the blog of Seldom Seen Photography

Posts tagged “Gig Harbor

5 Years Ago This Month

Snow on the HarborSometimes it seems like the new year has addled my brain. I wanted to put out a new blog post, but my brain fog wouldn’t let me think of a topic. So what does a photographer do when they have nothing new to show, pull something out of the archives of course. Thus, this post, complete with photos from January 2007.

Five years ago I lived in Gig Harbor. Gig Harbor, like much of western Washington, doesn’t get much snow. In the typical winter, we might get snow two or three times a winter. In January 2007, we had a rather large snow storm hit the harbor. It was cold enough to freeze some of the water in the harbor. I drove down to the harbor before going to work that day and took these shots.

Back then was rather different from conditions today here in 2012. Today it feels almost like spring here; some trees in the neighborhood are starting to bloom, as are Tanya’s geraniums on the front porch. Of course, it still is winter, and it could get cold again any day. We might even have snow, like that day in January five years ago.

Cold Harbor Morning

Harbor Christmas

Sea Fury

Snow on Bike


Scavenger Hunt

Theme: symmetry

A couple of weeks ago, I participated in a “scavenger hunt” with the Sound Exposure Photo Club (of which I am a member). I thought I’d post about this event to give readers a break from my series about my trip to the Southwest.

Theme: self portrait

Photographers participating in the scavenger hunt receive a list of 20 items or themes and must take photos of each within a four-hour window. This is an annual event with Sound Exposure. Themes on the list sometimes leave a bit of interpretation to the photographer. Included on the list this year were: texture, color, near and far, close up, symmetry, and abstract. This year’s event was held at Uptown Center in Gig Harbor, Washington.

Uptown Center is a shopping center; and to tell the truth, when I first heard that was the location of the scavenger hunt this year, I wasn’t overly excited. I felt a shopping center wouldn’t have a lot to get my creative juices flowing. However, it actually wasn’t a bad spot to have the event; and once I started looking around with the list in hand, I got into the swing of it.

You can shoot as many images as you want for the event, but only turn in one per theme. Only jpegs could be turned in. I set my camera to RAW+jpeg, and turned in the jpegs. The photos accompanying this post are the RAW versions processed in Lightroom similar to how the camera processed the jpegs (as I stated before in a previous post, I think I can do a better job of processing than the camera does; however, if shown here as black and white or sepia, the jpeg was as well).

The club will show the images taken at the scavenger hunt at our next club meeting (in November). Members attending will vote on which images they like best, taking into account what theme the image are suppose to represent. Each participating photographers votes are counted, and winners announced in December. How well do you think I represented the themes on these accompanying photographs? Would you vote for them?

Theme: abstract

Theme: color

Theme: close up

Theme: near and far

Theme: uptown

Theme: fall color (or ivy, I can't remember which since I took ivy photos for both)

Theme: black and white


Raining Ribbons

Snow on Gig Harbor

"Snow on Gig Harbor" 1st Place, Seascape/Maritime Category

The wind was so strong, the rain was falling sideways yesterday at Ocean Shores. As you might imagine, the beach was fairly empty, except for hundreds of seagulls, all standing at attention facing into the wind.

Carson, our Newfoundland, thought it was great out in that rain and wind. On the other hand, while Tanya and I both thought it fun to see these conditions at the beach, we spent little time outside the car – it was more fun looking at the surf through the car windows. And with blowing sand accompanying the sideways rain, I thought it best to leave the camera inside the car too, so no photos of the beach today.

Which is fine, because we weren’t at Ocean Shores do photography, but to pick up my entries in the 33rd Annual Ocean Shores Photography Show, which ran Friday through Sunday. I had eight entries in the Professional Photographer division. Of the eight, six won ribbons – both 1st and 2nd place in Seascape/Maritime category, 1st place in the Architecture category, 2nd place in the Miscellaneous category, 3rd place in the Flora category, and an Honorable Mention in the Landscape category. I guess you can say it was raining ribbons!

Neil's Grave

"Neil's Grave" 2nd Place, Miscellaneous Category

Dahlia #2

"Dahlia #2" 3rd Place, Flora Category

Night at the Glass Museum

"Night at the Glass Museum" 1st Place, Architecture Category

McWay Falls

"McWay Falls" 2nd Place, Seascape/Maritime Category

Approaching Storm

"Approaching Storm" Honorable Mention, Landscape Category


Do as I Say, Not as I Do

Gig Harbor's MountainIf you are serious about photography, you should always carry your camera with you. I’ve often given this advice to less experienced photographers. You never know when you will find fantastic light – and you can’t capture it without a camera. This is one reason, a little more than a year ago, I purchased a small point-and-shoot camera – so I could carry that one around when I don’t have my regular one. (Of course, I couldn’t just buy any small camera, I purchased a point-and-shoot that still allows me to shoot in RAW format and aperture-priority mode.)

About a week ago, Tanya and I traveled up to west Seattle to have brunch with family at a small restaurant on Alki Beach. Rounding the corner from Harbor Avenue to Alki Avenue, we were treated with an iconic Seattle scene – ferries plying Puget Sound in front of the snow-capped Olympic Mountains. The light was beautiful, the mountains were gorgeous with a background of stormy clouds. To make it even better, a strong north wind was blowing, and the Sound was covered with whitecaps. In addition to the ferries, there were several kitesurfers  (or kiteboarders, I’m not sure of the correct term) jumping the waves, getting 20 feet of air.

So with these great subjects and that great light, why is this blog illustrated with a picture of Mount Rainier taken in Gig Harbor? Because I didn’t follow my own advice. My big camera was safely at home. And while I did have the little point-and-shot, the images I had in mind needed my telephoto lens. I wanted to isolate the ferry, with the mountains big in the background (similar to what I did with this shot of Rainier). Same with the kiteboarders. The little camera couldn’t do this. And I was disgusted with myself for not following my own advice.

Why the photo of Rainier? Because this is an example of what you can do if you carry your camera around with you. I captured this image about five or six years ago (when I lived in Gig Harbor, though not near the harbor itself). I was commuting home from work one day, when I noticed the lenticular cloud on top of Rainier. It was near sunset, and I thought something special might be up. So, instead of heading home, I went to downtown Gig Harbor and captured this shot. I’ve probably sold more copies of this image than any other photograph I’ve taken – all because I was carrying my camera with me.

So do as I say, not as I do – carry your camera with you.