Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Photographing Seattle

     The last time I was in Seattle, it was the summer of 2013 (I think).  The days were long, and because I wasn't internet savvy enough to search the internet and plan ahead, I ended up booking a hotel a little bit outside of Seattle.  I'm not exactly sure where, but it was waaaay east of Seattle, and took about a 45 minute bus ride to get into the city.  Needless to say, this made every day feel long, and the massive amount of walking made me want to give up on taking photos...and I pretty much did.  I recently had an opportunity for a do-over, and was luckily staying in downtown Seattle. 👍

     I was crazy enough to order myself an all black version of the Peak Design Everyday 20L backpack.  It arrived just in time.  I was so happy to have this version, and it fit perfectly under the seat on the plane.

     I mentioned the challenges I faced in 2013.  Well, 2017 brought new challenges.  It was now almost winter, and the weather was a lot colder than I was used to.  I can easily recall a few places (*cough cough* Death Valley *cough* Grand Canyon) where it was so cold that I kinda just gave up and went indoors or stayed in the car hehe. These are the moments when you tell yourself you're not a truly dedicated photographer.  Despite wanting all the photos, you aren't willing to do what it takes to get them.  More power to people who photograph for National Geographic and the like, because I'd probably be fired within a short amount of time.  

     Not a cloud in the sky. UGH.  Did I also mention I bought a new tripod for this, and used it only once during a failed attempt at selfies?!  

     This place is such a great photo op.  So many vibrant colors and opportunities to get a variety of shots.  I probably shot here more than I should've, but oh well. 😊

     I was pretty bummed about those flowerbed things they put in front of the sign.  I bet they did it to discourage people like me from standing in the middle of the street trying to get photos.

     All the cups and mugs I did NOT buy because #nospend2017!

     I will have to try out the Long Beach location of this place and compare.

     There is something so awesome about vegging out in your PJs and watching mindless TV after a lot of walking.

     I had all these plans to get up around 5am and take some sunrise photos.  Well, the sun doesn't rise until about 7am.  This photo was taking at a nearby Starbucks and it was pretty dark outside still.  It was very strange, and I found it tough to get used to.  I never made it out as early as 5am, and I never did those sunrise shots.  It was too. Freakin'. Cold.

     For lunch one day, we had pizza from this place called Mod Pizza.  It's very similar to Pieology, but maybe slightly better.  I was pleasantly surprised to find out that a Mod Pizza is coming to a plaza near where I live!

     This might be the only tip I offer up in this post, but one of the things I did in order to force myself to take more photos was this CityPASS booklet.  You can find their website online, and it's very easy to do.  It includes five different places, and two of them give you an option of one or the other.  There are a variety of CityPASSes, but I liked the one I got because it covered almost every place I wanted to go to.  It was a huge savings over paying for each place separately as well.
     First stop - the Space Needle!  I was pretty bummed that it was being renovated.  It meant scrapping all my plans to do long exposures from Kerry Park, and also having photos of it that don't really look like the Space Needle.  Looking back, I am pretty glad I brought a variety of lenses to shoot with that allowed me to get different photos.  I don't think I took very many photos from the top of the Space Needle in 2013.  

    You can see the construction even on the underside of the Space Needle.  I guess it looks different, but still a bit "off".

         Winter time also meant that it was dark by 4:30 pm.  I probably could've done some street long exposures because of this... but I didn't because it was too.  Freakin'.  Cold.

     If you're ever looking for a place to eat near the waterfront, I highly recommend this Thai place.  It was so good.  I loved what I ordered here.

          I think this was called the papaya salad platter.  It had papaya salad, some soup, grilled meats with dipping sauce, and sticky rice.  SO delicious!  Highly recommend.

     Night cap.

     It's always concerning when you wake up early to go somewhere, and you discover you might be the only person going that way. 😐

     $5.25 each way... Just so you know, the photos you're about to see cost me $10.50.  As a side note, I found out that the ferry to West Seattle is on a limited schedule during the winter months.  It made it very difficult for me to get the photos I had planned to get there, and I really didn't want to take a cab or Uber back to downtown.

     There was only one other person on the ferry with me.  Obviously, they are not in this photo.

     This is about the time I used my tripod that ONE time.  I'll spare you the horror of my failed selfie attempts, but I'm supposed to be sitting on that log looking at the city skyline.  You'll have to use your imagination.

     There was hardly anyone around.  It was nothing like how it is during the summer.  I had all these plans to hike to the Alki Point Lighthouse, but I would've missed my ferry if I had done that.  Note to self:  Don't come here during the winter without a car.

     On the ferry back.  This time there were about five of us.

     Next stop was the Seattle Aquarium.  I only had one purpose in going to the aquarium, and that was to get a shot in the underwater dome tank.

     I got this shot using my G7x on a mini tripod.  I was probably one of the first people in the Aquarium once it opened.  About 20 minutes later, this place was swarming with kids.

     It was both pretty cool and equally terrifying to know that you are under water.  I didn't stay here long.  It creeped me out too much.

     I had to kill a little bit of time before doing the next item on my CityPASS booklet which was the Argosy Harbor Cruise.  I decided to walk back to Pike Place Market to shoot a little more.

     I met this little cutie named Luna.  This dog was some kind of special breed of golden retriever.  Her hair was SO soft.  I stalked her for a little bit hehehe...

      Lunch at Beecher's.  They make a great cheese called "Flagship".

     The famous Gum Wall.

     Third stop - Argosy Harbor Cruise!  I really enjoyed this because it gives you a different vantage point to shoot from.  It was COLD though, and a bit windy.

     See?  The Space Needle doesn't look normal at all.

     I did a quick pit stop at one of the fancy Starbucks.  Actually, almost all of the Starbucks here are fancy compared to the ones I've seen elsewhere.  I wonder if they spruce these up because that's where Starbucks originated from?

Next stop - Chihuly Garden and Glass!  I walked to the monorail station and took the monorail back to the Space Needle area.  Chihuly Garden and Glass is right next to the Space Needle.

     I wasn't really sure what to expect here.  There only thing I knew about Chihuly was that the glass art at the Bellagio lobby was done by the same artist.  The glass art exhibits were pretty amazing.  I don't know how well they translate into a photograph, but I tried to shoot them to look like how they did in real life.

     This was by far my favorite part of Chihuly Garden and Glass.

     Last stop - Museum of Pop Culture!  I had a choice between this and some other place nearby, but I chose this because one of my friends had gone here and seemed to enjoy it.  I don't know if it was because I had been on the go since 7am that morning, or if I was just burned out on taking photos, but I had zero desire to really see this place.  I thought this guitar display was one of the coolest things there.  There are several "rooms" that focus on different aspects of American pop culture, and much of it was focused on comics and/or sci-fi type of things.  I just wasn't feeling it.

     Even thought I watched Star Trek Next Generation when I was a kid, I wasn't all that into walking around this area of the museum.  I'm sure someone that is a true trekkie would be all over this.

     I went through this horror film room just out of curiosity.  The walkway that leads into the actual room is creepy AF.  No joke.  I didn't even take photos of it because it was too creepy.

     I probably stayed at the Museum of Pop Culture for about 30 minutes, and then was happily on my way back to the monorail.  I was ready to take a nice long nap.

     I was so tired from being out all day that going out to dinner didn't seem like a great idea.  Nonetheless, someone told us about this place called The Pink Door that was supposed to be really good Italian food.  We did the almost one hour wait for a table, and quickly ordered some food.  The restaurant itself is really interesting looking.  I think on one of the nights, they even do a burlesque-type show for an admission fee.

     I was more tired than hungry and opted for the antipasto.  It was good, but not amazing.  I probably would've been in a better position to judge it had I not been beat from walking all day.

     I took dessert to go and enjoyed it in my hotel room. 😊

     During out last day, we ventured back towards the waterfront for some food and last minute souvenirs.  I finally got to try this little bakery called Piroshky Piroshky that always had a line out the door.

     They were good, but they weren't $10 good.  Seriously, $10 for two pastries...these people are making a killing!  Also, this is waaaay too much dough to have for breakfast.

     I wish every city had a mass transit means of getting from the airport to the city center.  This is where SoCal is really lacking in my opinion.