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Photography Travel

The 10 Best Seattle Activities for Your Vacation

Pike Place Market

Tracy and I operate a tour business in Seattle called Shutter Tours, and we are in the city most everyday sharing Seattle with our customers. We always ask for feedback on what are customers have seen and enjoyed within the city, so I thought I would compile a list of activities you don’t want to miss on your visit to Seattle based on feedback from our customers.

Snoqualmie Falls and City Tour

Snoqualmie Falls with Rainbow

Of course, I think our Snoqualmie Falls and City Tour is one of the best tours in the city and so do almost 600 people on Trip Advisor who gave us 5-star reviews. The tour starts at the Pike Place Market at 10 AM, just late enough where you can grab some breakfast at Biscuit Bitch and a cup of coffee at the original Starbucks. About 45 minutes later we arrive at Snoqualmie Falls, which drops 268 feet to the bottom, over 100 feet higher than Niagara Falls. This is an impressive sight and summer, or winter trips here are equally spectacular. The one other thing that makes our tour a lot of fun is we give our customers simple photo tips on composition and will also take your photos in case you forgot your selfie stick.

Other stops on tour include the infamous Fremont Troll seen in the movie “Ten Things I Hate About You” and the Hiram Chittenden Locks, where you may see migrating salmon during the summertime as they navigate the fish ladder. During the springtime, the locks are homes to the nesting Great Blue Herons, with over 50 nests each year as they raise their young.  We often see Sea Lions and Harbor Seals getting a free meal of salmon during the summertime in addition to many boats going through the locks. An engineering wonder that opened up in 1916 is the busiest lock system in the world based on the number of boats that go through it.

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A Day in Seattle

Gasworks Park Seattle

Seattle Kerry Park with Mt. Rainier

There is probably no better view than Kerry park in Seattle. It’s not often Mt. Rainier will be out and on this particular day it was picture perfect.

Seattle Locks with Kayaks

Hiram Chittenden Locks are always busy on nice sunny days and this day was no different. With boaters and kayakers each sharing the lock to get into Lake Union.
Seattle Center FountainThe fountain at the Seattle Center is always a great place to people watch. This shot was edited with Alien Skin Exposure 6 with color saturation muted and cool.
Seattle Space NeedleBack in the film days I used to use a star filter to create this effect of the starburst at the Space Needle. I’m sure there is a way to do this in Photoshop, but I shot this at f/22 to achieve the effect in camera.

Deadliest Catch Wizard in Seattle

At Fisherman’s Terminal in Seattle, I was lucky enough to see the Wizard of Deadliest Catch fame, pulling out of the dock. I was surprised how much bigger the boat was than I expected.

Gasworks Park in Seattle with Kites

I waited to set this shot up at Gasworks Park as I wanted someone walking the pathway in addition to the kite flyers. The other thing I have learned throughout the years is to have a leading line start from the very corner of the frame as this pathway does in the lower right.

Seattle Gasworks Park Pano

A Panoramic view of Gasworks Park in Seattle with Lake Union and the Space Needle in the Background.

South Lake UnionThis is looking south at the southern end of Lake Union. The buildings in the background is where the world headquarters for is located.


Fall Colors

Fall Colors

I spend most everyday in the Seattle Japanese Gardens as I take customers there on our tour of Seattle. The colors have been unbelievable this year.. Enjoy!

Seattle Japanese Gardens Web_DSCF1411 Web_DSCF1420 Web_DSCF1435 Web_DSCF1449 WebEdit_DSCF1431


Japanese Gardens

Japanese Gardens

Japanese Gardens

My Tour bus.. the Shutter Bus

My Tour bus.. the Shutter Bus