The Bellevue Downtown Park is right next to Bell Square Mall – which by the way if you haven’t visited is a pretty impressive shopping mall, just ask Lisa!  Just by the Mall where the part starts is this large fountain surrounded by lamps.  I have no idea if it’s here to signify anything but it’s covered in flags.  I was there for the sunset and took this image just before the sun went down.

The challenge with this picture was getting a shot with no people and no wind.  Obviously I failed as you can see by the movement in the flags.  That said I didn’t really do anything to this image in Photoshop, this was pretty much what came out of the camera.

I liked the one tree at the front of the image, it kind of added some nice foreground interest and I liked the leaves and flagstones one the floor.  The sky looked cool too so the picture came out well.  I think this is my last Downtown Park image so don’t expect any more.

I had planned to take a load of images this week as I’ve been off work now for 9 days.  But it’s pretty much rained every day, been really crappy.  So not a good week for photography.  But I plan to get out soon and grab some nice pictures.  I’m still pretty amazed that I started this thing on January 1st, and here I am on November 25th and I haven’t missed a day.  Only 36 days to go and I made it.

Tonight the guys found a new balls game to play, I have no idea what it’s called but they seemed to be enjoying themselves.

It’s kind-a funny the things you chose to shoot and post when you do this kind of “picture-a-day” nonsense and tonight’s posting is a great example of what I mean.  30 years ago when I was but a “slip of a lad” (well I was actually 19 then but I was definitely young) I really didn’t notice much around me, that is of course unless there was a sign saying “Bar Open” or there was a very pretty girl in my field of view.  In fact put a pretty girl in an open bar and World War III could have taken place behind me and I wouldn’t have noticed.  I’m sure you get the idea.  (Oh and before any of my American friends get all moral on me, the legal drinking age in the UK is 18, so finding open bars and pretty girls was a common pastime for me and my friends.  (The fact that I worked in a bar when I was 17 is neither here or there – but I digress.)

The mere thought of me stopping to stare at a sunset, or field of flowers was just out of the question, in fact I can feel 19 year old Tony inside cringing as I type this.  But age does many things to a man, we become more open to our surroundings, have an higher appreciation of natural beauty and are willing to look a complete dicks arse (friend joke) staring at something beautiful a 19 year old would point and laugh at.  Don’t get me wrong, I still like staring at a pretty girl (as Lisa will attest) but 30 years ago did I every think I’d post to an online web site a picture of a fallen tree stump?  Clearly the answer is no, I mean the web didn’t exist 30 years ago, but I think you get my point.

I should point out that I had a couple of beer’s tonight so I’m rambling a little here but what the heck, only 38 days to go, I should enjoy this opportunity.

Anyhow, back to the picture.  I was walking along a beach on Bainbridge Island and I came across a fallen tree.  So what I hear you ask.  Well the tree was rather uninteresting, but the roots at it’s base had turned almost silver and gold.  I looked pretty amazing and I found myself staring at the said tree trunk for far too long (pretty sad eh?)  Anyway I thought I’d take a picture as I really liked the way it looked and figured it might make a nice image.

So not your everyday traditional picture, not sure if this should be classified as a landscape, or macro image, maybe it’s just “arty” either way I like the way it came out and am posting it tonight.  (Hopefully this is not the beer talking).

Tonight the guys decided to play a game of golf – thank you Valerie for loaning the set.

I don’t know why but I seem to have a thing for barns!  I found this one between Duvall and Carnation, I actually have no idea where it is but I’m calling it Carnation for this posting.  The barn was right next to a big cow shed full of cows eating and I took quite a few pictures of them too.  But it was a litte dark and the cows kept moving so the images didn’t come out as well.  I was also going as fast as I could as I didn’t want some angry farmer to come out and give me a hard time, fortunately that never happened.

Anyway the sun was going down and this barn looked really good.  I loved the textures in the wood and the things hanging inside the barn were cool too.  I took a few pictures of the barn, one from the side (this one below) and a couple from the front, but the frontal ones didn’t look as good – the building had too much wide angle distortion and  I didn’t catch the orange sky that’s off to the left in the image below.

The barn had a load of cables coming off the roof and they really ruined the image.  So I took all those out in post processing.  I also tone mapped the image to bring out some of the shaded areas and give the sky a little drama and ended up with the image below.  Oh there was also a huge tire in the bottom right hand corner that was just distracting, so I took that out too.  Pretty pleased with the end result though.

The guys unpacked their new Nokia 920 today, it’s a white one.  Very “stormtrooper”.

I live in Redmond, I actually live on the edge of Redmond at the top of a huge hill.  If you drive over the hill and go down the other side (away from Redmond) the road takes you to a valley between Redmond and Duvall.  To get to Duvall you have to cross the Snoqualmie River and there’s a road and bridge that get’s you there.

Today’s picture is of the road you take to Duvall that crosses the river.  I was driving around looking for something to shoot and decided to pull over and take a picture of the valley with the bridge.  I liked the look of the bridge and thought it might make an interesting landscape shot.  However, what I like most about this bridge is what happens in Winter.

Here in the Pacific North West we are well know for our rainfall.  This is probably a little unfair as there are loads of cities in the US that get more rain than us, New York is a great example.  However when we talk about rainfall we normally refer to inches of water.  While New York does get more than us, we have drizzly rain that falls more months of the year – hence the bad reputation.  What does happen here though is that each winter a lot of our rivers breach and water covers a lot of farm land (and unfortunately some peoples homes).

The Snoqualmie River breaches its banks in this valley every year.  So when they built the bridge they thought “lets raise the bridge higher so people can still cross”.  Great idea you say.  Well yes it is except they didn’t raise the road one either side.  So every year the valley floods and there’s this island in the middle with a bridge on it.  How funny is that!  Of course when this happens all the people in Duvall say they can’t come to work!  It’s not possible to drive an extra 10 miles to work I guess.

Tonight the guys decided to have a game of Monopoly.  But Master Chief got suck in jail and was there for most of the game.

The rain let up today for about half an hour so I grabbed my gear and headed out.  It’s quite funny what you see when you walk around looking for something interesting to shoot.  I was was driving out of Redmond towards Duval and I was driving down the hill I live on around this really windy road.  On either side of the road was heavy woodland and something caught my eye.  So I turned round and went back for a look.

Just off the road in the trees was a fallen tree trunk and someone had carved this bird on the bottom.  I had to dodge traffic and jump over a barrier to get the picture so I risked life and limb for this one.  But how cool is this?  Firstly I’m shocked I saw it, but after checking it out really close I’m really glad I did.

There was a lot going on around the carving (loads of trees and plants etc.,) but I wanted the focus to be on the bird.  So I selected a pretty narrow depth of field so plants behind were out of focus and added a vignette to the picture so the bird carving is the lightest item in the image.  I actually took a few versions of this art work, some from further away and others really close up and tight.  But this version was my favorite, it showed you all of the carving and placed it in context in the wooded area too.

Master Chief brought Carter a gift today, his own “Grow Tiger”, cool eh?  Now he just needs to find some water.