No matter where I travel. No matter where I live. Nothing comes close or compares to watching to sun come up or go down over the horizon, as one that often fantasizes but rarely gets out of bed early enough to enjoy the sunrise. I am more than willing to chase a sunset as it disappears over the horizon., often doing a google search to find the exact time the sun is scheduled to set in my area. Since moving to Belltown in Seattle, I’ve been spoiled with a view of Puget Sound to the west and South Lake Union to the east. In the months that have past I’ve seen myself taking the picture I first stumbled over my thoughts to describe. I still find myself racing to the balcony to admire. The one and probably most admirable factor are that no sunset looks precisely the same. Whether the sun is peeking through the clouds or shining bright, it continuously proves to be one of nature’s most beautiful aspects.
After wondering for days whether the fob for the south tower worked in the north tower, I took a walk around the corner to find out for sure. When my keychain hit the spot, a beeping sound automatically opened the doors as if the heavens were welcoming me with open arms. Seeing the Space Needle up close for the first time since we first arrived in Seattle felt all warm and fuzzy. Watching the sunset and the sky turn orange is just about the most effective stress reducer around, as I’ve already taken more than enough pictures. I hope to use the space and calm to practice meditating and tai-chi. For now, I’ll feed my addiction and take/share photos.
As I began to head back down from the roof deck and enjoy the tacos my wife had been preparing. I was greeted by a really kind couple by the bar. After a short chat, I was asked if and where they could see some, if any of the pictures I had just taken. I gave one of them my card in hopes of sharing before I headed downstairs. While there are probably countless people living here, my hopes are to run into them again and possibly lear more from natives of the city I’ve come to call my home. In the meantime, this post and these pictures are for them.
I spend a lot of time thinking about the kind of pictures I’d like to take. As someone who became interested in taking pictures in his teens, but didn’t own an SLR until his mid twenties. While debatable, I’d say photography has become the greatest passion in my life. As someone who made his name as a music photographer, built a strong portfolio as a studio photographer and worked continuously on a project called “Left Behind”. I feel that I’m always dedicating whatever spare time I have to learning, testing and putting new projects to work. It wouldn’t be overstating if I said it was. While my time on the East Coast offered an abundance of beautiful sunsets. Living in Seattle, an area with many lakes, bays and waterways at every turn. I have long imagined myself waking up in the early hours and driving to a spot where I can watch the sun rise.
My wife and I recently deiced to take one weekend day (usually Sunday) to stay somewhat local and dedicate part of the day to study,. (Or in my case, write.) Over time it’s come to be a ritual I enjoy and even look forward to. Going out for breakfast before seeking out a library, book store or cafe/coffee house to settle in and get some extra work done. Being that I’ve always been and still am inspired by photography. I often find myself thinking as one and wanting to capture a moment. Since moving to Seattle I’ve taken my share of sunsets but often miss the industrial surroundings of the Jersey City condo we so cherished. Finding ourselves at a SODO coffee shop late this afternoon. I was able to patiently wait in my comfortable seat as the sun began to set over the areas industrial backdrop. As the Fall quickly becomes Winter and the days get shorter. My chances to watch the sun disappear will multiply. Still, watching sun set and that glowing orange color overpowering a once blue sky incites child like awe.
With all the traffic that builds up around our home. We’ve done a pretty good job in finding alternative routes, short and long cuts and series of detours that help us avoid the traffic nightmares that often accompany living so close to major bridges and tunnels. Depending on the time of day and of course, the season. You’re likely to witness some breathtaking sunsets and sunspaces. For me personally, it’s enough to pull over to the side of the road and reach for the camera in order to capture some of its natural beauty.Of course, my wife thinks I’m crazy. Luckily, I’ve been doing it long enough that she’s come to be expect it.
Prior to moving to the Journal Square area of Jersey City. I had little to no knowledge of the area with the glaring exception of beautiful views of the former American Can Company we would often view from Rt. 9 and or The Pulaski Bridge. As we passed the yet to be renovated towers. We’d often comment, better yet drool about the possibilities of someday moving in to an old run down factory or industrial complex. Little did we know at the time that those run down, abandoned beauties would be reborn as loft condos.
Upon starting our four year process of searching for a home. We saw a number of properties in and around Jersey City before deciding against moving to the area. Then, all of the sudden, thanks to the wisdom and hindsight of our trusted realtor. We gave the area one last shot. On the day we came to see the very first unit the market offered us. We were both convinced that this was the place we wanted to be. This was the kind of home we always imagined but never thought we would find. And while it took some months and the loss of two units we had our hearts set on. We sealed the deal on one we both loved and still feel very happy to be in.
While the neighborhood took time getting used to. Exploring the surrounding areas has been an amazing adventure. In areas I once tip toed around for fear of trespassing or being interrogated. I know walk boldly. The neighborhood has evolved and changed for the better.The area has become quite colorful and artful with new murals being created in some of the most unexpected places and access to anywhere else I’d like to go is literally at our fingertips.
Aside from all those pretty good reasons to be positive. My neighbors and the residents here are pretty damn nice. See friends, families and pets in riding the elevators or roaming the halls daily only reassures me moved to the right place.
As the weather warms I plan to extend my walks, exploring more corners of the area and stop being so weary about those helicopters that seem to appear any time I get to close to a bridge or railroad. Wish me luck.
Armed with a recently purchased tripod and a fresh out the box circular polarizer. I headed south on Rt. 9 to Fords Ave. for one of my favorite spots to photograph sunsets. After an over priced and underwhelming slice of pizza and a quick stop in at my friendly, way out of the neighborhood record store. (You know the one that prices every fucking item in the store higher than anyone else on the planet.) I made my way towards the power lines and set up my tripod in time to watch the sun slowly set over the industrial setting.
To add to the industrial feel the scarecrow like towers offer were too larger than life objects that looked to be a skateboarders wet dream. The barrels, wide enough to drive a car through and hollow enough to deliver ear shattering echoes. While it’s taking me a bit of time to get used to working on a tripod. According to a friend and mentor. It’s a much needed step in my growth as a photographer. As for the filters. I owe a thank you to the sales woman at Adorama for her recommendations and taking the time to make fun of the old, crappy filter that was attached to the lens I brought in.
Every night I try to make it a point to go for a walk with my camera and enjoy the combination of fresh air and the soft light of the setting sun. Being that my favorite times to capture light take place at dawn and dusk. My window of time to capture those moments is rather short. Being unable to function without a shower and a couple of cups of coffee serve to further limit my experience photographing the sunrise. So until I find that magic pill that gets me to my destination by 5:00am. I’ll happily settle for chasing the sun down and enjoying those all to rare quiet moments. “Sorry Kay, I’m going to be late for dinner again.”