Welcome to part 3 of my Seattle review as I’ll be reviewing the Space Needle, Chihuly’s Gardens and Glass gallery, and I’ll reveal where the best photo spot in Seattle is (spoiler alert) Kerry Park. Now if you’re reading this on a mobile device, I advise you to put your wifi on as this is going to be a monster post!
THE SPACE NEEDLE
Now it’s day two and we hit the ground running once again!
Our first stop was to the Seattle Center we decided to take the monorail because, well why not? For those curious the fare costs $2.50.
Once you get off the last stop you’ll see Seattle’s most iconic landmark and that’s the Space Needle.
If you’re wondering what the cost of admission is, here you go…
And for those of you that have played Bioshock – tell me the elevator doesn’t look like something out of the game!
I was super exited to get up to the top as I love, love, love shooting from high vantage points, but to be honest it was was a bit underwhelming.
I can’t pinpoint why. Perhaps it’s the fact that I’m from NYC and it takes a lot to impress me. The construction was also a factor as I we weren’t able to to completely walk around – so I felt a bit gypped.
While my wife was at the gift shop, I took the time to setup my tripod so we can take a photo of us. Why did I mention this? Well, the quality of cellphone pictures isn’t great – at least when it comes to printing photos large for our living room.
When it comes to special places, I’ll always take at least a photo or two with my “real” camera. And if you’re ever looking for a destination photographer for your next vacation – don’t hesitate to reach out!
The problem photographers face is not being in the vacation photos. So one thing I do for the best quality photos is to use my tripod so I can be in some of the photos.
Afterwards we decided to visit Chihuly’s art installation as it was in the area. My wife heard about a “must eat” food to eat while out there and that’s a Seattle-style hot dog. When in Rome right?
While she was off waiting for her food, I figured I might was well take some shots of the Space Needle. And much to my surprise there was a rainbow around the space needle!
The other crazy thing was that I remembered how to shoot sunstars! I actually forgot about the technique and if you’re wondering what I’m talking about check out this video…
CHIHULY GARDENS & GLASS GALLERY
Our next stop was the Chihuly Garden’s and Glass Gallery. But before we went in – I noticed these flowers so you know I had to stop!
Since the rainbow was still in the sky, I figured why not shoot the flowers as a silhouette, while having the rainbow in the background.
And just as luck would have it a bird flew by and I was able to capture it on film and video! These series of shots was some of my favorites as they came out really well!
Now the Chihuly gallery was something I wasn’t ready for as it was freaking amazing! I had to leave my tripod behind as they’re nervous about people bumping into the fragile glass – and I don’t blame them as people like me can be very clumsy!
Now as for my thoughts on the gallery – I’m really at a loss of words! I had zero interest in going, but after being there for 5 minutes I was glad we did!
We then jumped over on a Lyft and headed north to check out the Fremont Troll. It’s under a bridge and I wasn’t very happy as it was super dusty and dirty. And to make matters worse – I was wearing white sneakers.
Aside from wearing white sneakers – I don’t like to get my gear dirty with dust as dust is no bueno for camera equipment.
As a side note when images are “boring” try making a black and white version to add drama…
If you’re wondering what in the world I was doing in Edmunds Washington – it was for two reasons…
Reason 1: Eat poke over at Ono Poke. I can’t recommend them highly enough as you’ll be hard pressed to find better authentic Hawaiian Poke!
To this day I still daydream about their food as it was de-li-cious! If we lived in the area – the staff over there would know us by first name!
Reason 2: Check out Aquarium Co-Op. Being a fishkeeper I’ve always found Corey’s videos informative and inspirational. If you’re in the mood for an amazing story and perhaps feel like crying check out this video…
While waking around Edmonds I’d like to point out that the area was really beautiful! Based on the look of things I wouldn’t mind living there.
FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES
Before we headed to the highlight of the day (well at least for me anyway) I wanted to check out a marijuana dispensary shop – for educational purposes.
It was surreal being there as growing up it has always been taboo. Now everyone and their mother is on the hype-train.
For those unaware marijuana is legal for recreational use in Washington state. It was crazy seeing people buying weed. It’s very much like being in a liquor store – you know why everyone is there – and that’s to get high!
And for the record – the war on drugs is a joke if you ask me. If you think about it you can get any drug you want in the most secure facility in the country and that’s prisons.
Plus if there really was a war on drugs why was the C_I_A drug trafficking in the 60’s and 70’s? This is not a conspiracy theory – but a conspiracy fact. Anyway, let’s continue…
THE BEST PHOTO SPOT IN SEATTLE – KERRY PARK
The highlight of the day as I mentioned earlier was getting a photo of downtown Seattle from Kerry Park. If you Google “best photography spots Seattle” Kerry Park will be on any list.
In case you missed it click on the image below if you’d like to learn how to plan your vacations photos like a pro:
My research recommended that I get to Kerry Park early as photographers camp out way before sunset. Sunset time was 8:57 and we got there at 4.
It was a bit early but we didn’t have anything else to do. And this is what “early” looks like…
If you’re going to Kerry Park keep in mind that there are no bathrooms. So remember how I mentioned I really didn’t miss not having a car – well this is the only time I did as I could have drove to a bathroom.
Or worst case scenario I could have used a Gatorade bottle (if you know what I mean). Now I know some of you may be cringing but most guys at one point or another have used a bottle.
I’m sure if women had a penis they’d use a bottle in an emergency! LOL
So I had to find a to bathroom but it was a mission! It was about a 15 minute walk downhill before I could find anything. I found a sushi restaurant and bought some dragon rolls as I didn’t have the nerve to ask to use their bathroom without buying anything.
I was really dreading the walk back as one thing people won’t tell you about Seattle is there are a lot of freaking hills. I’m talking about San Francisco level hills!
Like hills – everywhere. By the time I made it back to the park I was exhausted and it was starting to get packed with photographers claiming their spot.
Now thankfully my wife was watching my spot and she was able to make some new friends. Mostly other wives waiting with their husbands – lol.
I tried talking to some fellow photographers, but they didn’t look very friendly. The thing is, most photographers by nature don’t like each other. I have my theories – but that’s a story for another day.
I did however hit it off with this dude from Colorado and he mentioned that he also saw yesterday’s rainbow from Vancouver. The weird thing about the rainbow was that it was circular in the sky and not a half rainbow like you typically see.
One thing that really almost ruined the photos were the freaking trees! Apparently the trees aren’t typically that tall and the people in the town don’t want to trim them.
Oh and as a side note, aside from getting there early, be sure to claim your spot all the way to the right of the park as it’ll give you the best vantage point with less tress!
As another side note, I read that a 105mm lens would be good enough to get the city from Kerry Park, but I wanted to make sure I had enough reach – which if you read my previous post is the main reason I brought my 70-200mm lens.
So for the record I’m here to testify that indeed a 105mm is indeed good enough to shoot the city from this spot. But you can forget about using an ultra wide lens as you’ll definitely get too many tress in the shot.
Since I had a long time to wait, and I actually remembered (become sometimes I forget) to shot a panoramic image.
The final image is a whopping 381 inches by 74 inches. I don’t think I’ll ever print it out that large – but at least I have it in my archive!
One thing I’d also like to point out is how amazing it was to see Mount Rainier from here. If you can see it from this vantage point – you know this mountain has to be freaking huge!
From what I gathered, it’s not always visibly seen from Kerry Park as Seattle is a very cloudy city. So given the fact that it was going to be a clear day, I really made an effort to get these shots.
There have been several times while on vacation, that I wanted to get out and shoot a sunset or a sunrise – but for whatever reason I didn’t get out and shoot.
Well now that I think about it, the reason is I’m usually too tired (at least in the morning). But then I end up regretting it. And until this day I’m still upset at myself for certain trips that I didn’t get up early.
When you’re’ traveling, you never know if you’ll be able to go again, so it’s important to make the effort and sacrifice sleep to get out there to capture amazing shots!
Another thing I want to point out is Seattle during this time of year (late spring) doesn’t get pitch black until around 11pm. So keep that in mind if you want to get pitch black shots.
But if you know how to edit files in Lightroom you can always edit photos to your liking…
I wanted to get more night shots while I was here – but my wife was exhausted and lost any little patience she had as it was already 9:50pm. Plus our bodies “real feel” time was 12:50am since we live on the east coast.
So we called it a night and headed back to the hotel.