More and More and More Photos! Seattle and Pullman

Okay - as promised the tales from my weekend, lightly sprinkled with selected ramblings and the occasional misuse of the word too. I could regale you dear reader with the epic story of my battle with my parent's lawn, or my encounter with a pressure washer and the siding of my folk's house, or painting my old bedroom, or any number of domestic chores that I slogged thru over the weekend, but as I was mind numbingly bored, so bored that I longed to be back in rural Pullman, I will spare you all the gory details - suffice it to say that I spent Saturday and Sunday helping my very appreciative parents.

But Monday, Monday I was free, free to roam around Seattle. Roam around with my camera and play the local artist. I donned my best granola man-orange shirt grabbed my backpack, complete with Chaco's lashed to the back and started walking around downtown. I arrived while every one was asleep, and was able to wander freely, in area's that are know for rather "aggressive" panhandling. I've only been in Pullman for two years, yet in that time I had forgotten how cities change people, the body language is all different, the ways city people hide in plain sight, the masks we wear when surrounded by faceless masses are different then we where around people who know us. Seeing the hurt plainly on peoples face's was something I had forgotten, either forgotten or was never aware of, or never chose to see. And not in the only in the eyes of vagrants, but in the people next to me, people arranging flowers, parking cars, drinking coffee, waiting for the light to change, waiting for their lives to change.

What bothered me about this hurt I saw, was that with it was a look of resignation, of acceptance. These were not fresh wounds that I saw. These were the old hurts, hurts that had become parts of these people, their constant companions, hurts that they tried to stifle and starve by burring them d eep, in dark and forgotten places.And in doing so, planted them closest to their hearts. Where they festered forgotten, growing slowly, and over time they consuming "Mocking the meat they fed upon".

Only the light of day kills hurts like that, bury them and they grow, hide them and they grow, ignore them and they grows. Let go of them and they starve, cut them out and they wither, acknowledge them and they crack and splinter.

Sorry - that was a massive tangent! Back to my Monday's adventures. Where was I??? Oh yeah urban-camera-guy, Pike Place was fun, lots of people, lots and lots of sea food and flowers. I bought some artistry goods, talked with people, and then headed to the waterfront. It was there that I learned a good deal about how to handle the screaming, swearing, slightly drunk huge (6'2" 280lbs) angry man. He thought I was taking pictures of him, and was "displeased". He was all talk but on the verge of being more.

I'm a big guy, a bigger guy in fact,6'5" 300 lbs and I kind of live in a bubble of blissful unawareness to the physical "presence" of others. And I found it a novel and unique experience to have a screaming large man that could really mess me up, letting me know that he would mess me up. I had never had this conversation and truth be told, there was a small part of me that was getting a kick out of it. It was very small, but it was alive and well.

Will he punch me?

What should I do??

Ankle Pick and drive him down the stairs.

Can I take a punch???

Does he have a shiv?

A shiv? Really Neil you watch to much TV.

I found myself telling him that I understood - no pictures of him, but that I was not going to leave till I had taken my pictures. He walked down the steps still cursing and gesticulating, while I took my photos, trying to look as nonplussed as possible.

My mind being elsewhere the photos did not really turn out (it was fountain, and I've found the best fountain shots are taken from the inside looking out, and this did not seem like the time nor the place), but I did linger around for a good solid ten minuets, before sauntering off down the board walk. Later I met up with some friends and we went to Folklife, where my batteries died-Arghhh four rechargeables do not last me the weekend anymore. Soon, we dropped Joe off with his gal, and headed back to Pullman.

All in all a good weekend.

The Bread of Life Mission in Downtown
I think this is where my Grandfather ended up after riding the rails out from Minnesota.

Parking Garage across from Pioneer square
I first saw this years ago, I was in my teens, and I remember thinking that it would a great picture. I did not know where it was in Seattle, just that somewhere there was this weird parking garage, that looked like the bow of some concrete ship sailing through downtown. It just sat there in the back of my head all these years, I had forgotten all about it till I saw it Monday morning. It really, really made my day.

Fire Alarm on Side of Parking Garage
Wandering around the garage, trying to find a good angle, I found this, it's been there for some time, the concrete was all stained, and it was flaking very badly, but I think that it still might work.

Suspicious Character
It was while I was taking these shots that the bike cop kind of hovered till I looked enough like a photographer, and less like a hoodlum.

Pike Place Market
It was here that I found myself becoming the shot that a few real photographers were trying to get. Kind of fun, seeing them trying not to be seen, taking shots of me taking shots.

A Gum Wall Deep in the Bowels of Pike Place

Flowers are everywhere @ Pike Place
I found it very interesting that as soon as I started taking pictures, a crowd formed and business picked up real fast.

Water Front 1
These were post angry bum.

Water Front 2

Water Front 3

Folklife Parking

Kristina and Joe @ EMP

Kristina @ EMP

Posted by Special Request
I'm not sure where I shot this in Seattle, but the car was in motion at the time (the speed is still being disputed) and I had very little time to frame the shot, my f-stop and exposer time were all ready set for the lighting conditions so that helped, but still I only had one shot, and it worked!

Wheat Fields


  1. Dude, I'm loving your new stuff. Haven't forgotten about you... I just started a summer semester, I'm taking a million classes on top of working two jobs... I'm squeezing stuff like this in between everything else! Anyhow, keep it up!

  2. Good luck with classes man!
    I've only got nine credits in the fall, and then I'm done too. Don't sweat it about the photos, they are not going anywhere. Remember to breath and that it's not going to last forever. and as always Thanks for the encouragement (that goes for you too Lance!)

  3. You are right neil, the bread of life is where grandpa came to. I love the pictures Neil. Oh and if you want to talk about mask. There is a really great one by Langston hughes.

  4. Thanks,
    I can only assume that you must be a relative on Mom's side. Who - I can't even begin to guess, I looked up Langston Hughes and only got the American novelist and story writer, is that the person you are thinking of? and of which mask do you speak?
    Thanks so much for the encouragement!

  5. So neil I'm working on a website for the company I work for. If the owner likes it could I use the Space needle emp picture?


  6. Totally!! Just let me know the website - I'd love to see it!