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.
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!
Unbeknown to many, the Port of Seattle has a bunch of parks with, if not water access, at least a water view. Typically, the deal is that you may or may not see some nondescript sign, which directs you down an alley, across some railroad tracks, slightly to the side of a sign that clearly reads DO NOT ENTER and behind a warehouse surrounded by chain link fence. As much as they’ve spent money to *create* something you can visit, it seems pretty obvious that they don’t care if anyone actually comes. Often times you end up in a parking lot with a view of the port, but in certain cases, at the end of the hidden road, there is actually something worth seeing. Jack Block Park is one of the ones that makes you wonder who, exactly, decided to spend so much money creating such a nice park that nobody knows exists. Great views and a great walkway. Maybe I’ll post pictures of it sometime. The part I find most interesting is the view of the working port and cargo terminal next door. Can anyone tell me what these things are all about? Longshoreman bingo or something?
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I can’t explain why the port fascinates me so much – maybe too much of The Wire, Season 2 or something. Seattle is a huge port town, even though it’s easy to ignore. There are also some great parks where you can watch the action. I went out on a day far too cold to take some pictures, but didn’t really like anything I shot of the cans (heh… cans), trucks, or ships. I do like the lights though. When you’re working around the clock, I suppose you need to see what you’re doing. During the day, it’s just a 12-armed monster. Love the shape though – I like how it looks in sepia too.