With temperatures down in the 20's and a windchill of even below that, conditions were less than ideal for me to be shooting. Did that stop me? Of course not. I found myself downtown every night for hours at a time, standing shivering in my down coat, watching in awe of a black and white bear working his magic on anything that glowed. I was less than successful at getting some good shots. Friday was raining, Saturday was snowing and Sunday was so downright cold that just putting the tripod away made my eyes tear up from the pain.
Saturday proved to be an interesting evening though. My good friends know there are three things that make me stupidly clap my hands together and say yay happy, and snow is one of them. It began to snow just as we reached the Duwamish channel at the Port of Seattle.
Before the snow began we attempted to shoot at the new light rail station, but was turned away. This became a theme for the weekend where Panda learned that to shoot urban you either need to get permission or break in. Luckily he's no stranger to a little mischief and we were able to find many places to shoot stealthy.
As he was standing outside the light rail station I wandered off to take a picture of an interesting store front. As I was waiting for the exposure I heard a whistle off to my left. I looked over to see a man coming towards me with something shiny in his hand. I asked "can I help you" and he said "can I help YOU? What are you doing here". As he came closer I noticed he had a knife. My adrenaline started up and I tried to stay calm and explain I was just taking pictures and didn't want any trouble. Panda stayed at a distance, knowing that I can handle my own, and the man walked away. I slowly put away my camera and decided for the rest of the evening I was going to make sure we stayed close to each other. Sometimes I forget that we are shooting in dangerous conditions.
I noticed a makeshift skate park across from the Port of Seattle entrance. They had built a concrete wall and brought in generators and created a huge fire pit. It was pretty amazing and I wanted so badly to walk over there and ask them if I could shoot. I knew to respect their group however and today I asked a co-worker who is familiar with the underground skating and street artist community to ask around for me. I'm hoping to get an invite to hang out down there and photograph the crew.
My old boss from LA was in town visiting and I met him for brunch on Sunday with about 15 other people. It was excellent catching up and I was grateful to be reminded that no matter how long I am away from that town that my friends stay loyal and cherished.