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!


I was looking through my picture back log this evening looking for something to post and came across this picture of Pike Place Market at night.  Now I’ve never posted this one before (duh) and I can’t remember why!  When I took this I did take a tighter shot of the Public Market sign and posted that, but this one is the whole market with nobody in the image – and you never see that!

I actually drove into Seattle just to take some pictures, it was just after 9pm (as you can see from the big clock) and the place was pretty deserted.  There were a few people out and about going to restaurants and pubs etc., and some where even there with cameras doing the same as me.  The nice thing was that I could drive right into Pike Place and park on the road (in fact I’m parked directly behind where I stood when I took this picture).

There were a few people in shot and cars kept going down the street so I had to time the picture to get it empty and I think it was really worth it.  The neon signage looked great and I loved the purple lights on the wall of the building above the market.  Of course a beautiful blue sky helps as well.

For post processing I just popped this into Photoshop and gave it a little sharpen, then applied a little targeted blurring to give it that glamour glow look and added a vignette.  The finished image came our really well.

Carter lost Master Chief today so went looking for him.  Eventually he found him sitting on a Totem Pole!

I know what you’re thinking, didn’t I post a picture of this cup before?  Well yes I did, I posted a shot of the cup at night with a dark blue background sky.  Well I was in Seattle a couple of weeks ago and had the chance to shoot the cup again, only this time capturing a different composition.  The cup is at the entrance to Post Alley and is over a coffee house (wow what a surprise).  Well the coffee house has a big glass window and if you stand in “just” the right spot, you see the image below.

I really liked this image as not only do you see the cups reflection, but you see the Public Market reflection behind and the blue sky.  I really think this looks cool and despite my last posting of the cup I thought I should post this one tonight.  I think I like this version best.

One of the benefits of defining my own resolution around this picture-a-day thing is that I can post the same subject as many times as I like.  I will try not to post the cup again – honest.

I’d be interested in hearing what people think, which cup image do you like best (the link to the other one is here:

Today the Halo guys enjoyed a good game of “how long can you hang onto the stairs?”.

Just under Pike Place Market on Post Alley is the Seattle Gum wall.  The wall is outside the Market Theater and back in 1993 people in line for the theater started sticking gum to the wall just before they went inside.  Initially some used to stick gum to the wall and place a coin in the gum too (I have no idea why you would do this but that’s what they did).  Anyway the theater were pretty cross and would come outside the follow day and scrape all the gum off the wall.  This was clearly seen as a “challenge” to the people of Seattle who really went for it and covered the wall with more.  Eventually (after numerous clean ups) the theater gave up and the cite accepted the wall as a (rather discussing) tourist attraction.

The wall itself is pretty big and covers around 30 square feet.  You would be amazed just how much gum is on the wall and how high people get it!  Every now and then the city comes round and cleans up the very bottom of the wall and of course the floor where all the gum falls off.  But the leave the majority of the gum there.

The wall is a very popular location for wedding photographers (every brides dream I should imagine to get photographed here), also it’s common to see “I love you” or signs  like “Julie will you go to the prom with me”? All spelt out in gum!  So the wall looks cool (I think) and is kind-a fun, except for the smell, which is horrible.  It just smells of sticky sweet candy and really isn’t very nice at all.

However, on the other side of the Alley, the city has decreed that no gum is allowed, they even have signs saying “No Gum”.  Again, another challenge for the city residents.  They of course cover this wall with gum too and decorate the “No Gum” sign for the city too (which is nice of them I think).  Every week the city cleans the wall and the residents of the Seattle start again.

I couldn’t resist this side, I think it’s funny that it’s covered with gum too and had to get a shot.  Maybe there’s a little rebel in me too!

Now I have no idea what Orbeez are, but they start really small and grow when they are put into water.  Needless to say, Master Chief and Carter decided to make some toeday.

I don’t know if you have been to Pike Place Market on a Saturday afternoon, if you haven’t let me tell you it’s rather crowded.  The market itself is pretty large and mostly under cover with stores on both sides of the walkway.  Trying to walk down the walkway is pretty difficult, you spend a lot of time bumping into people, getting stepped on or being pushed. So imagine what it’s like trying to take some pictures in that kind of environment!  It’s pretty difficult.

We were in there trying to shoot some flowers and fruit.  The market sellers don’t really mind photographers there, I guess it kind of goes with the territory, I mean when your store is in a major tourist attraction you gotta expect pictures.  As long as you don’t get in the way of purchasing customers they are fine.

Anyway, we saw these sunflowers that were just under some tungsten lights and were totally of back lit – so the petals looked almost orange.  So I “eased” my way forward and shot off some frames and got the image below.  Now those of you who visit my blog know I don’t shy away from photoshop.  But this image is directly out of the camera.  I didn’t do a thing.  Check out the petals across the top of the flower, you can see that they’re back lit as the middle at the front is slightly darker than the outer (thinner) edges.

I loved the narrow depth of field in the image, the way the background is out of focus keeps you looking the foreground flower.

Master Chief and Carter had a bet tonight to see if a small flashlight would power a solar powered flower toy.  It did.  Master Chief won.