We had a relatively rare mid-summer rain pass through this weekend, so I took advantage of the darker skies and headed out to Madison Park to take a few bulb exposures of the passing clouds over Lake Washington. Unfortunately, as I set up to shoot, the sun started poking through the clouds, so even stacking a 10-stop ND filter on a polarizing filter only allowed for ~60-75 second exposures. I’ve found that I need a good two to five minutes to really get the water to flatten out in these photographs.
Madison Park Pier and Summer Rain Clouds (#5, B&W), Seattle, WA (12″x18″)
Exploring more docks/piers along the Lake Washington shore line- this weekend, I visited the ‘T Dock’ near Madrona Beach. With the low, thick clouds, I was able to get 2-5 minute exposure times with a 10-stop ND filter, even during the middle of the morning.
Lake Washington T Dock and Rain Clouds (#1, B&W), Seattle, WA (12″x18″)
Lake Washington T Dock, Rain Clouds, and Ghosts (#1, Color), Seattle, WA (12″x18″)
I had a chance to go back to the swimming pier at Mt Baker Beach on Lake Washington near sunset- fading pink light shifting to blue hour and passing clouds, and five minute exposure times. I was there for about an hour and walked away with something like six photographs. I like the way bulb exposure photography slows things down.
Lake Washington Swimming Pier at Sunset (#1, Color), Seattle, WA (12″x18″)
Lake Washington Swimming Pier at Sunset (#2, B&W), Seattle, WA (10″x18″)
Swimming pier and I-90 bridge along the shore of Lake Washington, Seattle, WA.
Lake Washington Swimming Pier (#4, B&W), Seattle, WA (11″x18″)
I-90 Bridge and Fog (B&W), Seattle, WA (12″x12″)
Swimming pier near Mt Baker Beach along the shores of Lake Washington, Seattle, WA.
Mt Baker Beach Swimming Pier (#3, B&W), Seattle, WA (12″x18″)
Foggy/rainy evening skies provide perfect ‘grey box’ lighting for bulb exposures along the shores of Lake Washington, Seattle, WA. This was my first time shooting there, so I tried two compositions: one including the eroding stairs leading down to the water, and the other with just the swimming pier- I like the simplicity of the latter, but the stairs and shore are a nice element in the former.
Lake Washington Swimming Pier (#1, B&W), Seattle, WA (12″x18″)
Lake Washington Swimming Pier (#2, B&W), Seattle, WA (10″x18″)
Bulb exposure of a rusty pier in Elliott Bay along Alki Beach in West Seattle, WA.
Rusty Pier in Fog, West Seattle, WA (12″x18″)
Cranes and shipping containers in the fog along the Duwamish Waterway.
Cranes and Fog, West Seattle, WA (12″x18″)
Bulb exposure of a pier and pylons in the fog in Elliott Bay, WA.
Pier, Fog, and Pylons in the Fog, West Seattle, WA (9″x18″)
Ships appear likes ghosts out of the fog in Elliott Bay, WA.
Ghost Ship and Fog, West Seattle, WA (9″x18″)
Pylons, Ghost Ship, and Fog, West Seattle, WA (12″x18″)
I’ve been waiting for thick fog to obscure the Seattle skyline so I could shoot some bulb exposure of the structures along Elliott Bay- I got what I was wishing for in late October. This is probably one of my favorite abstract photos that I’ve taken in the last few months.
Pylons and Fog, West Seattle, WA (12″x18″)
Bulb exposure of the Seattle skyline shot from the Don Armeni Boat Ramp lanch in West Seattle. I tried getting this shot to be symmetrical, but it was slightly off.
Don Armeni Launch and Seattle Skyline, West Seattle, WA (9″x18″)
Bulb exposure of the Seattle skyline from a grey, rainy day back in early October.
Reflections and Seattle Skyline, West Seattle, WA (12″x18″)
While photographing the Seattle skyline back in August, I walked around to Salty’s along Alki Beach and took a few photos of this pier poking out into the Bay.
Pier and Seattle Skyline, West Seattle, WA (12″x16″)
Smoke and clouds blanketed the sky back in late August, so I headed over to West Seattle to use the neutral, low lighting to do some long exposure (bulb) photography. Another photographer in town had mentioned this old, rusty dock, but he didn’t know exactly where it was- happy to have found it! I included two of my favorite photographs from this location.
Rusty Dock, (Bulb Exposure #1), West Seattle, WA (12″x18″)
Rusty Dock, (Bulb Exposure #2), West Seattle, WA (12″x18″)
Before heading down to the water to do some coastal, pylon-focused bulb exposure work, I decided to shoot a few more traditional ‘Seattle Skyline’ panoramas as the clouds rolled over. When I started, the day was grey and overcast (first panorama), and later in the afternoon the clouds started to part, making for a nice ‘black sky’ backdrop for the texture of the clouds (second panorama).
Seattle Skyline from Joe Block Park (BW #2), Joe Block Park, West Seattle, WA (16″x55″)
Seattle Skyline from Joe Block Park (BW #2), Joe Block Park, West Seattle, WA (16″x32″)
After spending a few minutes walking around scoping out Joe Block Park, I decided to try to use some of the dock/pylons to frame the Space Needle and Seattle skyline (first photograph). Although I liked the idea, I found that a later composition was more successful (second photograph).
Pylons and Rocks Framing Skyline (Bulb #1), Joe Block Park, West Seattle, WA (12″x16″)
Pylons and Rocks Framing Skyline (Bulb #3), Joe Block Park, West Seattle, WA (12″x18″)
More bulb exposures of Elliott Bay and the Seattle skyline shot from Joe Block park in West Seattle.
Pylons, Boats, and Rocks (Bulb Exposure #3), Joe Block Park, West Seattle, WA (16″x37″)
I was trying to find a few good places to take bulb (long exposure) photographs of the Elliott Bay shoreline, and I came across Jack Block and Joe Block Parks in West Seattle. These former Superfund sites have been recently cleaned up and converted into parks, but they maintain some of the old dock and pylon feel (perfect for an afternoon of bulb photographs when the tide went out and exposed the rocks along the shore).
Pylons, Boats, and Rocks (Bulb Exposure #2), Joe Block Park, West Seattle, WA (16″x33″)
The Garðar BA 64, a steel fishing vessel that was retired in the 1980’s, was run aground in Skápadalur Valley in the Westfjords, where it sits rusting on the beach as clouds and storms roll in off the Atlantic and Arctic. I wish I would have stopped here for longer to photograph the century-old vessel- a great example of how time, wind, and water slowly eat away at the human creation.
Garðar BA 64, Skápadalur Valley in the Westfjords, Iceland (12″x18″)