If you read yesterday’s posting you would have seen that I went out for a photo drive.  As I said in the posting I rarely have a plan, I just go out looking for inspiration.  Sometimes you just stop and try to capture an image without really being sure what you are after, and sometimes you know immediately what image you want (you literally can see it in your head).

What becomes really odd is, after doing this for a while you start to look for picture opportunities everywhere you go.  At work, out shopping on the way to school, literally everywhere.  What’s really funny – Lisa, James and Abi do it too.  We’ll be driving to town and everyone is looking out the windows for something to shoot.

As a result it wasn’t a surprise yesterday when I got a call from Lisa telling me about some blossom trees near Abi’s gymnasium.  Abi goes to gymnastics twice a week and she happened to have an additional 3 hour session yesterday.  When Lisa was dropping her off both Lisa and Abi pointed to the blossom trees and said “great picture”.  So Lisa gave me a call.

As I was heading back to Redmond, I went past the gym and stopped to get a picture.  The trees looked great, they were not very tall but the blossoms were in full bloom.  I took the picture below and definitely got the feeling that spring is finally here.

Carter and Master Chief were really thirsty tonight so decided to make themselves a soda.  So the grabbed the Soda Stream and away they went.

Today I decided to head out in the car and see what I could shoot.  I drove to Carnation, then on to Fall City, up to Preston and then down the i90 to Issaquah, then round Lake Sammamish to Redmond and finally on to home.

It was a lovely day for a drive and I had Howard Stern in the car and could probably have driven an extra 100 miles.  Anyway, when the scene caught my eye or the moment got me I’d pull over and take some pictures.

This is normally how it goes.  I rarely have a big plan or target destination, I just go out and see what I can find.  This means that sometimes I’m really lucky and get lots of images, and others it’s a disaster.

Today wasn’t too bad.  I was out for just over two hours and came home with four pictures I really like.  Obviously I took a lot more (70 today) but most don’t come out as I intended or I just don’t like them when I get home.

Today’s image was taken on the Fall City to Preston road.  Following along the road for most of the journey there is a river called the Raging River – cool name.  At one point the river goes under this green bridge and there is a spot by the road to pull over and easy access down to the riverbank.

So I parked up and went down to the river.  The water was moving pretty fast (well it would do I guess I mean it is called the “Raging River”), so there is a lot of motion blur in the shot in the water.  But that actually looks good I think, and gives the impression of water flowing.

To make these pictures look really good you need to slow your shutter down so the water takes on a misty sheen.  To do that you need something called a Neutral Density filter.  This is a dark piece of glass that you put in front on the lens.  It restricts light and lets you take a longer exposure (and consequently blurs the water further).  I don’t have the proper filter to do this yet, but it’s on my shopping list.  When I get one I’ll take more river pics and you’ll see the difference.

Either way this shot turned out pretty good so I thought this would be my first posting from today’s trip.

On the way home, in Issaquah, I passed a Krispy Kreme Donut shop (or Doughnut shop – if you want to spell it properly) and got a box of 12 for the family.  After dinner James went to get one and found the Halo guys tucking in!

This afternoon Lisa and I took Abi to see Mamma Mia at the Paramount Theater in Seattle.  Abi loves the film and has never seen the musical on stage so it was a treat for her.  Lisa and I have seen it a couple of times before (once in England and once here in Seattle) and it’s a really good show.  Abi loved it – had a blast.

When we left the theater it was lovely and sunny outside and with blue skies, so we went looking for something to shoot for today’s picture.  We drove over to the Space Needle as they are currently hanging a huge Angry Bird off the side to advertise the release of the Angry Birds Space game.

We parked up and took loads of shots.  I got the one below of the Space Needle and some lovely ones of Lisa and Abi with the Space Needle behind (but I’ll save those for another day).

Carter left school early to join the army and didn’t graduate from High School.  As a result he never got his GED. (That’s a General Educational Development certificate for any Brits reading this).  Well he has decided to do something about that and now spends time each day revising for his upcoming test.

Today was a really nice day.  Sunny and warm with a beautiful blue sky.  I left work quite late tonight and on the way home drove over to Grass Lawn Park to take some pictures.  The sun was just going down behind some trees and I found this great looking yurt in the park.  I positioned the camera so the sun was peeking through the trees and got a great shot of the yurt, with the sun behind and a great red sky.

Fortunately all the people in the park were behind me so none of them got in the image.  I walked around the park a little more but it was full of families and kids playing soccer and I’m not sure it’s a good idea to just start photographing kids playing in the park.

On the way home I drove through Fall City and Carnation but no other pictures grabbed me.  When I got home I checked out the yurt picture and it came out pretty well, so that’s my posting for today.

I had to buy a new XBox a couple of weeks ago and found the Halo guys tonight trying to break into the box to get the games console out!

Tonight I went out to the movies (went to see 21 Jump Street – very funny go and see it if you get the chance), so I didn’t get to take my picture of the day until quite late.

I left the movie theater and walked back to the car thinking about what I was going to shoot.  I remembered that when you come of the 520 freeway to enter Redmond, you cross a cool bridge with street lamps along both sides.  So I drove down to the bridge to take some pictures.

At first I shot some images on the main road and while the pictures came out ok (I had some nice head light and tail light lines) they were a little boring.  However by the side of the road bridge was this small foot bridge that also crossed the river.   Photographing this created, I think, a much nicer image.  I shot this with a high aperture so the street lights had a great starburst.

The street lights cast some strong orange light and created some cool shadows through the foot bridge.

Carter and Master Chief also went to the movies with me.  I brought a beer and popped to the bathroom, when I got back I found them both trying to down my pint!