Friday turned out to be a really beautiful day and as we had family (Regan) in town I decided to take a day off work and go out and enjoy the weather.  We all voted and picked Seattle as the location thinking the view from the Space Needle would fantastic.

So first we hit Pike Place Market.  The temperature was over 80 degrees and the tourists were out in force but we had a great time walking through the Market grabbing pics along the way.  I love the flowers, fruit and veg stalls and took a load of pics at each.  We found an interesting pasta stall and I got some great close up shots of pasta, I can see some of these making great wallpapers.

We walked past the gum wall which was recently cleaned and found that people had once again started to “decorate” the alley (much I’m sure to everyones delight – I don’t think anyone wanted Seattle to remove all the gum).

Then it was onto the Space Needle.  Now I’ve taken so many pictures of the Needle it’s difficult to come up with something new or interesting.  I got one shot I quite liked standing below the needle looking up and a couple of others getting the needles reflection in the “Experience Music Project” (EMP) building.

As expected the views from the top of the needle were amazing.  You could see for miles and even Mount Rainer was super clear.

To end the day, we finished up in Kirkland grabbing some Seattle Hot Dogs (you definitely need to try a Seattle dog if you never have) and then spent some time sitting by Lake Washington.

I took (as usual) a TON of pics, I’m just posting a few here today.

Really pleased I took the day off as I’m typing this on Saturday morning and it’s raining outside – you gotta love Seattle weather!


Well folks, here we are on Christmas day and I’m very close to the end of the year and the end of this new years resolution.  I really can’t believe I’ve successfully posted every day, and after December 31st, I’ll never do this again.  That said I will still post next year, just not as often.  I’m going to write quite a long posting on January 1st about this experience and explain why you should NEVER try and do it!  Still I still have a week to go so had better post a picture for today.

Tonight’s image takes us back to Carillon Point in Kirkland.  This little harbor has a great marina and very posh hotel and shops and is a gerat place to take some shots.  This image was taken just after the sun went down and the sky looked great.  I got really close to the harbor’s edge with a nice wide lens and made sure I had a really small aperture.  This gave me a really deep depth of field (so lots of the image was in focus) and I was able to ge the light in focus as well as the boats far away.

I loved the orange color cast thrown on the wood by the small light and the deep blue sky, I think it made a really nice image.  Light reflections in water also always look great so the small lights going round the harbor added to the image too.

Tonight the guys sat down and enjoyed a mince pie.  This is a very British thing (I think), not sure they are popular over here in the US. Basically they are dried fruit filled pies. Taste great!

One of the “problems” of taking a picture a day is that if you work for a living (like I do) you tend to take pictures at the same time each day – after work.  And when summer is over and the sun goes down around 6pm, all your pictures become sunset or night time shots.  Now this is not really a major issue as this time of night is considered by most photographers as the “Golden Hour”.

The Golden Hour is said to be the best time of the day for pictures outside.  Really the golden hour is usually thought of  as the hour before sunset or the hour after sunrise.  (Although many believe it’s the hour that straddles both).  So what’s special about this time of day?  Well the sun is very low in the sky and casts long soft shadows on people and buildings.  Also the sky takes on a colored (sometimes red) hue which many people find attractive.  Sometimes if the weather’s not that nice the clouds become more dramatic.

Tonights picture is a great example of this.  I shot the image at Carillon Point in Kirkland as the sun was going down.  Earlier in the day the clouds were pretty flat and boring, but once the sun was low in the sky the clouds took on a much more interesting look.  Luckily when I set up the tripod for this image nobody was around (that usually never happens) so I didn’t have to take anyone out in Photoshop.

If I had taken this picture 30 minutes earlier or later I wouldn’t have got the same shot at all, so it shows that hour is kind-a special.  So as the nights are starting earlier these days, you should expect a lot more pictures like this.

Today the guys wanted to play on some halloween decorations.

I got home this evening and again didn’t know what to post so I had dinner and headed out with the camera.  I didn’t have any idea where I was going but the sun was going down so I followed that.  I didn’t want to head to Seattle again as it was getting late so I drove down to Kirkland.  I parked up in Marina Park and got the camera and tripod.

It was pretty warm out still and there were a load of people walking outside enjoying the evening and the sunset.  There were loads of really nice opportunities to shoot images and I got a few nice shots.  I love shooting water at night but if there are boats on the water they tend to be a little out of focus.  They are bobbing up and down on the water and at night I have to have a long exposure so there is a load of motion blur. That said, I think moonlight and street lamps on water look really nice.

The image I chose to post tonight was a shot of the water front along the small beach.  By shooting towards the large gazebo I got a lot of light on the water and the sky facing west (so you just got the end of the sunset above).  Interesting as I was shooting with long exposures the people walking past didn’t appear in any of the shots as they kept moving and didn’t stay still long enough for the camera to pick them up.  So very little work to do in Photoshop.

Master Chief saw some dog treats and asked to try one, Carter said he had to play dog first.

I would bet I could post a year’s worth of picture a day with just “night shots”.   They are starting to be my favorite images, because they are super easy to do (you just set up a tripod and shoot), and the results are always good.

They do say that the perfect time to shoot landscapes is the magic or “Golden” hour that is an hour around sunrise and sunset.  It’s true that you get great pictures at this time but in summer it requires you being up and about at 5:30 in the morning or out waiting for the sun to go down at 9pm!  And when you work for a living that quite frankly is a pain.

That said when the daylight saving goes and we get darker nights I will probably go back to nice sunsets, but I’m digging night shots in the interim.

Today’s image was taken at the Marina in Carillon Point in Kirkland.  This part of Washington is pretty affluent and there are a lot of boats.  So to cater for the demand we have a lot of nice marina’s and this is one of them.

I do think it’s funny though that they put a lock on the gate on the pier, but I guess some of the boats are pretty expensive so it’s a deterrent against board kids, vandals and wan-a-be photographers looking for the perfect picture.

I liked this image when I got home immediately.  The green lilies on the water, the red light in the entrance and the blue sky make a great picture (I think).  Add to that the fact that any lights at night look cool and you get something interesting to look at.

If I’d had a flashlight with me I would have light painted the Marina sign so that stood out more, but such is life I guess.

Today Master Chief and Carter decided to enjoy a game of Jacks!