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I got the opportunity to go to Seattle last week for a short weekend. I had Saturday free and knew that I wanted to go out and take pictures. After doing a little research, I decided I would go into the mountains in the morning and catch the sunrise, and then go to the coast in the afternoon. My assumptions on how much time it would take was greatly under-calculated and it took me forever.

The morning shoot was ok. I spent the first part of the morning driving, and really didn’t find much. I decided to go deeper into the mountains to see if I could find a better route. The whole experience was to be a test for France – See how long it took each leg and how lucky I would be finding spots. I had left the hotel around 5am, and it wasn’t until 10 that I really found any place of interest. There were a couple of places I should have stopped, but I didn’t trust my instinct. Another thing I have to work on.

I finally found a cool river while I was heading back to Seattle. There was a great walking bridge and perfect place to park. I shot using a couple of different lenses and focal lengths. I also played some more with the 10-stop ND filter. I was in bright sunlight, so it seemed like a good option.

The ND filter gave the best results, but very little that was spectacular. Before I left the spot I took an abstract image of the bridge which I like.

I got back to the hotel around noon and took a quick nap. I headed to the coast at around 2:30. This is where I totally miscalculated the distance. By the time I hit the coast it was around 5:30 (I had been up for 12 hrs). I saw some pretty cool places and shots I should have taken, but my GPS was telling me I was only going to be back at 9:00pm and I wanted to get to the location on the ocean that I had scouted out.

As I drove, the GPS told me I would return later and later. I was starting to get tired and a little worried to be honest. I really didn’t want to get another hotel with one already paid for in Seattle as well as an early flight the next morning.

The GPS had me going back the way I came and I knew this was incorrect. I stopped for coffee, and decided that as soon as the GPS said I would get back at midnight, I would turn around and follow the directions it gave me. I had pretty much taken zero shots when I spotted a pretty nice looking beach (Main Image). It had a great rock formation and the weather was misty and grey. I stopped and took pictures for about 20 minutes when i should have been there for at least an hour.

As I got back in my car, I was satisfied that I had at least one image, but didn’t look forward to the drive back. It wasn’t until my GPS was at 11:45 that I hit the Forks and it flipped back to 10:30 and headed the way I thought I should go.

As I drove back on the north side, I wished I had come up this way and gone directly to the spot I had originally scouted. The scenery was so much better than theĀ  way I had come. While I think of it as slightly a waste, I now know what route to take the next time. I of course didn’t stop on the way back, I was just too tired.

I did get back to the hotel ok, but because of an unexpected ferry ride, I only arrived at midnight.

A Few Comments from the Shoot:

  • I need better planning for France, this didn’t work
  • Don’t overdo the drives because it doesn’t account for anything unexpected
  • I need an idea of what types of images I can take during bright sunlight. Nothing great came out
  • Grey and misty coastline was interesting, but don’t think I captured it right
  • I want to re-review the images I took to see if I can get any others out of it. I should make this a regular occurrence
  • Camera work was fine, it really is all about finding locations


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