Category Archives: Travels

Coffee Jitters (My Trip to Seattle)

Last week I had the opportunity of seeing a little bit of Seattle on a 6 hour layover to visiting some close friends in Kuaui, Hawaii (pictures and write up forthcoming).

This was my first live encounter with the city.  My old friend Peter, who has lived in Seattle for much of his life, was my champion and guide for the duration of my stay.

Preconceived notions of a moody, emo inspiring grunge town quickly flew out the window.  Seattle is lively, diverse, and well manicured.  The people do carry that large city edge with an underlying friendliness and appreciation for the place they live in.

 

Seattle Trip - Bryan Johns Photography

 

The skyline is beautiful, despite the peppering of freight facilities that line the waterfront.  Lots of snow capped mountains are visible, when it’s not raining of course.

Pete (picture below) took us to some great eats, and three coffee houses that subsequently blew my over-caffeinated brain. It’s amusing that Seattleites love their coffee so much, that coffee shops will set up right next to each other.  But coffee is so integral as a social tool there, much like alcohol, so I completely understand.


Seattle Trip - Bryan Johns Photography

 

We also had a chance to visit the Pike Place Market, which was jammed with fresh produce and ethnic food spots. We destroyed some great bao buns and perogies with our…never ending supply of coffee.

 

Seattle Trip - Bryan Johns Photography

 

As a photographer, I’m a big fan of alleyways.  Alleys are where a city hides it’s trash, secrets, and afterthoughts. Seattle’s alleys are often beautiful, green, and clean.  Impressive!

(Of course, I chose to represent that with a black & white picture.)

 

Seattle Trip - Bryan Johns Photography

 

Thanks, gentrification!

Seattle’s rapid evolution to attract new blood and revitalize itself is inevitably killing some of its old character and culture. Twice I overheard conversations of the disquieted, expressing agitation at being edged out by the bourgeois.

I was having a hard time trying to find some of the old inspiration that fueled so much music that came from there.  I guess I shouldn’t expect to see any gutter punks or flannel wearing post-surfers throwing their cigarettes all over the place.

(Penn Station below)

Seattle Trip - Bryan Johns Photography

 

 

Seattle Trip - Bryan Johns Photography

 

Anyways, great city.  I plan on heading back there this year and breaking some bars with some buddies.  I’m sure the night life is thriving and sparkly.

 

 

Rehoboth Beach

My mother and I decided to visit the American east coast for the holiday season. We decided that we needed a get away, since we both had a pretty rough year.  Fortunately the weather was unseasonably warm for December.

Our destination was Rehoboth Beach, a small seaside town on the Delaware coast.

 

Rehoboth-6

 

The forecast for the duration of our trip called for humid, temperate, rainy days, with short breaks of sunshine.  This made for some great conditions for photography, since the temperate rain created some seriously dense and foggy sea air.  Although the majority of the trip was gray, we enjoyed the moodiness that the weather provided us.

 

Rehoboth-4

 

Rehoboth Beach is a beautiful, well manicured little town.  Lots of great restaurants and bars. A great place for families and couples.  Obviously the town was pretty empty when we were there, but there is a contingent of people that live there the entire year.  The neighboring beaches do not seem to have as much of an established base of life throughout the entire year.

Some of the restaurants that we dined in were almost full!

 

Rehoboth-7

 

 

Rehoboth-8

 

 

Rehoboth-9

 

My camera had no problems getting great light exposure.  Everything was gray, gray, gray, with soft light spread out through the mists.  Once the clouds broke, we got some pretty dramatic clouds. I brought my Sony A7II with my Zeiss 55mm 1.8ZA.  Although it’s not the wide angle that most would bring for the situation, it was perfect for capturing everything.

I chose to use black & white to convey a lot of the scenes, since there wasn’t much color to work with because of the autumnal feeling weather.

 

Rehoboth-10

 

My mother and I spent a day driving down the coast to the neighboring beach towns.  The road was empty, and the wind was whipping at times.  There were lots of little turnoffs to hidden beaches. Glimpses of beauty and nature.

 

Rehoboth-12

 

We stayed at the Atlantic Sands hotel, a humble place right on the water.  What the hotel lacks in comfort, it more than makes up for with location.  The bare bones staff on duty Christmas Eve were very friendly and helpful.

 

Rehoboth-1

 

I’ll definitely plan on returning to this great beach.  It’s only a 2 hour drive from Baltimore, which isn’t even half a tank of gas.

 

Ocean Pines

Summer time near Ocean City, MD.  The mosquitos were formidable, but I prevailed.

ocean pines-1