The Olympic Mountain Range, from Elliott Bay

The Olympic Mountain Range from Elliott BayI don’t have much to say about this panorama. It’s a few shots stitched together. This is the sort of natural beauty that makes putting your eye to good use so very rewarding. I’m lucky and thankful to have so much beauty around me, and happy to celebrate it.

AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VRII

This panorama can be printed up to 200 inches wide for a wall mounting.

Wallace Falls, Gold Bar, WA

Nikon D800, AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED @ 24mm, f/7.1, 10s, ISO 50

Nikon D800, AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED
@ 24mm, f/7.1, 10s, ISO 50

Wallace Falls State Park is a real treat. At just over an hour from Seattle, it’s about as far from the city as is Snoqualmie Falls. But it’s prettier. The hike requires a touch of work. At about 2 miles and 400 feet of elevation, you finally reach the best view of the falls, the middle viewpoint, where the final two photos are taken from. The real glory of this hike is that it is best done on a wet day. The lush, old growth forest is well kept, despite the growing number of visitors to the park and glows green on a dark, rainy day. Green is my favorite color, so this is one of my favorite hikes. Go early to avoid the crowds that inevitably show up in the PNW hiking months.

Nikon D800, AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED @ 27mm, f/7.1, 30, ISO 200

Nikon D800, AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED
@ 27mm, f/7.1, 30, ISO 200

Nikon D800, AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED @ 26mm, f/7.1, 30s, ISO 50

Nikon D800, AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED
@ 26mm, f/7.1, 30s, ISO 50

Nikon D800, AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED @ 27mm, f/6.3, 8s, ISO 50

Nikon D800, AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED
@ 27mm, f/6.3, 8s, ISO 50

All photos taken with a Hoya ND X400 (10-stop) filter for long exposure times.

Seattle Dawn

Seattle Dawn B+WPulling away from the downtown ferry terminal early in the morning, one cannot see much. The sun still hasn’t risen above the Central Cascades, yet light illuminates the sky above it. A whisp of cloud hovers, absorbing light and playing to the shape of the skyline.

What’s important is not the buildings, its the place. Not the city itself, but everything which breathes life into it. The sky, the Sound, the people, most still fast asleep as dawn creeps fast into place.

Nikon D800, AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED
@27mm, f/3.2, 1/160s, ISO 400

Pitch and Catch

Pitch and Catch

Here’s an example of journalistic failure. I set foot in the market with a clear image of exactly what I wanted to capture. My vision was to get side by side with the front man at Pike Place Fish Co. This is the fish stand at the south end of the market (by the pig) that’s famous for throwing fish. So, the vision was clear, I walked in with my 50mm, chatted with the guy at the front, who’s name I didn’t catch (that’s failure #1). Instead of putting my cam on shutter-prio, I decided to up the ISO until some sample exposures were making 1/500 – 1/1000 times. This worked well and allowed me to control my DOF. I wanted foreground blur, and to catch the faces and expressions of the guys behind the counter, the ones throwing the fish.

So, that handsome fish monger I chatted with (originally from SoCal-I remember as much) wearing that beautiful Seahawks beanie (Go Hawks!), asked me, “You ready?” I was, so I positioned myself right next to him. AF-C, 3D mode… thought I was ready, but didn’t get my focus point started on the target and the first three shots I took were all bokeh (failure #2). Finally got my focus point as they caught the fish behind the counter (link to more photos below). Then they threw it back.

Somehow, during this first set, my instinct had me tapping the shutter. I didn’t hear it cycling, so I guess I just pressed it. It could have been that it wasn’t focusing quickly enough so I thought I could refocus with another tap… But here comes the shot I wanted all along, had planned out from the get-go. And, unbeknownst to me, my release mode was set the single frame! This was my major failure. So, I clicked and held and heard: Thwap……………………………………………………………………..
and I thought, CRAP!!! and instinctively started tapping again.

So, I didn’t get the shot I wanted… but I still came out with some good stuff. I’ll head back sometime with a 24 instead of a 50 so I can get a little more of the excitement and depth. For now, I’m thankful to that gentleman of a fishmonger who hooked me and the public up with some classic entertainment. Thanks Pike Place Fish Co.!

Nikon D800, AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G @ f/2, 1/500s, ISO 800

Link to Pike Place Fish Co. Gallery

Seattle Through the Wire



On this particular night I found myself in a familiar place. Back before Macklemore and Ryan Lewis shot their video for “My Town,” in 2009, all I knew of this spot was that eerie, looming building that reminded me, in my youth of Arkham. I never went up there, partially because I was scared of the place: Pacific Medical Center. The hospital shut down and the building was rented to Amazon, before they developed South Lake Union. Now it remains somewhat uninhabited, save the Arkhamesque VA mental clinic that continues to operate in one of the wings.

But others know this place as Jose Rizal Park, Jose Rizal Bridge, “that green bridge over I-90.” Or simply as a fantastic vantage of this breathtaking city. Here I made my way into the dogpark and spotted a place in the fence where someone before me had cut a hole. I stuck my camera through and started clicking.

Despite the obvious pitfall that this view is missing something so quintessential about our city (The Space Needle), in fact, maybe in spite of this, I would argue that Seattlites love this view more than any other. Kerry Park, West Seattle, Gasworks, Magnolia Bridge, SoDo/The Viaduct, these all have some intrinsic quality that rings true to Seattle.

But from Jose Rizal, downtown stands apart, built on a hill. The Sound glistens in the distance as ferries and freighters ride in and out, bringing and taking people and things. And what about traffic? Is there any view of Seattle that not only captures, but glorifies the traffic with these harmonious lines?! [Look at the lines!] I’m not saying I like it, no one likes being in traffic. But outside of it, the escape, the view of the bustling city from a distance… it’s that juxtaposed feeling of oneness and separation that really is special to me about this place.

Seattle. Breathe deep.

Nikon D800, AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED
@ 44mm, f/7.1,  20s, ISO 50