This weekend Lisa and Abi flew down to San Diego to attend a gymnastics meet.  This left James and I to our own devices, which pretty much meant we stayed in bed each day until noon, watched loads of TV and ate out at our favorite restaurants (really, what did you expect).

But by Sunday afternoon even I was getting bored.  So I told James we were going out to take some pictures and grab some dinner.  It had been a fantastic weekend weather wise so I thought a sunset picture over Seattle might be nice.  James I suspect, thought this was a bad idea (he didn’t say anything of course) but when I said we could eat wherever he wanted he perked up a bit.  I think he wanted to go to the Metropolitan Grill, which for those who don’t know is an amazing steak house Seattle.

So off we went to Seattle, I even had a plan.  At first I thought we’d try Discovery Park and take some shots there, but there is a hell of a walk from the parking lot down to the beach and we just didn’t fancy that.  But on the way there we passed this large marina with a load of big fishing boats.  They looked amazing as we drove past so we turned round and went back.

I should also say that on the way to Seattle we spoke to Lisa and Abi on the phone and Lisa said we were NOT to go to the Met for dinner.  Abi and Lisa love it there too and they said it would be unfair. (This from the two jet setters where were having a great weekend away).  But James and I didn’t want to upset them so chose another location.  So we made a reservation at Daniels Broiler at 6:15 (for those who don’t know, Daniels is the other excellent steak house in Seattle – but it wasn’t the Met so we were good :-).

As a result we had around an hour to get some pictures before dinner and the marina looked perfect.

So we pulled over and started shooting.  While it was a clear night and was lovely and sunny earlier in the day it was really cold now that the sun was going down.  So James and I started working fast.  Also the red skies we get here at night don’t last very long at all (literally minutes), so we were taking pictures as fast as we could.

The first collection of shots were of the boat below.  It looked a lot older than some of the others and the sky above was really red.  I especially liked the reflection in the water.  This one was de-noised and I applied a NIK soft filter.

Next we found Silver Isle at the dock so I took a few shots.  In truth this one didn’t come out as nice so it required more processing.

We then moved further along the dock and like that, the sun was gone, along with the red sky.  But the lights all came on and started adding a warm glow to some of the boats.  Then I found this great view of a load of big fishing boats and got a great shot.  This really wasn’t processed at all.

At this point we needed to head to the restaurant.  Daniels Broiler is actually on Lake Union and when we got there we were a little early so I grabbed this picture below just outside.  This image too wasn’t really modified – just applied a vignette.

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, so sorry about that.  But I think I was so burnt out after last year’s picture a day that I really needed a break.  That said, for the last couple of weeks I’ve really had itchy feet and wanted to go out, but ironically didn’t get the chance.  But this weekend the stars aligned and the weather was great so I visited Woodland Park Zoo with a couple of friends (Chris Pearson and Eric Bie).

I’ve actually been there a few times with the camera but the other guys hadn’t so we took our time (without wives or kids telling us to hurry up) and got some great pictures.

Just over three months ago the zoo got some new attractions.  One of the lioness’ gave birth to a litter of cubs.  I think there were four of them in total (at least that’s what I saw) but it’s hard to say as they are tricky to follow as they are seriously fast and very playful.  So you tend to watch one of them and get totally absorbed.

The zoo had been promoting the new arrivals for a while now and people were in line waiting to see the cubs.  The cubs were outside but the only way you could see them was through glass.  To challenge us a little the glass was pretty dirty so we were worried how the pictures would come out.  But we stood in line for about 20 minutes and got to the front of the barrier by the glass to get some pictures.

Cute just doesn’t do these guys justice.  They were amazing to watch, super fun either playing with twigs or logs in their enclosure or play fighting with each other.  Mum was there too and spent most of her time pacing back and forth making sure her four new babies were OK.

In all I took around 50 pictures of the cubs, but there was one cub that really held my attention – so most of my shots were of him (probably because he was so close to me) and I ended up with around a dozen images that I really loved.  I didn’t want to over do it and bore you with loads of pictures so I selected (with Lisa’s help) the best three.

Hope you like them.


While visiting the Center for Wooden Boats I can across this particular item.  The boat looked like it was carved out of one piece of wood and was painted pretty elaborately. I’m not sure if the markings are native American or not, but they kind of look like they could be.  Which made me wonder if the boat was a re-creation of a native American canoe.

It was moored by the bank on Lake Union and is obviously used regularly as there was an oar inside the boat and the inside was wet.  Anyway I grabbed some shots – I went down to the jetty to get as close to the water level as possible so I could get a good reflection in the water.  I took several pictures and then some people came out of the main building, got in the boat and pushed away from the side – and off they rowed into the lake.

From this position I managed to get a lot of green reflections from the bank in the water and a reflection of the boat too.   The colors of the boat were great against the water (all the oranges, browns and blacks).  I liked the dock just in the picture to the right too.  So the image came out quite well.

This is getting worse!  The guys are dropping like flies and I’m now convinced that this is no longer an accident!  Poor Red was ill watching this, they found Carter Clone on the top of the burner – it was a mess.

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.

While in Seattle Center I ran into Center House to take cover from the rain.  Add to that I wanted to grab a coffee and I knew that apart from a large food hall the house also had a Starbucks.  There was nobody around outside so I figured I could grab a coffee, but once inside I found the rest of Seattle!  They were in a line waiting to get Starbucks.  The place was packed with people.  There are loads of fast food places in Center House with tables everywhere so you can eat, but there were no free seats available.  So no coffee and food for me.

So feeling all depressed I left Center House by the back door and walked onto the patio.  The rain was still coming down hard and the patio was understandably empty.  The rain was bouncing off the tables and there was a nice light canopy above and I thought it might make a nice picture.

So there I am with my trusty tripod (tripod number 2) setting up the camera just outside, pointing the lens at the scene below.  Now you would think (if you were walking past) that there’s a dude taking a picture.  But apparently I was clearly camouflaged as people chose this moment to walk in front of me, stand directly in line with the shot and stop and talk.  Then they went and sat down on the wet benches!  What’s that about?  Bloody rude I call it.  Anyway I gave the people my best “real nasty” stare (works great in fast food restaurants when you want someone to vacate their seat), and they eventually left.

Then I took this picture, and I quite like it.

The guys found some chocolates this evening and raided the boxes.  Pretty naughty really!