Fotoeins Fotografie

questions of place & home

Posts tagged ‘PNW’

Seattle: that tower again

Above/featured: Vertical focus from base – Seattle Center, 10 Oct 2016.

“That Tower Again,” a three-word online phrase for the early 21st-century.

It’s a phrase I associate with Berlin and her TV Tower (Fernsehturm), and that comes with multiple stays and many months in the German capita, a city I feel very much at home (winters notwithstanding). With my return to the Canadian Southwest and near-proximity to Seattle, I reconsider my fondness for the city’s iconic landmark: the Space Needle observation tower. Sight of the tower hasn’t lost its allure since our first family visit in the late 1970s.

For the Seattle World Fair in 1962, construction of the Space Needle occurred over a mere 400 days in time for the “Century 21 Exposition”. The 605-foot (184 metre) tower stood for the spirit of innovation and the might of technology. The city of Seattle designated the tower as an official city landmark in 1999. Fast forward now into the 21st century, it’s unfathomable for resident and visitor alike to think about the Emerald City without its leading spire.

Numerous visits have provided multiple lines of sight throughout various parts of the city. I present the following 22 lines of sight to the “pointyness”:

  1. 1201 Third
  2. Amazon Doppler
  3. Aurora Ave N (at Mercer St)
  4. Centennial Park
  5. Century Link Field
  6. Cinerama (Belltown)
  7. Eastlake (I-5)
  8. Elephant Car Wash (Denny Triangle)
  9. “Father and Son” (Belltown)
  10. Gas Works Park
  11. Industrial District (LINK over 6th Ave S)
  12. International District
  13. Kerry Park
  14. Lake Union Park
  15. Lower Queen Anne
  16. Olympic Sculpture Park
  17. Pacific Science Center
  18. Salish Sea (Elliott Bay)
  19. Smith Tower
  20. “Sonic Bloom”
  21. Tilikum Place
  22. Tower Records (demolished).

( Click here for images and more

Central Library, Seattle Public Library, Seattle, WA, USA,

Fotoeins Friday: Library Green, Seattle SPL

The central branch of the Seattle Public Library is a dazzling architectural addition to the city’s downtown district. From the upper floors, it feels like a vast cathedral of space and light. I forget about their collection of books, and marvel instead at the building’s design. Even the escalators are noteworthy: clean lines, bright colours, and clear signage to direct the flow of visitor traffic. Opened to the public on 23 May 2004, the building was designed by the Dutch company OMA with the support of Seattle’s LMN Architects.

I made the picture above on 6 January 2015 with the Canon 6D, 24-105 glass, and the following settings: 1/320-sec, f/8, ISO10000, and 28mm focal length. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at as

International District, Seattle, WA, USA,

Fotoeins Friday: King and Maynard (Seattle CID)

I’ve been fascinated by the origins and appearance of words and characters since I learned how to write in both Chinese and English languages. Thanks to a variety of websites (particularly one about Berlin), my eye has recently been tuned to typography.

In front of the Fortune Garden restaurant in Seattle’s Chinatown-International District (CID) are bilingual street signs which have been widespread throughout the area since 2013. North of Jackson Street, street signs switch from Chinese-English to Japanese-English; east of I-5 and 10th Avenue, street signs switch from Chinese-English to Vietnamese-English.

In the picture, the combination of Chinese characters have little meaning. But where transliteration to Cantonese is concerned, each Chinese character is an individual “vocalization” representing a syllable in English. South King Street becomes “南景街” which is pronounced “naam4 ging2 gaai1” and in literal terms is “south – view/situation – street”. Maynard Avenue South becomes “南美拿大道” which is pronounced “naam4 mei5 naa4 daai6 dou6” and in literal terms is “south – good/pretty – take/use/capture – big – road”. (See the note below* for more.)

I made the picture above on 11 May 2016 with the Canon 6D, 24-105 glass, and the following settings: 1/800-sec, f/11, ISO1000, and 47mm focal length. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at as

* Arriving primarily from Guangdong province in southern China, people began building Chinatown settlements in North America in the 19th-century; most of the new immigrants spoke Cantonese. With my own intermediate proficiency in Cantonese, I’ve used CantoDict for the transliterations above. The numbers associated with Anglicized pronunciation of Chinese words correspond to six tones in the Cantonese dialect. A summary of the six Cantonese tones is provided in this video.

Rotary Grocery, neon sign, Pike Place Market, Seattle, WA, USA,

Fotoeins Friday: Grocers Neon (Seattle Pike Place)

In Seattle, Washington, the Pike Place Market is one of the most visited and photographed locations. If you’re looking, there is an abundant variety of themes, objects, and people to observe, and frankly, you should never run out of things to photograph. One of my favourites is neon signs. With a wide aperture and the background deliberately out of focus, I’ve managed to snag multiple neon in this frame.

I made the picture above on 5 January 2015 with the Canon 6D, 24-105 glass, and the following settings: 1/1000-sec, f/4, ISO2000, and 73mm focal length. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at as

Smith Tower, Colman Dock, Pier 50, 2nd Avenue, Space Needle, Puget Sound, Seattle, WA, USA,

Fotoeins Friday: Seattle cityscape from Smith Tower

The view at the top of the historic Smith Tower in downtown Seattle is unobstructed, even though the tower is no longer the tallest building in the city. From its inauguration in 1914 until 1931, Smith Tower at a height of 148 metres (484 feet) was the tallest building west of the Mississippi River.

Aside from the protective fence, we’re outside and exposed without glass to get in the way of the view (and avoid internal reflections). As we walk around the observation deck, it’s no surprise to feel the force of the expected onshore breeze from the northwest. At left is Pier 50 and Colman Dock for Washington State WSDOT ferries which traverse Puget Sound. The Seattle Great Wheel is at centre, and following 2nd Avenue from the lower-right to the upper-right, your eye is drawn to the Space Needle in the distance.

I made the picture above on 10 October 2016 with the Canon 6D, 24-105 glass, and the following settings: 1/1000-sec, f/16, ISO2000, and 24mm focal length. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at as

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