I spent the day out shopping today and have finally got all my prezzies ready for the big day – now I just need to wrap them, but that can wait a day or two.  When I got home I had a terrible headache and didn’t feel like heading out for a picture.  So tonight’s posting is from my backlog.

A month ago I visited the Japanese Gardens in Seattle, I actually went there the last day it was open in the season so it was pretty deserted.  Anyway I took quite a few pictures, most of which I have already posted, but here’s a new one.

I found these stone steps at the end of the path and loved the red maples and fall colors in the trees around the path.  Using a wide angle lens I shot the steps with the surrounding gardens and got a nice image.  I have no idea where these steps go but I think they make a nice image.  Tomorrow I’m off out again, this time with the camera.

Master Chief got hold of some Sleigh Bells tonight and was walking around ringing them – very annoying.  So Carter confiscated them.

You aren’t going to believe this but today I actually went out with the camera and took some pictures.  It was pretty cold out but dry so I hit the road and headed for Seattle.  I had this great plan to go to the Seattle Center (home of the Space Needle) and take some nice pics as they now have loads of Christmas lights up.  But when I got there I spent 45 minutes driving round the area trying to find somewhere to park!  It was impossible and I eventually gave up and headed home.  Luckily though I did go to some other locations so I got a good weeks worth of new pictures.

Tonight’s image was taken in the Seattle Washington Arboretum Park.  This is a really pretty park right by Lake Washington and is full of walking paths that at this time of year are full of runners (it’s too cold I guess to go for a walk).  I found this park by mistake one day.  I was driving down Lake Washington Boulevard looking for somewhere to photograph and drove under this great bridge.  It was made of stone and had these lights on top.  I had Abi with me at the time and told her I’d go back one day and shoot the bridge.

Well today I found the bridge and captured this shot.  Now, those of you who read this blog know I like Photoshop but this image is pretty much right out of the camera.  I did fix one thing though.  One of the lights wasn’t on so I copied a light from somewhere else and fixed the broken one.  Question is, can you tell which one?  Bet you can’t.

But other than that, I didn’t change a thing and I think it came out really well.  It was getting dark when I got there so I had to take this with a long exposure and I needed to take a few shots as runners kept coming over the bridge.  But after five minutes I had the shot and headed home.  More new stuff tomorrow.

I don’t know about you but you cant beat tined Unicorn Meat – yummy.  Tonight the guys enjoyed a delicious dinner.

The weather out side is not great at the moment – well I do live in Seattle so what do you expect?  Anyway we are getting a lot of rain right now so I’m having to be “creative” finding new pictures to post.  Tonight is no exception so we are going back to warmer/dryer evenings in Bellevue Downtown Park.

This picture was taken in the park after sunset.  They have this large expanse of grass in the middle of the park and all around the grass is this long curved walking path.  Next to the path is a collection of small ponds (really it’s a water feature) that also goes around the park.  Well I found that if I stood in a specific place I could capture the path, some of the water and reflections of the larger buildings in downtown in the water.

As the sky had this great blue color (remember this is after the sunset) and the lights around the park were on and the buildings were lit up I got a great composition and I think a nice picture.  Hopefully you like it too.

I’d start hoping for nice or at least dry weather or you are going to get some pretty poor pics for the remainder of December.

I spoke to Carter tonight and he said he felt on top of the world!  No idea why.

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.

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!