March 09, 2017

Day Trip: How To Plan Your First Seattle Visit

Words : Erica Simas
Photos : Erica Simas , Gareth Pon

Seattle boasts an impressive diversity of photo subjects. So when our good friend Gareth Pon (@garethpon) came to town for the first time, we wanted to show him as much variety as we could, in a short amount of time.

We took him to explore some of our favorite photogenic spots for first-timers. If you’re planning a trip to Seattle, these spots should be your first picks for off-the-beaten-path photo exploration.




Seattle Central Library

First up is the infamous Seattle library. I know you might be thinking, “Why would I go to a library while I am out exploring a city on vacation?” Well, once you arrive at the steps of the Central Library, you’ll see exactly why. The exterior is made completely of glass shingles and sports a very contemporary look that was conceptualized by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas and former Seattleite Joshua Ramus. The massive library has unique angles, perspectives, gorgeous lighting, and plenty of space for those seeking a variety of shots. It’s a great place to dry off from the Seattle drizzle and spend a few hours shooting. With so many unique rooms, you’ll get some fantastic shots.





Myrtle Park Skybridge

Here’s a spot not many know about. It’s definitely a unique location. This futuristic skybridge leads right over a set of train tracks (that are functioning and interesting to photograph as well) and drops you off in front of Myrtle Edwards Park. It’s a great place to shoot architectural style images, portraits, and even offers a different perspective of downtown with the right lens. We knew this would fit right into Gareth’s style, as he loves to dabble in all these subjects. The bridge’s design has an opening in its middle section that allows for beautiful natural light to filter in. It also gives you the opportunity to shoot the tracks and get city from afar. For portraits and skyline shots, we could get really close to our subjects with the Moment Tele Lens on the iPhone 7 Plus’ Tele Lens. Using the dual mounting mechanism that is on the Photo Case, you can get 4x zoom for close ups. The results were impressive, our 60mm lens now works as a 120mm, bringing subjects closer without moving an inch.







Macy’s Skybridge

(located on the parking lot adjacent to the store)

If you head to downtown Seattle and want to get a cool shot from above, you’ll need to drop by the increasingly popular Macy’s skybridge. It’s located near the roof of the parking garage adjacent to the store. This skybridge is glassed, but you can get great shots of the streets tucked between the skyscrapers. On a clear day, which isn’t very often (wink, wink), you can capture beautiful golden light shafts coming through the buildings. The top of the parking garage is also a great photo opp spot. Any rooftop, especially after rainfall, is always a great choice for reflection images, aka #puddlegrams. Moss also grows like wildfire here, so we got to test out the Macro on the iPhone 7 Plus’ Tele, which almost gives you a micro shot! We noticed the depth of field wasn’t as strong as when using the Macro on the normal camera, and that allowed us to get more of the frame in focus. The more detail, the merrier.





Chapel of St. Ignatius

A new place that is a must-see for architecture lovers is the Chapel of St. Ignatius. Recommended to us by a friend, Gareth and I set out to the “Gathering of Different Lights” location, and we were stunned by the interior. It seems a bit naked to the eye, but once you begin to photograph inside, you see exactly where the term “different lights” comes from. The light seeps through the chapel, shining through stained fragments of glass, from behind walls and corners, casting streaks of color all around the building. We stopped for portraits and abstract images. The Chapel is pretty small, so the new Moment Wide lens definitely came in handy when photographing in this space.





Marginal Way Skatepark

Although Gareth and I don’t skate (but wish we did!), I had to show him the Marginal Way Skatepark. Built underneath Highway 99, this communally built skatepark is fantastic to shoot, especially with a Wide lens or the Superfish. This little spot is totally different from everything else you see in Seattle. It’s a great place to get perspective shots or cool portraits, since the lighting is nicely diffused under the highway. At its busiest, the hustle and bustle of this park is an experience. We didn’t have skaters to shoot this time, but I also didn’t mind the bowl being empty.

There, of course, are so many places to visit in Seattle while out here for your first time, such as Pike Place Market, The Seattle Art Museum, Discovery Park, and much more, but if you are looking for some less-charted areas to provide perspective of the Emerald City, be sure to add these to your list.


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