Started the year off with a not terribly successful visit to Carkeek Park and Golden Gardens.

My initial plan was to head to Bainbridge Island but after a similarly less than successful visit during the summer I had learned to consult the tide chart before working along a shoreline.  There was a high tide expected for most of the daylight hours of January 1.  As I had learned from my last excursion the waterfront is not terribly accessible in many spots such as Eagle Harbor except at the lowest sides.   With a $30 round trip fare for the Seattle-Bainbridge ferry its best to plan ahead.

After a slow, hung over start to the morning I finally left for Carkeek Park at around 2:00 PM with my Fuji X-Pro, the 10-24mm f/4.0 lens, a 3.0 ND filter for the Fuji lens, and my Rokinon 12mm f/2.0 with the Hoya IR filter which is pretty much permanently attached to that lens these days.  Over the past several months I’ve been working primarily with either the ND filter or the infrared filter.   I’m finding that the discipline of working with a tripod and 2-10 second exposures has forced me to stop snapping away and spending more time looking and thinking about what I want.

Going to a west facing beach in the late winter afternoon was a mistake.  The sun was low on the southern horizon and cast long shadows.   Even if you shot North your shadow or the tripod’s shadow would have been in frame.   Shooting south was out of the question, a clear sky, low sun, and reflection off the water made that impossible.   Even I had arrived first thing in the morning the shoreline in Carkeek Park is relatively straight which eliminates any lines to draw your eye into a photo.   I had hoped that the rail line running along the shore would be a point of interest but the tracks were well above eye level and didn’t provide me anything to work with.

After grumbling for a bit at my lack of foresight I hit the trails that wound through the park and found some interest there using the IR filter.

Golden Gardens offered more points of interest with a curving shoreline and a marina immediately to the south of the park but the sun presented a similar problem as Carkeek Park.   Its also a very popular park and was quite crowded.  I decided to enjoy the walk rather than focus on taking photos.   In the future I’d return at dawn to make sure that the sun isn’t hanging over the water and to ensure that I had more space to work.