The Beautiful Silence of a Seattle Sunset

Elliott Bay Sunset-7

There is a special connection that exists between nature and man, and amid all the incessant din we create, stepping out along the shores of Elliott Bay in Seattle, Washington such a connection can be made.

There is an intricate dance between the Olympic National Forest and the Puget Sound waterway, a dance that makes the Pacific Northwest a little slice of heaven in the developed world.  

During the evening hours in summer, the Olympics and the Sound often produce one of the most incredible mosaics of color & life: a sunset over Seattle’s Elliott Bay and the Olympics.  

The above is the first time-lapse photography video I have put together, and was taken from Pier 70, outside my flat in Seattle.

Perhaps the best part of the peace and solitude of a Seattle sunset, is that it is meant to shared.  The beautiful silence of the colors seem to bring out the best in people.  If you walk along Pier 70 or along the shores of Elliott Bay park during the golden hour, the conversations with the people, seagulls and wind will all blend in with the natural silence of the sunset.  A rejuvenating moment.  

Elliott Bay Sunset-8

In regards to the beauty of Seattle, an emphasis should be placed on summer nights. The grey of Seattle winters are not that desirable, and instead I suggest you come to Hong Kong and I’ll treat you to some great dim sum and sunny skies.

As this is my first foray into time-lapse photography, in this video there are some flickers and errors that should be corrected.  Theoretically, I can correct these errors in Photoshop and/or LRTimeLapse, I just do not have a clue how to make such precise adjustments right now…and unless my patience improves unlikely in the future as well, as my computer will lie in pieces on the street below 🙂

Enjoy the final days of summer.   

47 Comments on “The Beautiful Silence of a Seattle Sunset

  1. That orange sky is just too consuming! The photo’s are serene 🙂
    This for me is one of those moments any form of speech would sadly ruin. To be lost in the warmth and glow of nature is something worth savoring,as always you have captured another beautiful piece of America.

    Your talk of patience made me smile, it’s funny how you lose yours in the confusion of computers, but will undoubtedly sit or stand patiently for however long to snap away as your eyes feed on the glorious images you bring me with each post.
    I think I’m one of those looking forward to colder days though, summer in H-Town has been murder!
    You’ve given so much of this season to us here, I just can’t wait to see how fall and the winter months compare…I bet I’m in for a major eye feast,lol

    Now, about that dim sum 🙂

    • A very good point…I have patience to wait and shoot, and often walking away without the shot I had hoped for, but if I cannot get something to work on my computer within minutes frustration sets in 🙂 The worst part is I could read a manual on how to work with Photoshop ~ but would rather use a method of trial and error… And for me it is mainly just error.

      I too look forward to the fall & winter; another set of colors and scenes to explore. Wish you the best and enjoy the rest of summer.

  2. Orange has always been one of my favorite colors (though not one of my favorite fruits, I dare say!) and you bring out the color wonderfully. I especially love the various hues in the evening sky showing in the last photograph and can only imagine how beautiful it must’ve been in person.
    Now unfortunately, the video isn’t working at my end. Some java glitch, I guess. Hopefully I’ll be able to watch it soon enough.
    Another great post and I promise this is the last time I’m saying that. By now, I’m pretty sure you’re well aware of it. Maybe while hitting ‘Publish’, you say, “Here goes another great post!” 😉
    Enjoy the weekend!

    • Well, I am going to do my best to make you say it again…and again 🙂 Thank you very much for the nice comments Meghna! There have been months upon months of “wasted” evenings where I’ve walked away without a shot, so these past few weeks in Seattle/Pacific Northwest has been special. Shot another evening series a couple evenings ago, so different in color and mood…that is why I like dawn & dusk, the lighting is special and unique. Enjoy your weekend!

      • Oh what the heck! Promises are meant to be broken, aren’t they?
        And evenings wasted just because you didn’t shoot? Nah, I don’t believe you. 🙂
        Can’t wait to see what you still haven’t posted (and that which already has been posted, here).

      • I still can’t see the video!! 😥 What with Windows 8 and all.
        Randall! Do something!

      • 😀 I downloaded the video and was finally able to see it.
        Mesmerizing, Randall! Really. Watched it thrice!
        My favourite part were the final seconds, when the sun was finally out of the view and the sky became darker with streaks of gold. Very beautiful… Great work! 😀

    • Thanks Chillbrook. Your guidance on the time-lapse was very helpful…although sometimes my video does not render smoothly (long delays & skips), which leads to re-processing.

      Did shoot a couple more series, which I will play around with a bit… Thanks for your help and happy you enjoyed the shots. Cheers.

  3. Stunning as always! There is nothing more centering to me than nature. I love your line about “the incessant din we create.” How true. Every time I take a moment to step back from life and get out into nature, I am reminded that this life, this rat race, is not how life was supposed to be. In nature, I find a peace and a calm I cannot get anywhere else. For that, I am so so grateful.

    Happy end of the summer to you! And I know what you mean about winter in Hong Kong. It can be quite cool, but I’ve seen some very lovely HK winter days! Cheers, Jessica

    • Thanks Jess, I imagine that Tahoe must provide the same beauty & bliss…it is nice that we do have places we can retreat and enjoy the peace of nature! Cheers,

  4. Those sunsets are just beautiful! Love the silhouette of the mountains in the distance and the sailboats on the water. Such an amazing show of light.

  5. They are beautiful. I have been realizing lately that beautiful sunsets can be hard to capture on camera, so thats wonderful of you.

    • Sunsets are so relaxing to me, a great way to end the day. When I can capture them with a camera, it is like capturing a little bit of this feeling 🙂

    • Thanks Mark. Yes, I started shooting at ISO 100 and then as dusk arrived I moved it up, and for these shots I was at ISO 800 and shot between 1/60 to 1/125 (f/5.6).

  6. That is indeed a beautiful sunset. Stunning colours – and since I know the landscape very well, I appreciate the delightful images even more.

    • Hey Otto, if you ever get to Seattle or the Pacific Northwest again, let me know. It would be great to go out on a shoot together ~ as I think you remember, such great sights out in this part of the world.

      • That should, be difficult as I am regularly in Seattle. Next time will be in January. Let’s see what we can make happen, then.

    • So far it has worked out well, this past summer was incredible in Seattle. SF would not be a bad option either. Cheers.

  7. Well done with the time lapse video – that was excellent. My gosh, it must have taken hours!!! Lovely.

    And the other pictures – truly beautiful.

    • Just finished with a 2+ week of travel with my sister in Myanmar, and pulled together a couple of time-lapse series…but have some hours of editing that will be hard to get myself motivated for.

      Thanks for taking a look and I’m happy you enjoyed the shots…nothing like trying to capture a bit of Mother Nature in her glory 🙂

      • I love Mother Nature in her glory, Dalo. This is why I visit 🙂

  8. What a beautiful pair of images – the rich colors, the delicate silhouettes. They seem as thought they could’ve been captured on the other side of the world, in our current seaside paradise in Croatia.

    • Thank you Tricia, and a serendipitous comment, just talking Croatia last week…would love to see your side of the world. I’ve heard too many great things (and your great photos of Croatia and beyond…). Best and safe travels in ’14.

  9. Awesome pictures and the time lapse photos-video is pretty amazing for a first timer. I remember I tried to make it long time ago to capture the river activity in front of house but I did not have enough patience :))

    • Thanks Indah, I loved the patience it takes and getting out and shooting a time-lapse series, but I just don’t put much effort into the processing ~ and I need to as I really do love the creative process (a bit contradictory, I know, ha, ha…such is life). Cheers, and I hope to try a few more!

  10. Just found you this morning (thank you, Bluebrightly) and I’ll probably be late for work now . . . I am wandering far from the path of my day into your blog . . . hope no one comes to find me for a long time.

    • Thank you Liana, it is always nice to connect and find a great site/photographer for inspiration ~ I enjoy your work so much as well. Enjoy your stay and your day.

  11. Your photography is amazing.

    I’ve only been to Seattle in the summer, When it is really beautiful. People who live there tell me that the winters can be hard to take, though. (As you say.)

    • Nothing quite like a Seattle summer…nothing.
      Unfortunately, days of rain during the winter kind of offset the summer fun 🙂 Cheers!

  12. So enthralled with that last sunset capture of yours! When we were in Seattle it was indeed grey, though in short stints even the city’s grey tones have appeal. Delighted, though, to see how colorful your hometown can be through this post.

    • Summer in Seattle may be the most beautiful place in the world…so much to do, and full of sunny days (and incredible sunsets over the bay). Wish you a great weekend.

  13. Breathtaking! I am a West coast girl who grew up beside a river, so I have a special connection with sunsets:)

    • There is something about a West coast girl 🙂 Whether it is in the attitude, spirit or appreciate for life – and of course the love of sunsets. Thank you Madhu.

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