Weekly Photo Challenge: Opposites; Nighttime Seattle

“Photography is a holding together of opposites: light and dark, beautiful and ugly, sublime and banal, conscious and unconscious.”

Jack Welpott



This week we traveled from downtown Portland along the Oregon Coast to Bandon Dunes, and then back north to Seattle. Ben’s Opposites challenge made me think of this photo, which captures the energy of Seattle at night. The headlights streaming down the highway contrast with the peacefulness of Puget Sound and the beauty of the mountains in the distance – much as is described in Jack Welpott’s quote above. I loved the feeling of the constant beat of the city and it’s many lights – especially compared to what one would find in our quiet little enclave on Kiawah Island.



“Every time I see a crowd of photographers surrounding a subject, my impulse is to go in the opposite direction.”

Ignacio Aronovich

The view from our downtown Seattle VRBO deck includes a ferris wheel as well as Puget Sound, across which the ferries constantly come and go. The evening light was particularly lovely and although it gave me some serious tummy tickles I ventured out with my camera and tripod to capture the scene.



β€œGod turns you from one feeling to another and teaches by means of opposites so that you will have two wings to fly, not one”


Although I firmly believe in the abilities of a good camera, lens and tripod, I was amazed at the ability of the i-phone for night photography. I captured the first two shots with my Nikon D300 while there was very little light and the wind was blowing hard. While I don’t believe the i-phone could have captured those scenes, I was surprised at the ability of the i-phone to capture the famous Pike Place market as we strolled by. You know what they say – the best camera is the one you have with you!

Wishing everyone a happy holiday weekend – assuming you have one wherever this may find you 😊.



78 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Opposites; Nighttime Seattle

  1. What a trip you had! Sorry I didn’t know you were in the area – it would have been nice to meet you. I think your timing is good for a different camera – lighter weight mirrorless cameras are just getting better and better – you’ll find something just right, with the capabilities you’re accustomed to and less bulk! I know it.

  2. Oh yes, you made a good job, Tina. Lovely light. I think it’s absolutely amazing what the iphone can achieve. I have an old iphone and I’m not happy with the camera, i only use it to memorize things I want to explore further.
    Best regards to you from Norfolk! πŸ™‚

  3. Wow – I am so happy to read about (and see) the quality of the iPhone night photo! I have an upcoming trip where I am in pursuit of a specific night shot and I have been worrying and practicing with my Nikon. Now I will just have my phone handy as the back-up, and I’l probably get better pics from there than the camera! Interestingly, I also found that some sunrise shots in Colorado last month were much better on my phone.

  4. I don’t always have the camera with me, but I almost always have the phone. I am always impressed with the quality of photos I get from my iPhone. Lovely shot of Pike Place. I’ve never visited Seattle, it’s on my list of places to visit. Someday. Enjoy your weekend and the fourth. Happy independence Day.

  5. Just FABULOUS details in these shots…..love seattle at night!! Also great shot of your ferris wheel view….whay FUN!! GO Iphone!!! U too ENJOY!!!

  6. Pingback: Opposites (Crossroads) | What's (in) the picture?

  7. Yes, the iPhone, and camera phones in general, really surprise me with the shots they take. Although I would still say that it doesn’t make up completely for my SLR in terms of picture quality. Still, the SLR doesn’t fit neatly into a handbag!!

  8. Love the shots of Seattle. We started our married life there; quite a switch for an east Tennessee girl! Once we got through the first rainy winter we never wanted to leave. Loved the picture of Pike Place market – one of my favorites!

  9. Hey Tina – I love the pike place photo the most – and was surprised to read it was iPhone – the first thing I noticed was the clear lights – but the reason I really like it has to do with the people – the guy in particular -‘I know some go back and forth on including people in certain shots / and most of the time I prefer it because it can give a culture feel and maybe even stamps the time period – not always – but the subtle dude just added something- and the background people –
    And the Rumi quote had me thinking – but another take away is the part of the Jack quote about the conscious and unconscious – the more I am exposed to photography blogs (make that good ones!) the more I see there is so much more given to us that was unintended (the unconscious) that comes thru from their essence – and so maybe the best camera is the one you have with you…. But the best photos are the ones that reflect the photographers essence – no matter the tool used – it is their eye that framed it….
    Oh man / way too much thinking for a holiday weekend – back to chill-axing!

  10. Really nice, Tina! I too am amazed at the ability of the iPhone at night. Funny you should say that as my post involves night photography with an iPhone! (It’s not quite ready yet.) Fun stuff. πŸ™‚

  11. I loved your ‘opposites.’ Of course, I love Seattle because we have family there and have been to Pike’s Market several times. The ‘big’ cameras are the work horses, but the smart phone cameras of today can really take some nice shots as you have shown here.

    • Thanks Judy! We too have been to Seattle before but it was fun to share the city w our friends who hadn’t been there before. We did all the touristy things, which was tons of fun!

      • The gulf islands are between Vancouver Island and Vancouver. You could easily do a day trip to one of them (Saltspring, Pender?) from Victoria, it’s just a short hop on the ferry. Well worth it if you can squeeze it in!

      • Interestingly we were there today in our whale watching adventure. Lots of playful orcas very near your little island. Lucky you!!

    • I agree Amy, thanks. I think the market lights made the image possible. The night shots were quite another story. Just a question of having the right tools at the right time!

  12. Beautiful blue hour and night shots all round, Tina. Love the first one with the trail lights. They make the city look alive and I am sure it is. I love the Ignacio Aronovich quote. It is interesting. There is always another show to photograph elsewhere. We just have to look harder πŸ˜€

    Good work with the iPhone Very crisp image that one turned out to be. Ace.

    • Thanks Mabel. There are times when only the full kit will do, but that market shot really amazed me. I think because there was so much artificial light from the market the I-phone was just fine. Amazing how far they’ve come on camera quality in a few short years!

  13. Great shots, T. Seattle is a wonderful city and I especially love the market- did you see them throwing the fish? Nice capture of the market — you underestimate the power of the IPhone camera.

    • We did Jane, great fun! I do love the convenience of the I-phone but still prefer the power of the dslr. Definitely time for a new toy tho, harder and harder to carry this beast around!

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