Seattle Photo Walk

Mr. P and I took a whirlwind trip to Seattle a couple weekends ago and I used it as an opportunity to play with the new camera.  Here is a teeny tiny photo walk!

It rained almost the entire time, but I’m glad we got to be there to see fall colors!  We don’t get many fall colors in California.

Really pretty leaves falling on train tracks.

Seattle Trip by Natalie Parker We spent the better part of a day eating our way through Pike Place Market.Seattle Trip by Natalie Parker Sometimes we sat down to eat at Pike Place.Seattle Trip by Natalie Parker Other times we ate on the go (mini donuts!).

Seattle Trip by Natalie Parker We got to see guys throwing fish – but I never got a good shot of it.

Seattle Trip by Natalie Parker On the advice of fellow blogger Jean Manis, I visited the Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibit at the Seattle Center near the Space Needle.

Seattle Trip by Natalie ParkerThe exhibit was absolutely fantastic.

Seattle Trip by Natalie ParkerThe exhibit ends in a greenhouse with a beautiful piece.  There are roving photographers in the museum that will take your picture.  You can email yourself a copy of the picture and it is included already in the ticket price.  Awesome!

Seattle Trip by Natalie ParkerI know we just scratched the surface, we were there for no time at all!  I didn’t even get to sit at a coffee house!  No matter, I’m sure we will go back!


On Traveling and Taking Pictures

Mr. P, being ever so thoughtful as normal, brought this CNN article to my attention recently.  It’s about travel, social media and technology and how those things affect how much of our travels we share with friends.

It’s a very interesting read and I agree with many of the author’s points.  It made me realize that there isn’t a right answer to this issue and it’s up to me to balance.

For example, I will still show pictures from my vacations on Facebook.  However, I do not “photo dump” every single picture I took for my friends to see.  I very carefully pick the best ones.  There’s nothing that makes me not care anymore about looking at someone’s trip as having to thumb through blurry pictures or 10 pictures of the same thing in a Facebook album.

Putting down the camera.  The author’s thoughts about putting the camera down are well taken.  Again, it’s balance.  I try to learn each trip how to better capture my experience with the camera.  Still, there are times when I just enjoy myself without worrying so much about photos.  That’s especially true when I’m at an overwhelming or famous site – sometimes it’s impossible to capture the enormity of a place.  I have surprisingly few pictures of the Egyptian Pyramids for this reason.

What do you think?  How do you handle these things when you travel?  I’d love to hear your thoughts on the article.

Yup, that’s me trying to figure out my friend’s camera on top of the Great Wall.

Lollygagging in London

Photographing London

Hello lovelies!  If you follow me on Facebook or Google+, you know that I just got home from an extended business trip although I didn’t say where.  I spent close to two weeks in London!

Photographing London

I won’t bore you with the business bit, except to say I spent many 12-hour days in the office feverishly working.  On the weekends, I feverishly crammed in as much sightseeing as possible since I’d never been to London.  (End result = exhaustion with a side of jet lag).

Photographing London

Although I was there for business, I toted my camera along and tried to work on how I take pictures.  I love looking at travel pictures from other bloggers and secretly file away lessons I want to try on my next trip.

Just take pictures.  That was my biggest mantra.  I’m all about living in the moment but there are lots of times where I wished I’d taken the time to snap something.  The carriage below was the first picture I took on the trip – it was rolling by right after I checked into my hotel.

Photographing London

Bad lighting: being winter, I battled the sun a lot.  It never got too high up in the sky and set early.  It created a lot of harsh light situations at places where I didn’t have time go to go back and get better pictures.  I was barely able to get the Olympic countdown clock!

Photographing London

I experimented with getting more randomness, signs especially.  I realized I love signs!

Photographing London

Of course there’s food.  I feel like food pictures capture a lot about the trip.

Photographing London

Yes, I’m going to have to re-watch my Royal Wedding DVD and every other movie I own that’s set in Britain.  I only now realized how many movies on the list I shared with you fit that category.

Photographing London

Click here to see a photo index for all my posts on London

Capturing Your Vacation

How do you capture your vacation? How do you like to take pictures? As I went through the pictures from our trip, I found some common threads/techniques which I’ll share below.

Don’t think of me as some fantastic photographer when you look at these. We like to take the shotgun approach. I am not a professional.

By the time we got home, we had taken 7 gigs of pictures. That’s 7 gigabytes of pictures.

Here are just a few.

The Sights

A.K.A. the “of course” pictures or “the good stuff.” These pictures are self-explanatory.

Khafre’s Pyramid and the Sphinx.

The Rammesseum.

Hatshepsut’s Temple.

Watching balloons go up at sunrise over the Valley of the Kings.

From our balloon – the Valley of the Kings is on the other side of these mountains.

View from our hot air balloon.

The Treasury at Petra

The Monastery at Petra.

Wadi Mujib Canyon, Jordan.

Site where Jesus was baptized.


Sometimes you should do the opposite of taking a step back. Take a step forward and stop trying to capture the entire scene and just get one thing.

Traces of paint on a carving of Horus.

Lighting candles for friends and their loved ones.

Salt flaking off the rocks at the Dead Sea.


I’ll remember what we ate, but it’s fun to show people. I don’t take pictures of every meal, just a few here and there.

Mixed grill brought to our table.

Koshary – Cairo dish of rice, macaroni, lentils, chickpeas and crunchy onions with a tomato sauce mixed in.



You may be at a site wishing you could get a picture without all of the people in it. It may actually be better to get someone in the picture to show perspective. It’s hard to explain to people just how gigantic some of the sites really were.

Using ourselves to show the enormity of the Great Pyramid of Khufu.

Me in the Great Hypostle Hall of the Karnak Temple.

Broken colossus of Ramses. I’m standing by his head and shoulder.

Every Day Things, Life

Sometimes random, these are every day things that you might not normally take a picture of. Looking back, they make the photo collection interesting (I might be the only one who doesn’t get tired of looking at ancient Egyptian temples).

Egyptian 1 pound coins.

Store just outside the Pyramids at Giza.

I couldn’t get enough pictures of camels. This one smiled mid-bite!

As it Happens

I took quite a few pictures while we were waiting around for something. It’s fun to show what we were watching.

Watching jewelry maker polish the bracelet they custom made for me.

Watching our hot air balloon get blown up.

Watching our balloon get deflated and folded up after our flight.


Much like getting perspective, it’s fun to juxtapose two things in the picture. I find it makes the subject much more interesting.

Flowers at the Temple of Philae.

Citadel with Roman ruins on the hill in Amman, Jordan.

Where We Stayed

I’ll remember our hotels, but I’m sure people would rather see pictures than me trying to describe it to them.

Our hotel in Cairo was originally built as a palace.

View of the Nile from our hotel along with Cairo traffic.

View from our cabin on our Nile Cruise.

View from our hotel in Petra.

The Dead Sea beach at our last hotel.

Points of Reference

I take pictures of signs all the time. I think it breaks up the string of scenery pictures when I show them to people and helps convey what we were seeing.

The Dead Sea – the lowest place on Earth!

Entrance to Mount Nebo, where Moses saw the Promised Land.

The picture above helps define this picture: the Promised Land from where Moses saw it.


If it’s acceptable to take pictures in markets and stores, I go for it. It’s such a fun way to show the buzz of how an area works.

Let’s not talk about what I did in the beaded necklace store.

Buying spices.

We Were There!

After a couple of trips, I realized I wasn’t getting enough pictures of ourselves! I never hesitate now to take a tripod or ask someone to take our picture.

Us floating in the Dead Sea. You can get a camera dry bag at REI or other outdoor stores.

My absolute favorite picture of the entire trip.

Thanks for giving me an excuse to share my pictures!