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!

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’ve come the the conclusion that luck plays a big part in capturing a great picture, but then you do need to recognize the lucky opportunity and act on it to get the shot.  Yesterday was a perfect example.  There we were at sunrise on Alki beach taking pictures of the Seattle skyline and the islands out in Puget Sound with the Olympic Mountain Range backdrop.

We had quite a few photographers there and we were all standing on the sidewalk and park above the beach.  I thought it might be interesting to get closer to the beach so I could include the sand and breaking water in the foreground so I walked down to the waters edge.  Now here’s the embarrassing thing, I then went ahead and took a load of pictures and it wasn’t until I looked at the captured image on the back of the camera that I saw a small seal pup right in front of me.

Now we aren’t supposed to get to close to seal’s on the beach but the little guy was pretty close already and didn’t seem bothered by my presence.  I did have a quick look around for the mother, as they can be a little agressive if they think the pup is in danger, but she wasn’t around.

So I got down on the floor and took a LOAD of pictures.  I was so excited that I totally screwed up the first ones, but once I calmed down I got a lot of beautify images.  Now I was around 5 feet from this little guy, and in truth that was probably too close, but I was there already so took the opportunity.

After I got the shots I wanted I backed away slowly and told all the other photographers about the pup.  They then ran down to the beach and I had the park and sidewalk to myself with nobody in the way.

Now I’ll be honest, I LOVE animal pictures, but they usually require amazing patience with you sitting by a hole in the ground for hours.  And as I’m amazingly lazy it’s not really for me.  But give me an opportunity like this and I’m all over it.  I loved the pictures I got and chose this one with the little guy’s eyes open.  I think he liked the camera too, as he almost looks like he’s smiling.

Tonight the guys found a “pumpkin” tree and played in that.

I’ve posted a few pictures from Fort Ward State Park over the last couple of days but I haven’t really shown you what the beach looks like.  This image was taken by the wooden poles in the water picture that I posted a few days ago.  You can see the stones on the beach, not a grain of sand to see anywhere.

The things that caught my eye when I composed this image were the trees falling over towards the water, the large bolder in the water and the state of the clouds.  The wind was blowing while we were there so these clouds didn’t stick around and as you have already seen on the way home the sun came out and the clouds parted to give us blue sky.  But here it looks almost gray.

Where the trees were falling there were some uprooted trunks and I got one call picture of the very bottom of a tree, looking at it’s roots.  It’s a little odd as you can’t really tell what it is but I may post that in the future.

In the far distance you can just make out the mainland.  You can’t see Seattle from here as it’s kind of round the corner to the left, but you can see Bainbridge is not that far away from Seattle.

Well the weekend if finally here and I’ll try to get out tomorrow to shoot something new.

After watching Gabby Douglas last night the guys were inspired.  Here’s Carter practicing his beam routine.

Not much to post tonight as everyone has a “stones” on the beach picture, but I thought so what!  I want one too.  So while walking along the beach on Bainbridge Island, I stopped and shot directly down and got this image.  You can hopefully see that some of these stones are pretty big so can understand why walking along this beach with a huge camera bag and tripod could be a little “dangerous”.  But everything’s good, I got all my camera gear insured a few weeks ago so it’s safe no matter what happens.

This is not a particularly cleaver image, there’s no artificial light – just natural sunlight – it’s just a picture of stones.  Well actually it’s three pictures of stones HDR’d together to add a little “grunge” or detail to the image.  They had some areas where all the stones were the same size (ish) but I liked this one better with everything different, all slightly different colors.

There’s probably some sea life hiding in here somewhere but I just like the image.  There I now have my stone picture.

Master Chief and Carter were missing Maui today, so they decided to try and recreate it here in Redmond.