Seattle Has Fishing Boats – Who Knew?

Fishing Boat on the Seattle Waterfront

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I know that Seattle is huge in fishing.  We have a Fisherman’s Memorial.  We have tons of fishing boats.  It’s just that until a few days ago I’d never been down to the docks where all the boats are moored.  That oversight has now been remedied.   I had a good time walking the docks looking at the fishing boats.  When I was growing up in San Diego, it was home to a ton of purse seiners, but those are long gone.  Seattle still fishes for real.  Some, like the boat above, still sport the wooden-sided retro look.  How cool is that?  I really like the symmetry in this shot.  Taken from right in front of the bow with my trusty wide angle helps really bring out the sweeping lines in the shot.  Just remember to shoot from the middle with a wide angle – any distortions toward the edge of the shot will be mirrored on either side.  Nobody likes a misshapen ship, right?

I Hear It Rains A Lot In Seattle

Drain Cover

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Everyone says it rains a lot in Seattle.  People who live here know it just mists a lot and the clouds never break.  Seems to be a good place to grow moss.  On my way up Capitol Hill yesterday I came across this manhole cover.  I was looking for signs of spring – new flowers and plans and all of that.  I found some – maybe for tomorrow.  This seemed like more fun though; the cropping just seemed like the right thing to do.  Notice the moss though – you can’t keep a good moss down.

Tanks In The Snow

Coal Gassification Tank at Gasworks Park in the snow

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Another Gasworks Park shot from the snowstorm we had this morning.  It’s probably all melted by now, so I’m glad I got there quick.  Every time I come to this park, and really even before I moved to Seattle, I think about how to take pictures of these tanks.  Industrial equipment is just so fun to look at, but the big fence around the base sure is a photographic bummer.  This is one of the larger coal gassification tanks which happens to sit closer to the fence, which allows for a much nicer shot looking up at it.  Some day I’m gonna get inside that fence…

Winter Never Stops Around Here

Gasworks Park Snow HDR

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Just because the weather said it might snow overnight (again) doesn’t mean I believed it.  They *always* say that.  Today they were actually right.  After discovering the buses weren’t running, we got in the car – it really wasn’t that bad.  The upside of dropping my wife at work is that I was already halfway to Gasworks Park.  I always wondered what it looked like under the snow, and now I know.  The lighting was low and soft, so I thought it might be more interesting as an HDR.  I love the old towers and pipes – if they would just take down the fence, this place would be a photographic dream.  Just don’t break through the topsoil to the superfund site below unless toxins really do it for you.

Photographic Alchemy

It’s been a while since I’ve done any Photoshop here.  Maybe I had too many good pictures to have to salvage anything.  Well… no longer.  Let’s jump to the end:

Twenty Fourth Street Lettering

As always, click for larger image

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I liked this picture.  From the same day of wandering as this and this.  Brass(ish) street letters in the sidewalk marking the names of streets are always something I’ve liked living up here.  The problem is the original shot looked like this:

Twenty Fourth Street Original

It’s dull.  There is no contrast.  The subject doesn’t pop out at you and isn’t dramatic enough to stand on it’s own.  I’m not saying this is a great shot.  It’s just a shot I *wish* was great.  So it’s all about the Photoshop.  Let me stop to remind you that I don’t have any original ideas – this technique was almost entirely stolen from Blurbomat, and as such, I’m not going to go through it step-by-step here.  If you want to see some step-by-step stuff, let me know in the comments.  Really quickly, the transformation is a result of using a blurred layer blended with the main image, and then masking off the important parts (in this case, the letters in the sidewalk) so that they are brighter and stand out against the background.  After that, tweaking the curves, levels, and colors as you see fit.  I call it punchy.  You can call it whatever you want.  It’s my blog and I win.

What Now?

Hey fearless reader – glad you’ve made it this far.  When I started this blog, I wasn’t exactly sure what would happen, but I’ve really enjoyed having an outlet for my photography and having a way to show it to folk like you.  In any case, I’m curious what you think.  Do you like exactly what I’m doing?  Do you want more pictures?  People?  Places?  Things?  Technique?  Photoshop?  What do you like?  What is it that you want!?! Anyway, if you would leave me a comment below, I’d really appreciate it.  Anything at all.  I promise to at least attempt to listen.

Spring Is Coming. I'm Pretty Sure.

Skagit Valley Tulips

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Every year I forget how miserable I get when the sun never really comes up in the morning.  We call that half of the year winter.  I also forget how much I like it when spring starts showing up.  It was sunny for the last couple of days around here (if you ignore that rain last night) and I think spring is coming.  I dug back in the vault and pulled out this picture from a couple of years ago.  Old camera, old lens, appologies and all that.  The colors are great and the scene is cool, but my favorite part is the rows.  Rows and rows and rows.  I’m sure it’s an OCD thing.

When You Should Worry

Capitol Hill Barbed Wire

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Just strolling the hill the other day and noticed this house. Since the crappy rowhouses just down the way (and right across the street from a hospital and a 7-11) are going for 600k (good luck with that), this place must be “worth” even more. When you need to put barbed wire around it, maybe you need to start thinking about why your neighbors hate you.  Anyway, I just like the picture.   Love that dreamy bokeh – without it, you could never make the barbed wire stand out in front of a subject like this.