Intense game of Chinese chess


There is a small table and bench area just outside of Four Seas Restaurant on King Street in Chinatown where several locals like to hang out, have a smoke, and play xiangqi (Chinese chess). The group is usually hovering over the game and loudly commenting on what the next moves should be and different strategies to take. I’ve been wanting to get a photo of the game, but I could never see the board. On this day, I had my first clear view of the board itself as well as a gesture from one of the gentlemen playing. I just had to take a photo.

Chinatown. Seattle, WA. July 6, 2017.


Push through the crowds


Pike Place Market can be a very crowded place during cruise ship season. The ships dock mid-week, and all of the passengers flood through the market all week. For many locals, this is an annoyance as it can create bottlenecks in their normal routes through the market.

I personally like tourist season, because it offers so many photographic possibilities. Sometimes the tourists are my photo subjects. Sometimes it’s the locals reacting to tourists.

I was standing on the corner of Pike and 1st waiting for the signal when I saw this elderly couple trying to make their way through the crowds. All they wanted to do was pick up some flowers and get out of the market. The man was somewhat annoyed with all of the tourists standing around and taking selfies with the market sign.

Pike Place Market. Seattle, WA. July 6, 2017. Fujifilm X100T.

Calm in the Central District


One of the homes we frequently pass in the Central District has been doing some major remodeling of their front yard. After what seemed like months of work, it looks like they completed the remodel. The new front garden has fresh plants and some beautiful Buddhist statues. I can’t wait to see when everything is fully grown.

Seattle, WA. June 27, 2017. Fujifilm X100T.

Behind the scenes with TTRB


The Tilted Thunder Rail Birds are kicking off their sixth season this summer, and that means new head shots for newly-drafted skaters. I’ll have samples from the newest batch of photos in a later post, but I wanted to share this behind-the-scenes image to show how “glamorous” my shooting locations can be.

This is the parking lot of Southgate Roller Rink in West Seattle, where TTRB currently practices. For scheduling reasons, we’ve setup head shot nights to take place just before practices, because that is pretty much the only time we can get nearly everyone to attend. I like using the walls of the building as the backdrop, because it provides a nice neutral background and it gives the skaters room to move and pose as they like. If I setup a backdrop, they would be pretty limited.

I used only one light source for the photos to keep things simple. It is a Cactus RF60 in a shoot-through umbrella situated very close to the skater. I adjusted the height of the light stand for each skater to keep the relative position consistent. This is my go-to setup for one-light portraits.

That’s my Think Tank Photo Speed Racer bag hanging on the light stand to weigh it down. I had my backup camera, a 50mm lens, another Cactus RF60, extra Cactus V6 triggers, and miscellaneous items in the bag to give it some heft.

The black collapsible background on the right is there to block the evening sun from shining on the skaters. I had one side of it clamped to a light stand and the other side clamped to my car window so the wind wouldn’t knock it down. Not the prettiest sun shade, but it worked.

I’ll be sharing finished photos from the shoot later this week.

Seattle, WA. June 26, 2017. Fujifilm X100T.