Monday, February 28, 2011

Ballard fisherman's terminal

The Ballard fisherman's terminal is as Seattle as it gets - located on Salmon bay in the Interbay neighbourhood of Seattle. Quaint and laid back with a rugged beauty that is the essence of the Pacific North west. The terminal is steeped in history. Every time I go there I make it a point to spend some time at the Fisherman's memorial and read the plaques memorializing the fisherman missing at sea. Here is a link to the official page.

I have been to the terminal a few times and have always struggled to photograph the terminal. My experience/skill is primarily as a landscape photographer and i'm always trying to find the big, beautiful Vista. This does not work for the terminal - all the beauty is in the details. I went back last week armed with the new Canon EF 100mm macro lens my wife gifted me for my birthday. My first reaction - love the lens! It has opened a whole new world to a landscape photographer.

Intricate patterns of a fishing net, Ballard fisherman's terminal

Equipment: Canon 5D Mark 2, Canon EF 100mm/f2.8 L macro

Image details: 100mm, f/2.8, 1/3200sec, ISO 400
The terminal is best shot on sunny winter days. I have found it best to be there a couple of hours before sunset or an hour after sunrise. Closer to sunset the shadows lengthen and it makes photography very tricky. I usually walk up and down the piers looking for interesting macro oppurtunities - rusty anchors, nuts and bolts, ropes etc. There are 3-4 piers and I explore each of them. By far the best macro opportunites are around the fishing nets that you will find piled up around the docks. I spent an hour or so isolating patterns in the red and white fishing nets.

Anchor rope, Ballard Fisherman's terminal

Equipment: Canon 5D Mark 2, Canon EF 100mm/f2.8 L macro

Image details: 100mm, f/2.8, 1/3200sec, ISO 400
The terminal is a unique mixture of pleasure yatches and working boats - its pretty cool to see an expensive pleasure yatch moored next to a small fishing boat from Alaska :)

There are usually plenty of birds (Canada geese, cormorants, mallards, coots etc) in and around the terminal. They are pretty habituated to people and you can get very close to them. I always take my telephoto lens looking for good portrait shots of the birds.


Mike Criss said...

Love the rope shots, great use of depth of field.

Jana said...

Love your photos. I want to explore all these places now. Especially the Olympic peninsula. Thank you!

Cochrane0123 said...

I love this blog. I just had a bunch of my dad's photos of the Washington shoreline digitized by a company called ScanDigital. Its a great relief to not have to watch those deteriorate any longer.