A couple of weeks ago I went to Alki Beach over in west Seattle to see a sunrise.  I had to get up at the crack of dawn (that’s 6am) on a Saturday morning to get the pictures.  While I was there I walked down to the beach and got this shot.  I really wanted to get an image lower down with the sun on the horizon and the waves lapping against the beach.  So I’m down there snapping away and after a few shots I check out the images on the back of the camera.

Looking at the pictures I saw something on the beach lying on the sand.  So I looked up and there was a small seal pup.  Now you aren’t suposed to get to close to these guys, in fact there are people who patrol the beaches making sure you don’t.  But this one didn’t seem to mind and as I was down there already I took a few more pictures.  I found out after I left that some women turned up, screaming at the other photographers there that they were too close, and they were miles further away from me.  So it’s probably good I had already got my shots.

Anyway the picture below came out well.  Sky colors were really nice, I happened to catch a seagull flying over the water directly in the middle of the picture and got the waves and beach and a cute seal too. That has to be a success.

Today the guys decided to climb something interesting, so they found a double bass.  They nearly made it to the top too!

I’ve been to Gas Works Park before and photographed and posted pictures of the kids play barn full of painted machinery.  It’s a pretty cool place to visit, it’s right on the edge of Lake Union over looking Seattle’s skyline.  They even have this huge kite flying hill (yes that’s what I said) and you can climb to the top and catch some pretty impressive wind (that sounds a lot worse than I intended).

Anyway, they also have the old gas works plant still there, all the old gas containers and pipes etc.  These days it’s fenced off as people kept adding graffiti, but it looks great.  All the pipes are copper colored and on top of the green hill under a blue sky (ok a cloudy sky) is impressive.

So I had to capture a shot.  When I took this image it was quite cloudy but there is a little blue poking through.  Fortunately nobody was there when I took the picture, but they must have been there recently as someone had added a little graffiti.  Didn’t spoil the picture fortunately.

Carter wanted a coffee today, so Master Chief helped him get one.

I don’t take many portraits, I tend to prefer to shoot landscapes.  It’s not because I don’t like shooting people it’s just that I’m not overly confident and landscapes don’t get disappointed if I screw up!  Having said that I don’t think I’ve upset anyone yet, but then like I said I haven’t taken many.

Anyway back at the beginning of the year Danielle asked me if I wanted to shoot her at her gym.  She wanted at the time some facebook pics showing her doing what she loves to do which is lift weights.  So I went to the gym and captured a few action shots and posted one on the January 13th.  Well Danielle liked the picture, at least I think she did as she asked me to shoot her Senior Portrait.

For those of you who don’t know (mostly friends from the UK) here in the US it’s very common for senior high school students to get nice portrait pictures in their last year.  These (I think) go into their last year book and also act as a nice reminder of what they looked at when they were 18.  In the US there is quite a large industry for photographers taking senior portraits.  So Danielle wanted hers done and she very kindly asked me to help.

Seniors usually get environmental pictures doing their favorite past time or hobby and for Danielle again she wanted to go back to the gym.  So off we went and we took some shots.  I’m really not sure who was more nervous, Danielle or me, but we both got through the experience unscathed.  These pictures were not suposed to be her lifting anything, just her posing by equipement looking gorgeous.  She of course pulled that bit off no problem, so the pressure was definitely on me to get some nice shots.

At the end of the day I think I got around 140 pictures, 30 of which she really liked.  So I cleaned them all up for her (which mainly involved me tidying up the wall behind her and adding a little vignette.)  Tonight I asked her if she minded me posting one fo the shots and she said no problem go for it.

I have to say I really liked all of the 30 we we ended up with, but selected this one as it had the weights behind her and her leaning on a medicine ball.  So as an environmental portrait it came out well.  I also put a fan on her for this shot and liked the effect it had on her hair.

I should say here that Danielle is very pretty so for me this was pretty easy to get a nice picture, and I’m very grateful to her for asking and am pleased she likes the results.  So thanks Danielle for a great experience, who knows I may one day do it again.

Tonight the guys found a wooden horse to play with and were found “hanging” from something sensitive!

When I left work tonight at 7:30 it had been dark outside for nearly 3 hours – how nuts is that?  So I’m driving home and you know what I’m thinking, what am I going to post tonight?  On the way home it was a really nice evening, the moon was full and looked huge and it was dry with a pretty clear sky.  So I decided to look for a night shot.

On my way home is Marymoor Park and they usually have these big flood lit sports fields so I thought it might be interesting to shoot one of those with the moon in shot.  So I detoured off into the park.  Unfortunately there were a load of people playing soccer and the fields were all full.  I really didn’t want to go through the process of asking people if I could shoot them so I looked for something else.

Marymoor is a pretty big park and they have loads of different sections for visitors, one of which is the velodrome.  For those of you who don’t know, a velodrome is a large circular bicycle track for cycle racing.  It has large banked corners so they can ride super fast around the whole track.  Tonight the place was completely empty and totally lit up with these huge flood lights.  So I had complete autonomy to set up wherever I wanted and got the chance to take loads of pictures from different angles.

Obviously I wanted to get the moon in the picture too so ended up selecting the image below.  Here I got the start line on one side and the observation building, some of the bleach seats and the first corner banking off to the left.  I angled the camera a little to accentuate the curve of the track and got the moon in the image too.

All I did for this picture was add a heavy vignette to darken the corners.  Other than that the image is right out of the camera.

Tonight the guys found a drum kit to play with, but all Master Chief could do was kick the drum!

It’s been a while since I posted an airplane, so tonight I bring you the “Hawker Hurricane Mk XIIA”.

This model helped turn the tide of the Battle of Britain, allowing the Allies to continue their fight against Nazi Germany.  The Hurricane made use of construction methods from its biplane predecessors, including a fabric-covered tail.  Because of its simplicity and adaptability, the Hurricane would serve in every major theater of air warfare in World War II.

While the Supermarine Spitfire is more famous, the Hurricane destroyed more German aircraft.  The Hurricanes were often dispatched to fight against lumbering bombers, while the Spitfires often took on the more agile fighters.  Historians still debate which aircraft was more important in the victory.

This Mk.XIIA was manufactured by Canadian Car & Foundry Company at Fort William, Ontario.  It was powered by a U.S. Build Packard Merlin XXIX engine.

This aircraft was was delivered to the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) on January 22, 1942, but never saw combat.  After the fighter was involved in a crash landing, it was discarded by the RCAF.  After it was recovered from a farm in Ontario, Canada, Hawker Restorations Ltd. rebuilt the fighter at Milden, England.  The first flight of the restored aircraft took place on March 15, 2006 at Wattisham, England.

While everyone “loves” the Spitfire (I do too of course) I have a soft spot for the Hurricane.  When I saw this plane I had to capture a shot.

The boys got nice and cozy with a pussy tonight.  Not sure the cat was that impressed thought!