While the Pacific Northwest is undeniably gorgeous, winters here are harsh for the photographer with a day job. Being so far north the sun sets as early as 4 pm and I haven't seen daylight on a weekday since October.
Thankfully, spring is around the corner and the sun has been staying out past 6 (gasp!). After such a long and wet winter cooped indoors, sometimes you have to skip out on work a little early on a beautiful day to go chasing after a good sunset.
Such a day occurred earlier this week in early March, and while my hope for a fiery sky was dashed by some low clouds blocking the sun at the horizon, I still like what was going on over the Seattle Skyline.
Some notes about this photo:
Location: Rizal Park, just below the bridge. The Jose Rizal Bridge is one of the most popular spots to get the Seattle skyline, but that bridge vibrates every time a large vehicle drives over it. Not great for longer exposures. I recommend walking south a bit to find the the Rizal Dog Park entrance. From there, walk downhill to the dog park and find the exit to the paved path below. The view from that area doesn't include the port and sports arenas, but the ground is much more stable if shooting at night.
Shooting/Post Processing tips and tricks: Sunset pictures with well-lit foregrounds are hard to nail-down in one exposure because the sky doesn't really come alive until a few minutes after the sun has already set. For this image, I took three exposures: one during the golden hour to get a well-lit city for some depth in the skyline, another exposed for the sky at its reddest moment just after sunset, and a final photo after dark to get the city lights. Each image was processed in Lightroom and blended together with a bit of creative masking and blending in Photoshop. Try using the "Lighten" blend mode for the darker photo with the city lights.