End of the Line

Always loved industrial areas.  I wish they’d let me wander around rail yards and container storage sites.  Unfortunately, between terrorism and insurance, that’s not going to happen.  The Port of Seattle has a few hidden parks that are invariably next to shipping sites.  Jack Block Park is one of my favorites.  Here is the end of the rail line.

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I wanted to highlight the part of the shot I liked best since I couldn’t frame around the bits I didn’t like.  I used the same technique from here to remove the color from the rest of the shot.  Simple, geometric.  Railroad lines – I’m always trying to frame those.

Stacks and Stacks of Cans

My second favorite part of the port (you saw #1 last week) are those stacks and stacks of shipping containers.  I liked them even before season two of The Wire.  Something about the sort of adult building blocks nature they have going on, or maybe the bright colors they are often painted.  Maybe the fact that they just pile them into mountains and leave them (for sale?  to rust?) in large gated yards.  I don’t know but something does it for me.

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My main problem is that they almost always sit behind big fences and if you can’t get close, you can’t get a very good shot.  These were behind a fence, but they were close enough to it that I could get close and shoot up.  If they’d let me into the middle of the stacks I’m sure I could get some cool shots, but for some reason they don’t seem to love random dudes with cameras in the middle of their business, so I guess I’ll settle for not being chased off for taking pictures from the outside.  Once again, shot this hand-held with my S90, set to auto-bracket and attempted to keep things still to get 3 shots for the HDR.  The containers came out pretty clean but it was windy – you can see the clouds moving between frames – probably 1 second total exposure time!


I never stopped loving big machines.  Cranes, bulldozers, all that.  One of the first words I ever heard my toddler nephew say was “excavator”, so I guess it isn’t just me.  Seattle actually has a pretty sizable industrial area, so getting a view of cranes, trains, etc, isn’t that hard.  Doing it without a fence in your way however, can be more of a challenge.

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I just stumbled on this “park” the other day.  The Port loves providing public access in a way that is so unfriendly and hard to see that you’d never know it was there.  This spot is hidden behind a huge stack of shipping containers, but you get a great view of the Duwamish river and the goings on.

I shot this with my little S90, hand held of course.  If you want to know the difference between a point and shoot (a very good one, but still) and a real DSLR with L-series lens and a tripod, compare it to this one.  I don’t know if you can tell at this resolution, but the fine detail is really incomparable between the two.  Even so, I had my point and shoot – I didn’t have my DSLR.  You can’t take anything if you don’t have your camera.

Navigation By Tower

When people come from out of town and I need to direct them to my house, the Capitol Hill Radio Towers are about the best landmark I have.  “From the freeway, take Madison and go straight.  When you see the huge radio towers, you’re almost there”.

Capitol Hill Radio Tower

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There are three of these monsters, doing things I read about at one time.  All I know is that when you get really close, you don’t even need a radio to pick up KUOW, so they’re doing something.  Although they’re kinda ugly (and the barbed wire and industrial outbuildings surrounding them or the gas station almost directly underneath don’t help), they have their own charm.  A steel skeleton rising into the heavens, sporting many a dish which, if it could talk, would clearly say “REALLY don’t get in front of me” – nice neighbors, right?