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  • Writer's pictureJefferson Graham

Seattle Photowalk

Updated: Jan 20, 2021

Place. Seattle, the largest city in Washington State, the center of the tech boom (Amazon, Microsoft) home to many rainy days and glorious, green summers.

Where: The tip of the state, 90 minutes or so from the Canadian border by car, or via ferry ride with stops on Vancouver Island in Victoria. The Olympic Peninsula is a two hour drive, and Oregon is about 3 hours drive south.

Postcards: The skyline, wet streets, Pike Place Market, water life.

Why Seattle. Vibrant city

Logistics: This is a 6-part walk, with a bonus ferry ride across the water, that on paper will take a little over one hour and twenty minutes to complete. But as you’ll be taking photos along the way and making multiple stops, think of this as an all-day activity.

Seattle Photowalk

1. Kerry Park

This is the iconic Seattle skyline postcard shot seen the world wide, and it's easy to get, as long as you remember the first cardinal rule of Photowalking. Timing is everything. Yes, we can pick up it mid-day, but is it going to look like this, without the buildings all lit up? Of course not.

Get there for "golden hour," to catch the day turn to night, with just enough glow left over to pick up the lit buildings well. You could shoot this later in the night, but then your sky will be totally dark.

Many photographers have their cameras atop tripods at Kerry Park, which is good, especially for a timelapse. You can get the shot on a smartphone, zoomed in, but a camera with a longer lens will help eliminate some of the distractions that get in the way.

Kerry Park is in the Queen Anne Hill" district on 2nd Avenue W and W Highland Drive. The address is 211 W. Highland Drive.

2. Space Needle

Just down the way from Kerry Park is the Space Needle, the 605-ft.-tall spire originally built for the 1962 World's Fair. The Needle sits smack in the middle of a large park, which makes getting a stand-alone shot easy. There's also an observation deck 520 ft above the ground, offering views of the downtown skyline, the Olympic and Cascade Mountains, along with other nearby natural wonders like Mount Rainier and Elliott Bay. The Space Needle has been designated a historic landmark.

3. Amazon Spheres

Amazon dominates downtown in a way that no other tech company overwhelms cities. (Google, Apple and Amazon aren't based in San Francisco, but an hour south, Twitter is there, but in one building on Market Street.) Amazon and its spheres are in the heart of downtown. You can't miss them.

4. Pike Place Market

No visit to Seattle is complete without the Pike Place Market, a landmark since 1907 that is one part farmer's market, another part theater. It stands as the most popular tourist destination in Seattle, with more than 10 million annual visitors.

Stalls offer fruit and vegetables, and most notably, fresh fish caught in the seas below. Photo possibilities: environmental images of the expansive market, the water view from one of the many ledges or the park next door, and of course, the flying fish at Pike Place Fish, the first stall you see when you enter the market. 86 Pike Place, Seattle.

5. Pier 66

An 11-acre complex that's just down the street from the Pike Place Market, the upper deck affords a great opportunity for an overview shot of the lower city and waterfront.

6. Pioneer Square

A historic neighborhood, a few blocks away from Pike Place, that was the home base for the first Seattle settlers. This is a great place to see turn of the century Seattle architecture, examples of Richardsonian Romanesque.

7. Hamilton Viewpoint, West Seattle

Where to go to see the Seattle skyline from the other side of Kerry Park. You'll need a car (Or Uber ride) to get there, but you'll be able to pick up the city, Elliott Bay, the harbor and the Cascade Mountains. Go to Hamilton Viewpoint Park, 1120 California Avenue SW, Seattle.

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