Displaced: Refugee Voices in Conversation at Town Hall Seattle

Images from the Northwest Immigrant and Refugee Health Coalition's Town Hall Seattle event: Displaced: Refugee Voices in Conversation. A big thank you to the organizers for asking me to document such a great night. 


Thank Flying Spaghetti Monster the days are finally getting longer.

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. 

Seattle Sunset

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. 

Seattle VS Minnesota

I seem to average about one illustration per every two years, but this idea was too fun to pass up. 

Yesterday's wildcard matchup between Seattle and Minnesota was a crazy game that proved to be the third coldest in NFL history. It wasn't always pretty for the 'hawks, but they churned out an improbable win assisted by an always stifling defense, a hot offense in the fourth quarter, and miffed field goal by the Vikings in the final 30 seconds. Doug Baldwin's unbelievable one-handed catch was one of the two amazing offensive plays of the day: 

Gif Source: SB Nation

Daaaaaaaaamn. I couldn't help but think of a certain sports icon when watching this play. A day later, it seems as though no one else got the connection, so I took a stab at doing a quick and dirty design:


Go Hawks! On to Carolina!

I was on the news today


 ...and I didn't even have to get arrested! 

My image of Alder Lake was selected as one of the seven hidden wonders of Washington State by the Nature Conservancy. 

Granted, this wonder is visible from the road that takes you into the most popular national park in the state, so "hidden" may be a relative term. 

Pro tip: Alder Lake is a reservoir, so go in the fall when the water level has dropped for a more dramatic foreground. Sunsets here can be spectacular, but sunrise is a bust as a large hill east of this location keeps the lake in the shade for the first few hours of the morning.