Night Shooting in Seattle

I keep a list of photo ideas on my phone.  Since my daughter was born and I’ve been not-unemployed, I find time for none of them.  Recently a friend asked about taking some pictures at night, and I remembered my list.  At the top for the longest time has been going down to the Jose Rizal Bridge to shoot the traffic coming into downtown.

Traffic into Seattle at night, from the Jose Rizal Bridge

 

Winter nights are great, because it’s always dark, and a cloudy backdrop is fine.  Rain actually makes the reflections better, but you’ve got to want to stand in the rain to take the pictures – probably not the best idea, but right after a storm would be great.  This was good enough for me.

Seattle Stadium Night Traffic

 

You’ve also got a great shot of the 90 ramps headed toward Bellevue from up here, and I just love watching the lights blur – the headlights in white and the taillights in red.  Letting the camera see things I can’t see.

Bus at Night from Jose Rizal Bridge

The biggest issues shooting from here, other than a few sketchy folks walking by when you’ve got a bunch of camera equipment out is the bridge itself – cars and buses share it, and you can absolutely feel the vibrations when buses go buy or even when big trucks go underneath it.  If you’re looking for a sharp long exposure, a good tripod is a must, but when the ground shakes, there is only so much you can do.  Along with Kerry Park, the Sculpture Garden, and a few more, this is one of the places I always knew I wanted to take some pictures from.  Glad I had the chance.

Space Needle Is Old News

Everyone who comes to Seattle goes up the Space Needle.  Yeah, there’s Pike Place Market, the Fremont Troll, the first Starbucks, and various and sundry salmon-related doo-dads, but the Space Needle is the only thing that *everyone* has done.  Well I’m here today to tell you it’s a waste of time.

Panorama of Qwest Field and Highway 99 Viaduct taken from Smith Tower

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This here is just one side of the view from the 35th story of Smith Tower.  Even if the Space Needle wasn’t 300% more expensive, Smith Tower gets you some history (pre-1960), almost no crowds, and is actually *in* the Pioneer Square / Downtown core, where the Space Needle is actually off to the side.  On a day with anything but pristine clear views, from the Space Needle, you see the side of a few buildings and some water.  From Smith Tower, you get it all.

Only took me 7 years to figure that out.

The Artificial Forest, Via The Orange Trees

Sometimes I see a scene that has promise, but the background isn’t right.  I’ve been walking past this sea of cones, you see, for a few months now.

Orange Cones at Qwest Field

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Lots of cones.  There are a bunch of signs next to it as well, which also have something cool going on, if I can figure it out.  Anyway, as you can tell from the signs picture above, this area is a bit surrounded by fence, cars, trees – lots of things that, as some friends of mine used to say are all great tastes that taste funny together.  So I’ve been thinking about these cones and eventually I think I figured it out.  Get low, get close.  This picture was taken with my wide angle, which means I was REALLY close to the cones to not show what is around.  But the cones are thick enough that it just doesn’t matter.  Sea of cones.  That’s what I wanted, and that’s what I got.