Thursday, October 8, 2015

A perfect day to take photographs in Seattle

This week, I was up north in Seattle, Washington for the PIX2015 photo show. I flew up on Monday afternoon and checked into my hotel. I had to head over to the show for some logistics, so I dumped my stuff (except for my camera of course) and walked over to Seattle Center. was a spectacular day, so I walked the long way!

As I approached the Seattle Center, I saw this very cool building from a distance and headed straight for it. I was using my trusty Canon 5D Mark III with the 24-105mm lens. People often ask me why I use this lens so often. I carry the 24-105mm lens because it is really sharp and a great focal range for shooting both wide shots and reasonably tight zooms.

For architecture like this, I usually move around and look through the camera to find a pleasing composition. Luckily, I also packed my Tiffen Digital HT Circular Polarizing filter. This was a key accessory for the day, as the sun was out and I had a great blue sky as my background. I adjusted the polarizing filter to block some of the reflections, but wanted to keep some of the reflecting light in the photo.

When I got to the back of this building I was presented with this awesome wall of color. I moved into a good position, with the sun reflecting directly off the side of the building

Exploring this scene a little more, I noticed that the Space Needle was reflecting into the side of the building. I turned the camera at an angle to get this photo. Again, having the Tiffen HT Circular Polarizing filter really helped me to increase the contrast in the sky and clouds.

As I walked further in Seattle Center, I came across the Chihuly Glass Exhibit. And outside the exhibit were these cool sculptures. I walked to a point where I could see the Space Needle in between the three pieces of art and got this photo. This photo is a great example of having a strong foreground element to add interest the the shot. I saw too many people photographing the Space Needle by itself.

And here is another take from the same general area. This shows how just moving a little bit, changes the composition completely.

And then I made my way into the Chihuly Glass Exhibit. The entrance fee is $23, which is a fair price to pay to see this amazing glasswork.

This is one of the first pieces that I saw as I walked into the exhibit. This is part of the sea life room. I framed this shot to avoid all the distractions (ceiling lights and doorways). I did take some other photos which included people, to show the scale of this piece, but felt that this one was still stronger.

This "Persian Ceiling" room was really cool with all the colors in the ceiling and the same colors being reflected on the walls and floor. I waited for all the people to leave the area and shot this. Would this have been stronger with some people in the room? Maybe.

Here is a shot looking straight up at the ceiling.

Here is a large collection of glass in varying colors, which is entitled "Mille Fiori".

This photo is of the same collection as the preceding image, except that I went around to the far side of the art. I tilted the camera so that I could include as much of the piece as possible. I also waited for someone to enter the far doorway to give this scale.

With all this amazing artwork, it is easy to get focused on the entirety of the pieces. But I also liked looking closer at the details of each piece and taking photos of individual elements of the art. What attracted me to this composition was the contrast of colors and the balance of the two curved pieces against the background.

I really liked the color and lines of this one piece of blown glass. So simple and yet so elegant.

I really loved the "Ikebana and Float Boat" room, with these vibrant colored glass balls set up a reflective black surface.

And, of course, I worked this subject from many different angles.

Two of my favorites things...bright colors and reflections!

The next room was called "Chandeliers" and as the name would imply, this artwork was hanging from the ceiling. Once again, I moved to a place where all the ceiling lights were either out of the frame or directly behind the piece. I love the way that this photo goes from light at the top of the frame to darkness at the bottom.

Half of the exhibit is inside and the other is placed outside in the garden, which I really loved. This was made especially good with the perfect weather. I was looking for interesting photos, when I noticed the Space Needle reflecting in this glass ball.

And then I started looking for different colored glass balls reflecting the iconic tower.

This piece is suspended from the ceiling in the "Glasshouse". I framed this shot to include the Space Needle coming out of the glasswork.

This last shot is my favorite of the day. As I walked around Seattle Center, I came across the big fountain and loved the way it looked. I saw a huge group of people shooting photos of the fountain, but they were facing away from the needle! I kept walking around and was happy to see this shot with the Space Needle and fall colors in the background. And, of course, what really makes this photo work is the perfect clouds accenting nice blue sky.

This is another example of how a Polarizing filter can help make a photo. In this case, the filter helped accentuate the blue sky and clouds, but also cut down the light coming into my lens, helping me get a slower shutter speed in bright sunlight. I wanted to have a slow shutter speed to blur the water. With the help of the filter, I was able to achieve a slow shutter speed of 1/8 sec (at ISO 100 and f/22).

It was a pretty quick trip to Seattle, but I look forward to coming back soon.


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Rosalinda said...

Jeff, I'm so glad you visited my city, and so happy that you took such great pics of Chihuly's art!!! him and you are amazing!!
I barely gave myself a camera Nikon 610 and no, I don't know how to use it yet, but I've already learned so much from your videos and blog posts. Thank youuuuu!!!

Anonymous said...


I really learn at ton from your blog. What would make it better is if you showed the camera information on the pictures i.e. aperture, iso, shutter speed etc.

ask our term paper writers for help said...

What wonderful photos. Bright colors and reflections! A collection of glass is simply amazing. It's amazing. I'm glad that after reading the blog I was able to see such beauty.