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May 30, 2006

Bagatelles (Visual Version)

Donald Pittenger writes:

Dear Blowhards --

* I just crawled back from a four-day trip to Canada with my bride, Nancy. I suppose I should call it a honeymoon, but at the office we are in the midst of our annual Big Push to produce some mandated demographic data, so I had to put in a few days at work twixt wedding and trip.

Taking a cue from newspapers and magazines whose production takes place over holidays and such, today I offer you a few rabbits I stuffed in my hat a couple weeks ago. Serious blogging resumes tomorrow.

* I'm slowly, slowly trying to work up to speed (competence, actually) on my new (first, actually) digital camera, a Nikon Coolpix S5 (incredibly stupid name, actually ... "Coolpix").

(Hmm. Looks like I'm still over-using the word "actually.")

The weekend that I'm assembling this post is having lovely spring weather. So I went up to Seattle to take some photos for another post. But I couldn't restrain myself and snapped some other subjects as well.

And here they are, Seattle fans.

Seattle Gallery

Northern Life Tower - cropped.jpg
Northern Life Tower.
Well, that's the name it had when I was growing up (it's now the "Seattle Tower"). Built at the end of the 1920s, it remained one of the tallest buildings in Seattle for 30 years. As you see, it's almost entirely surrounded by taller towers. It remains my architectural favorite.

Pier 55.jpg
Waterfront -- Pier 55.
The waterfront piers were working piers when I was a kid. Cargo is now processed elsewhere, so the old piers now house restaurants, gift shops and other tourist-related activities. Aside from not having a docked steamer, this is how things looked back in the 1920s, give or take a few decades.

Ivar Haglund statue - cropped.jpg
Statue of Ivar Haglund.
This sits near the Fish Bar part of his Pier 54 restaurant. Ivar was a master of public relations back in the 1940s-1960s when newspapers ruled the local media roost. He was continually pulling off successful publicity stunts that kept us entertained and happy to grab a bite at his restaurants from time to time. Ivar is gone, but we still make a point of eating at "Ivar's Acres of Clams."

The very first Starbucks - cropped - 2.jpg
The Very First Starbucks.
Here we are in the Seattle Public Market neighborhood, and behold! the first Starbucks store. Note that it retains the old brown-and-white logo. The early Starbucks stores, before Howard Schultz took over, were mostly sellers of beans and brewing equipment.

Sunning Near Public Market - cropped.jpg
Sun and Snow.
Not far north of Starbucks is a little park overlooking Puget Sound. A nice day for working on one's future skin cancer. Note the snow-clad Olympic Mountains in the background.

I see that image quality is not very good. My camera has 6 megapixel capability, but I took these pictures using the lowest possible resolution in order to keep file sizes small. I need to experiment more.



posted by Donald at May 30, 2006


These are neat. I'd say they are "cool pix" but you would mock me...Is the blue accurate? Is the sky and the water really that blue? Beautiful.

Posted by: annette on May 30, 2006 2:13 PM

Beautiful, Donald! Brings back many happy memories. Will you do a Kirkland tour as well?

Prairie Mary

Posted by: Mary Scriver on May 30, 2006 3:07 PM

I really did love Seattle and the mountains. And the sky is very blue except November through March. Clouds and drizzle. Remember the Perry Como song Seattle?

Posted by: JGsez on May 30, 2006 4:43 PM

I fooled around with image size for a few weeks when I bought my digital camera, then decided to just take everything at max resolution. With mine you can reduce the resolution with the software if need be. My one suggestion, if you haven't done so yet, buy a nice big memory card (512 mb is good) and when in doubt, take the picture.

Posted by: pat on May 31, 2006 1:08 AM

Seattle can be so lovely, tks for the reminder.

FWIW, I second what Pat suggested. Take everything at full-blast -- color, biggest possible size, etc. Then edit and tweak and do whatever you want to in the computer. A photography pro told me he had to shift attitudes when he went digital. Shooting digital is all about collecting the highest quality pixels you can, he said. He also said that he keeps the original big file, and makes adjusted copies of it (a b&w version, a cropped version, an emailable version, etc) as the need arises, but that he never touches the original.

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on May 31, 2006 12:31 PM

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