I thought I’d post another image from my Seattle photo walk yesterday.  Today’s image is the “Seattle Great Wheel” that’s located down on the waterfront on Pier 57.  This Ferris wheel has only been open since the end of June and while I really want to go on it, I thought I’d wait until the lines dropped down.  However when I was there yesterday there were no real line at all!  I was surprised by this as I really thought it would be more popular and busy as the weather was dry!

This is called the Great Wheel because it’s the largest Ferris wheel on the West Coast.  It stands 175 feet and it costs $13 to take a ride.  There is one fully glass VIP gondola and that’s $50 a go – I want to ride in that one.  When you pay to get on, you get to go round three times (which I think it pretty good).  In total there are 42 climate controlled gondola’s and each one can hold 8 people and when on the ride you extend out 40 feet over Elliott Bay.

This does look really cool but it’s much smaller than the London Eye (the London Ferris wheel) that’s 443 feet high and is the tallest wheel in Europe and the most popular tourist attraction in the United Kingdom.  That said I’m glad we have our own wheel and look forward to taking a ride.

Anyway, back to the image, I got the chance to take quite a few pictures and you can pretty much stand right under the wheel to get some cool compositions.  While the sun was trying to peak through, the sky was still pretty cloudy and I thought the image below came out well.  Even though I shot in color (always do), the image was pretty monochromatic, there was a slight “blue” tint in the clouds and this spilled onto the the silver and white wheel.  As this didn’t really aid the image, I chose to make it black and white and I think this made a more powerful image.

Real men play an instrument – at least that’s what the Halo guys think so tonight they started their trumpet practice! Scared the crap out of the dog I can tell you.

A friend at home (Kathryn Skinner) asked me if I had any nice black and white images, so we looked though my image collection and both decided I didn’t.  As a result I thought I’d try to capture a picture that would make a good black and white.  So this evening Abi and I went out to see what we could get.

We found ourselves over on the west side of Lake Washington down by the I90 bridge and stopped by a small park with a pier.  The sun was starting to set so the pier was no longer directly lit and I thought the dark wood of the pier might look good against the sky.  Ideally I would have been there a little later so I could have taken the picture with a nice long exposure to smooth the water but I had Abi and couldn’t really hang around.

At the end of the pier were three fishermen and under the pier were loads of kids swimming.  Every now and then they would climb up onto the pier and jump off.  I spent some time in Photoshop removing all the people until the image looked as it does below.

I actually had a couple of lenses with me, one of them was my wide angle “landscape” lens, but unfortunately it started capturing images that were way over exposed.  So that’s going back to Nikon tomorrow.  As a result I took the image below with normal zoom, but I think it came out really well.  So I’ll show this to Kathryn and see what she thinks.

Nothing like a nice game of pool, but as there are three colors on the table I have NO IDEA what Carter and Master Chief are playing.

If you go to Pike Place Market you typically go into the main food, flower and craft area and walk around that, this is called the Main Arcade.  If you are feeling a little adventurous, you may find the stairs or ramps to go down stairs and find the stores below in the area known as “Down Under”, but that’s not all there is.

Pike Place is the road the Main Arcade is on (I know what a surprise), and the market is on both sides of the road.  Across the road from the Main Arcade is Post Alley.  Here you can find a number of retail stores, restaurants and cafes.  In fact it’s the best place to get a bite to eat in the market.

When I visited to take this shot the market was deserted (very rare) so I captured one side of Post Alley without any people in shot.  Most of this area is lit with neon signs and it’s amazingly colorful.   At first I thought I’d post a color shot as there is blue neon round the sign and red neon on the buildings and everything is lit up.  But the problem is the picture was overly bright and a little sickly.  Then I tried a black and white and added a copper tone.  I really liked this so chose this one instead.  Lisa liked this one with some color peaking though but I’m off those sort of shots these days – so this is what you’re getting.

Anyway, great part of the market, if you get the chance check it out, and also a nice place for a picture.

Apparently Master Chief is worried about his weight, so Carter told him to get some Saran Wrap on and sweat the weight off!

While in Mount Vernon over the weekend we went to visit Rosario Beach.  This is a small beach on what I think is a Native American reservation on the island of Fidalgo.  Today’s photograph was taken on the top of a peninsular overlooking Puget Sound.  I was taking some pictures looking out over the water and while the images were nice, they didn’t really grab me.

Then I saw this really cool tree.  It’s branches were kind of messed up and it looked sort of creepy and lent itself really well to a black and white image.  I got down low so the tree was above me and the sea was hidden over the hill and took the shot.

At the top of the hill there were a number of people just sitting on the grass looking out to sea.  Some people were talking, others were just lying there relaxing enjoying the sun.  It seemed that the nice weather really brought out the locals.  While this was nice it was quite hard to take a picture without people being in it.  In fact in the image below there were two guys sitting right at the top of the hill to the left of the tree.  As a result I removed them in Photoshop – cool eh?

Anyway I had a black and white image in mind when I took this and think it came out well.

For the last 100 days the Halo guys have been stuck in the house.  Sure they went out to play in the snow but they haven’t really left home!  So for the next 100 days they have decided to come to work with me and see what they can get up to.  Today Master Chief found a flower for Carter.  Not sure he really wanted it though.

Today’s posting is a little different as I had two pictures and couldn’t decide which “version” to post.  Let me explain what I mean.  Every day after work I drive home the same way and pass Union Hill Ranch which is around 3 miles from home.  The Ranch is surrounded by trees and has a large pond at it’s front by the road.  There is also a pond overflow that flows towards the road and looks like a mini waterfall.

Anyway I’ve often thought of pulling over and photographing this scene, as I like the trees and pond and the water run-away.

So the other day on the way home I stopped, grabbed the camera and took some shots.  When I got home and looked at the images they looked OK but not in my opinion great.  As a result I tried one of the pictures as a black and white and I felt it looked better.  After that I did what I do every night, I showed Lisa, James and Abi and asked them what they thought, only this time I showed them the color version and the black and white and asked them which one they liked best.

As you can imagine a discussion ensued that covered the pro’s and con’s of each image, the bottom line the family couldn’t decide which one was best and stated they liked them both.  I actually prefer the black and white but thought tonight I’d post both and let you decide.

I should point out (for those that don’t know) digital photographers typically shoot in color all the time and then post process the image if they want black and white, after in software.  While it’s true that most digital cameras have a black & white option or mode, I don’t like the way they process the image – they always look very flat to me, not having enough contrast.  So I always do this after the fact in Photoshop.

Anyway here are the two images, have a look and let me know which one you prefer, feel free to add a comment and vote or email me.

First the Black and White…

And then the color…

Tonight Carter and his mate decided they wanted to play a game of Chess.