderful afternoon gazing out my hotel window onto the ever-changing scenery of Elliott Bay.

So, here they are.

94C0003_Ferry and Evening Stormcloud - IMAGENOMIC

94C0008_Ferry and Evening Stormcloud

94C0022_Sun Storm Ferry IMAGENOMIC

94C0049-2_Storm Cloud Cargo Ship Sunlight

94C0169_Tugboat At Sunset

94C0113_Elliott Bay Sunset

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Filed under Landscape, Photography, Seattle, Travel, Vacation, Washington State

A Seattle Morning As Seen From My Hotel Window And A Visit To The Waterfront Aquarium

94C1024_The Ferry and The Mountain

My previous post was getting a little long – not so much with words as with images.  So I knew I needed to break my visit to Seattle into two separate posts.

I am not a lazy person at all, but I must tell you that most of the photos you see of the waterfront in both the previous post and this post, were taken from my hotel room window!  I managed to stay in the comfort of my own room, complete with bed, desk, TV, and fridge –  and look out the window to capture some wonderful, quintessentially-Seattle images.  All I had to do was aim my 70-200mm lens (handheld) either straight ahead, to the right, or to the left (sometimes hanging out of the sill a little bit).

As I mentioned in my previous post, the view window of my room was such that I could open it up and literally drop a line and fish out of it if I wished!  No screen and only a very short railing protecting me from the elements.  The bellman told me that on occasion, they still had to drag people out of the bay because they’d fallen overboard…..usually, that incident involved alcohol.  Big surprise.

Since I had just arrived in Washington the day prior, my body clock still operated on Texas time.  Needless to say, I was up at about 3AM Seattle time (5AM according to my body clock – time to get up for work).  So I dressed, made coffee (yes, I brought my own coffee and purchased real cream up at Pike Place Market Creamery the afternoon prior), opened the windows to let in the fresh, crisp, salt air, and sat down to my laptop to process photos.  Occasionally, I would get up to look out the window.   The scenes that greeted me that morning made me realize just how lucky I was to be there right at that moment.

At dark-thirty, when the ferries begin their day.

94C0276_Evening Ferry Ride

The blue hour, as the morning progressed.

94C0361_Moon Over Elliott Bay

The Mountain was out on that day.

94C0379_Seattle Waterfront Morning

A low bank of heavy, cottony clouds partially obscured the Olympic Mountains.

94C0465-2_Morning Ferry Run PANO

Clouds, Elliott Bay, the Olympic Mountains peeking out, and Shilshole Marina.

94C0494_Mountains-Clouds-Shilshole Marina PANO

A quintessential Seattle day.

94C0549_Olympic Kind of Day

I’d decided earlier that morning to visit the Seattle Aquarium.  I needed more practice taking fish photos and wanted to test my brand new lens. But first, I wanted to take a walk along the waterfront.  For this day, I used my own Canon 5D Mark II and 24-105mm lens plus the rented Canon 5D Mark III and the 50mm f1.2 lens.  I wanted that 50mm lens for aquarium shots because it’s a fast, sharp prime.

4725_Waterfront Harbor

4741_View of the Needle

4784_Seagull and Skyscraper

The Seattle Aquarium opens at 9:30AM.  It costs $19 and some-odd cents for a ticket (why they just don’t make it an even $20, I don’t know).  On this particular day (the Saturday before Easter), the place was jam-packed with kids and parents.  Try battling that combo to get a particular photo.

The first sight to greet the visitor is this scene.  The docent (just outside of this view) is chatting with the diver feeding the fish, educating and entertaining the audience at the same time.  The really little kids are the most fun to watch.

94C0589_Feeding The Fish

From there, one passes on through various exhibits including a number of petting tanks, where kids (and grown-ups like moi) can touch the anemones and star fish.  After touching wet, soft, squishy sealife, one looks up toward this very cool circular aquarium, a portion of which is hidden beneath the floor.  They call that the Moon Jelly exhibit.

94C0642_Moon Jellies

94C0647_Aqua Neon Jellyfish

94C0677_NeonBlue Jellyfish

94C0682_Neon Jellyfish

94C0668_Jellyfish

Next are the exhibits for the giant Pacific octopus, then a number of other fish that I can’t identify; and the frustrating thing about the gift shop is that it’s geared toward kids – I never saw a decent fish identification guide in the shop….oh well, that’s what Amazon.com is for.

94C0692_Giant Octopus

94C0694_Suction Cups

94C0784_Pink Spines ORIG

94C0794_Scorpionfish

Although I used a fast lens, I kept the ISO pretty high in order to allow for a relatively fast shutter speed to try and get a clear image of the fish, which are constantly on the move.  I think I maybe used my 24-105mm lens once or twice.  It’s not a fast lens, but I needed the wide angle view for a couple of shots.

94C0896_Inside the Aquarium

94C0912_Otter

After the aquarium visit, I realized I was tired and my shoulder hurt from the cameras and lenses (and souvenirs and food I’d purchased at the Market earlier that morning – no more hotel re$taurant for me).

I was not going to kill myself trying to do everything on this visit to Washington.  I simply could not do it all and still enjoy the scene and the moment.  So, I took my goodies, camera, and self back to the hotel to process images and photograph more wonderful Elliott Bay water scenes from my room window.

94C0988_Plying The Waters

94C0997_A Nice Day To Be Outside

It was definitely a great day to be in Seattle Open-mouthed smile

Note:  If you have the opportunity to travel to Washington, by all means, stay in Seattle a night or two.  And, if you can afford to splurge a little, stay either at the Inn At The Market (located smack dab in the midst of Pike Place Market), or at the Edgewater Hotel – and get a water view room.  Both hotels have discounts during various times of the year.  A discount based upon a reservation 7 days ahead of time with no refund was how I snagged my room.  Worth every penny to me.  Their restaurant is lovely, with wonderful views, outdoor dining, and awesome food.  However, it’s on the pricey side.  Thankfully there are a bunch of neat places to dine up in Pike Place Market, with prices ranging from $2 to $$$, depending upon your food budget.  My room was clean and comfortable, which is all I really ever require of any room in which I stay.  I don’t need many amenities, although an in-room fridge and coffee maker are nice (I actually packed a small 4-cup coffee maker and a package of ground coffee in my luggage, since I tend to wake up very early in the morning to review and edit my photos – during this WA trip, I took around 3000).

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Filed under Photography, Seattle, Travel, Vacation

Seattle 2012

I love  Seattle.

I lived there for about 10 years, and I try to make it back whenever I am visiting Washington.   This April, I did exactly that during a 10-day vacation out there.

My first stop after landing at the Sea-Tac Airport was Seattle, where I stayed 2 nights at the Edgewater Hotel.  I’ve always wanted to stay at this place, so this year, I decided to splurge and get a room with a view.  I could have actually fished from that window, believe it or not, and I took some of my best photos standing right there.

94C9360_2_EdgwaterRoom_tonemapped

There is so much to do in Seattle, and I never have time to do it all.  If I only have a day or two, then I generally stick to the waterfront and Pike Place Market; my two favorite locations.

It’s about a 1/4th mile walk along the waterfront from the hotel to the Seattle Aquarium.  Then, one must cross the street to get to the hill climb up to Pike Place Market.

94C9423_CherryBlossoms

4716_Stone Tugboat

Seattle is full of public art.

4760_Public Art

Halfway up the hill climb from the waterfront, one of several Pike Place Market Pigs greets tourists and locals, alike.  That red music note marks the spot where a busker may stand or sit while singing, dancing, playing a musical instrument, or otherwise officially entertaining passers by.

4854_Buskers Spot

An alleyway to the side leading to Western Avenue.

94C9426_Market Alley

Pike Place Market.   Flowers, fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, food stalls, fresh cheese, hand-crafted jewelry, toys, scarves, clothing, and many other items.  Because there are so many photo ops at this place alone, it would be very easy to simply walk around with the camera almost permanently affixed to the eye.

4898_The Market

4973_Public Market

Purple asparagus.  I’d never seen that before until I visited the Market this year.

4934_Purple Asparagus

If I still lived in Seattle, I’d be cooking that purple asparagus, along with all sorts of other fresh veggies, and fresh salmon, as well.  Ohhhhh, I do miss this place.

4939_Shrooms

94C9432_Salmon

94C9434_Blooms

94C9478_Glass Pumpkins

94C9491_Ristras

94C9455_Red and Yellow

94C9517_Blue On Blueberries

94C9505_Grapes

So these are what fresh garbanzo beans look like!

94C9500_GarbanzoBeans

A cute vendor with gorgeous eyes who outrageously flattered me (yeah, I loved it).

94C9493_Cutie

After tiring myself out that first afternoon, I returned to my room with fresh fruits, chocolates, and a microbrew or two and settled down to working on photos while periodically looking out the window and capturing some of the awesome scenery.  I stopped to splurge – again – for dinner at the hotel’s Six Seven Restaurant for some lobster mac and cheese, asparagus sauteed in butter, a Manny’s Pale Ale, and for dessert: crème brulee and coffee……don’t ask me how much I spent on dinner for one that evening……it’s vacation, ya know.

The view from my window changed with the wind; tug boats, container ships, state ferries, a  heavy raincloud, puffy clouds that reminded me of cottonballs, golden sun-edged  clouds, the snow-tinged tops of the Olympic Mountains peeking out from the clouds, and ultimately, the deep blue of dusk to be replaced  by the black of night with reflections on the water of Seattle and Harbor Island.

94C9654_RainyWaterfront

94C9932_Seattle Sky and Water NO plane

94C9765_Evening On Elliott Bay

94C0130_Evening on Elliott Bay

94C0014-2_Rainclouds Over Elliott Bay

94C0158_Elliott Bay Evening

94C0257_Evening Ferry From Bainbridge BETTER

94C0196_Nighttime Waterfront

94C0259_Harbor Island Reflections

Ahhhhhhhh.

4543_Ahhhh

Next:  A Seattle morning from my hotel window and a visit to the Seattle Aquarium.

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Filed under Photography, Seattle, Travel, Vacation

Ferry and Full Moon

This is the scene that greeted me very early this morning, as I looked out of my Seattle hotel window.

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Filed under Photography, Seattle, Travel, Travel and Photography, Vacation

2012 Washington Vacation

94C9932_Seattle Sky and Water NO plane

“Are you going to write in your blog while you are on vacation?”  My co worker asked me this, and I said “heck no!  I won’t have time until afterwards.”  Yet there I was, several thousand feet up in the air, sitting in a cramped Southwestern Airlines aisle seat, typing away until they served my orange juice; I had to close out because the tray table wouldn’t accommodate both my little laptop and  a very full glass of OJ.

I dislike flying; it’s a means to an end.  Oh, I am not afraid to fly, I just hate the discomfort of flying economy class, stuffed like too much sausage in too little sausage  casing, with a couple hundred other people who cough, hack, and sneeze (without covering their mouths).  Nonetheless, it’s all about the destination, and I can certainly handle a few hours of discomfort to get to the end result.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

It is now going on 5AM Seattle time, and I am sitting here typing, periodically looking out of my large window to gaze upon the full moon-lit calm waters of Elliott Bay while the seagulls call out to each other.  Day One of the Seattle portion of my 10-day Washington State vacation is done, and I will be enjoying Day Two now.  I’m up early because old habits die hard, and my body can’t seem to sleep past 6 or 7AM (Texas time).  It’s too used to getting up at 3AM, getting out the door by 4AM to be at work by 5AM.  Sigh.

I have been planning for this vacation since February.  I like visiting Washington in the spring because of all the spring flowers, and because my and my brother-in-law’s birthdays are just a few days apart, and my sister always creates a big wonderful celebration in honor of her husband’s birthday (the coat tails of which I like to ride).

Work has stressed me out to the max (I wonder how long my mind, body, and Type A personality can handle the stress, long hours, and frustration).  It took me a full day yesterday to rid myself of the stress and  worry of being away.  Because, as many of you know, it’s never a good time to take a vacation, even though (if you are full-time and not contract), the company pays you for a certain number of vacation days each year.  You go away and some emergency always occurs and you feel guilty (or are made to feel guilty) about it upon your return.  How dare you leave everybody else in the lurch!  It took my supervisor telling a teary-eyed me that the engineer I was directly reporting to was taking her vacation (we both are gone at the same time) and she wasn’t going to cancel out the day before because of work issues, so why on earth should I worry about having to do the same?  Made sense to me but I had never thought it through – all I kept thinking was that it was a terrible time to go on vacation.

In part, I worry because I don’t have the pull that engineer does (engineers and geologists are worth their weight in gold to a petroleum company) and  I am not as high on the food chain as she is.  I also worry because I have an overblown sense of urgency and duty to see that the people for which I work get nothing less than the best I can offer – it frustrates me as much as it does them when something is not working.  And I blame myself first for any shortcomings.  I’m not perfect, but I sure wish I was where work is concerned.

Nonetheless, here I am, in Washington State, and by golly, I am determined to enjoy myself!  The work and stress will be there upon my return – it’s not going anywhere – so might as well put it out of my mind the best I can and apply myself to the task of having a grand time.

Today, I will take my two Canon 5D Mark II bodies and the rented Canon 5D Mark III and revisit Pike Place Market.  I plan on going to the Seattle Aquarium too, to practice taking more aquarium photos.  I will try to not splurge as much on food as I did yesterday (don’t even ask me how much the bill was for dinner  – for one person – at the restaurant in my hotel, The Edgewater – suffice to say it was a really lovely dinner with a great glass of Mannys Pale Ale to wash it all down).  And I will try to keep my souvenir expenditures down….now…..after spending too much on my two favorite little stalls in the Market – there’s this one stall that sells these magnificent hand-dyed silk scarves, and there’s this other stall that carries the neatest whimsical jewelry.  Oh yeah, I spent too much yesterday.

If I am not too tired by the end of the day, I want to take a night ferry ride across the bay so I can get some shots of the Seattle city lights.

And yes, I guess I will be blogging about it periodically during my vacation after all.  It’s a nice way to keep a sort of journal and tell all of you about it.

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Filed under Photography, Seattle, Travel, Travel and Photography, Vacation

City Across The Water

Day after tomorrow, I will be there.

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Filed under Photography, Seattle, Travel, Vacation