Street / Seattle

Although my first big-city living experience was Boston, Seattle is nearest to family and where I now call home. The natural beauty of the area is so diverse, and the city itself is unique among its counterparts and beckons to be photographed. It may not be the biggest metropolis, have the most amazing this-or-that, but I think Seattle ranks right up there with the best of them.

If you’re wondering, my other favorite cities include Vancouver (BC), Tokyo and Kyoto in Japan, and the aforementioned Boston.

Springtime Sakura – Cherry Blossoms

You know it’s early spring in Seattle when the cherry blossoms are in bloom at the Quad. Folks come out in droves to view and photograph the historic Yoshino Cherry trees. Often still too chilly in the Pacific Northwest for traditional hanami picnicking, you don’t need a party to enjoy the blossoms. Just get to them before the ethereal petals float away for another year.

The City Panorama Project: ‘A Wall of Her Own’

It’s my final image from the City Panorama Project, and one that won’t be installed as a bus shelter around the county somewhere, but ‘A Wall of Her Own’ (view it larger here) garnered some interest among my classmates because I hadn’t shown it to them prior to our final day. Surprises are fun, aren’t they?

This idea started out in my head as a model or two acting out a scene, but superimposing them upon one of the funky, textured walls of Seattle’s International District or Georgetown neighborhoods. I scouted around, creating bare-bones panoramas from alley doorways and walls, but didn’t really have an inspired story to flesh out the concept.

In the end, I used images I’d already taken of Alena and created for her “her own” modeling wall. As a final touch, I perched the “real” Alena on the curb in front of the wall, perhaps contemplating her many images (or how she got there in the first place!). Below are some of the many bits and pieces I brought together.

P.S. The wall itself is so zany, you may wonder if it’s real, but it is an actual wall down in Georgetown, behind the original Rainier Brewery.

The City Panorama Project: ‘Windows’

I suppose since these panoramas are finally being installed out in the wild, I should hurry up and highlight my final two submissions….

‘Windows’ (view it larger here) was the only panorama created entirely from images I had shot before taking part in the City Panorama class at PCNW. In search of inspiration, I was looking through my archives for work that might lend itself well to the 4:1 format, and I found some photos I shot from below Pike Place Market, aimed back up at the structure, and specifically its windows. I had a pair of three-window images which overlapped, and when I stitched them together in Photoshop, they fit the format perfectly.

But windows alone weren’t special. I wanted to make them float, as if they were adrift in the sky. I pulled an image of sunset-lit clouds I had taken from the top of Mauna Kea, on the Big Island of Hawaii, and mapped it to the wall surrounding the windows.

To add to the effect, in the windows themselves I added forms of pigeons I had photographed at Alki Beach in West Seattle. In one photo, they were flying, and on another there were many birds sitting on telephone wires. With a little Photoshop masking trickery, the flying pigeons were trapped within the window glass, but two on a wire sat in the fourth, more open window, their thin perch strung across an expanse of sky, playing a mind game with the viewer.