Seattle Streets Photoshoot – August 2009

A morning spent exploring Pioneer Square’s alleys and backstreets with Alex looking for photogenic things, places and moments. I love scenes of urban decay and south Seattle definitely has its share of that, but there are also some beautiful, well-preserved historic buildings along with nuggets of modern progressivism. The neighborhood really is a mixed bag, both architecturally and socially, and I think that’s what’s so appealing about it to me.

Gallery slideshow here.

Seattle Streets Photoshoot – June 2009

A walk around Seattle’s central shopping district and the Pike Place Market neighborhood with my buddy and fellow photographer Alex early on a Friday morning in June. We didn’t have a particular agenda, just to get on the street, feel the pulse of the city, and hopefully capture a few meaningful moments on (digital) film. Like the inefficient digital photographer I am, I shot several hundred frames and culled them down to the 41 shots in this gallery.

Gallery slideshow here.

2008 Year in Review

I’m home alone tonight with a wicked sinus infection, drinking a lot of tea, running warm saline through my nostrils and reading Jeremy Clarkson. I sent my parents on their planned new-years outing with Tim and Carol earlier today, and saw Danielle off to her ball-drop party an hour ago, so the house has now fallen quiet with only myself and the cat remaining – and neither of us is putting shoes on until at least tomorrow. It’s been relaxing and festive having my parents here for the last week and a half, and tonight my empty house feels exactly that without them all around but I’m taking advantage of tonight’s opportunity to recuperate so I can enjoy the last couple days of their stay to the fullest. I am truly blessed with an incredible family that love each other unconditionally and are the best of friends, and I can’t say enough how much I appreciate the powerful (and rare) gift of growing up in a happy home. I thank God every day for them, and pray that I never take them for granted.

At some point tonight, I’ll probably turn on Dick Clark and let a team of underpaid television interns tell me what noteworthy things happened in 2008 while the world toasts each other on this oh-so-magical of holidays centered around humans’ apparent fascination with nice round numbers. Before that hour arrives, though, I feel compelled to look back on my own noteworthy 2008 moments.

Brian’s 2008 Year in Review
I made my modeling debut in early 2008 when my face (and a Threadless t-shirt) graced the Crutchfield website and greeted readers of their email newsletter. So far I’m not America’s next top model, but regardless it will make a great bullet point on my A&E biography.
While I technically bought my condo and moved in Dec 2007, it wasn’t until my sister and I returned from the holidays in January that we really started making it our own. I spent many long nights last spring pushing a paintbrush or tearing up carpet and I owe so many thank-you’s to the friends, family and neighbors that have lent their assistance – especially my parents, who have worked tirelessly on my home as though it was their own. I’ve learned a great deal about homeownership, remodeling, and project management, as well as memorizing the number for Dominos. I felt like such a grown-up purchasing major appliances, and I can’t explain how satisfying it is to look at the mantle I built with Mom or picture the attic insulation I installed with Dad and see the successful results of our teamwork. Danielle’s creativity has really made the decor come together, and I love that she found ways to incorporate my model cars and nerdy fixtures into the scheme. It’s a place I’m very happy to come home to, but it’s not been an effortless year by any means and I’m not sure I’ll schedule 2009 with the same remodeling pace.

My job really turned into a career this year, and 2008 was full of exciting challenges, new faces, huge opportunities and the heartbreaking change that is inevitable in the business world. There have been many nights I’ve lied awake fretting over big decisions or writing and re-writing an email in my mind, a sign that the responsibility I bear at work is shaping me and becoming part of who I am. I’ve grown up a great deal (professionally, at least) this year and I don’t feel like the same person anymore that struggled so much 7 years ago to find any job at all. My title changed 5 times this year (although only 2 of them were actually promotions) but there’s an intangible promotion that happened somewhere along the way, wherein I became a professional in my field, and more than just a lucky bloke that landed a good job by being in the right place.
Travel – boy, did I. More new cities and new countries in 2008 than in any year of my life, by a long shot. Texas in April, visiting Clint, Christi and Lilly on the beach in Galveston, and then again in July for more fun in the sun. Denver in June, San Francisco in July, and New York in September, all on business – a part of my new job and something I’d always hoped would be asked of me. In August I visited North Carolina for the first time, and internationally there was London in June for an amazing 2 weeks with Audrey and back again in July for another week with Katie and the UK team. Then I spent half of October down under in Sydney, an experience that I will never forget. I put a lot of new dots in my TripAdvisor profile this year and it was all pretty awesome.
Hobbies-wise, 2008 was a pretty banner year for me. I finally bought a motorcycle like I’d been wanting to for years, and managed to promote the SLUT when I earned my rider’s license. Some amazing photoshoot opportunities presented themselves this year and I was ready with camera in hand, from picturesque Nissan shows (where my Z happened to take first place) to the British Motor Show, Australian Motor Show and Seattle Motorcycle Show. Other than cars (and bikes) I also managed to capture a lot of Sydney and take advantage of Danielle’s connections to shoot a private tour of the Ballard Fishermans’ Terminal. Next year I’m hoping to take better advantage of local Seattle places and events, and hopefully still fit in photos of a few exotic locales, as well. I’ve also got a renewed energy for my Z and the Nissan team, and I’m excited for another summer season with them (where hopefully I’ll be in Seattle for some of it). 😉

I lost 25 pounds in the first 3 months of 2008 and got back to size 34 jeans, a feat which I credit to a lot of determination on my part, a lot of protein shakes, and my excellent trainer Austin. I’m in better shape at 30 than I’ve been my whole life, and the spoils of victory have been sweet. I tackled wakeboarding this summer with Sean and Julia with more success than I’ve ever had learning a sport. I sold all my “fat jeans” on ebay and put the proceeds towards new designer ones, including a few from overseas shopping ventures. It’s been fun buying new, slimmer clothes, but even more fun having more energy and feeling healthier.
I turned 30! Yes, it’s just another celebration based on an arbitrary round number, but my parents, grandparents and friends all gathered to help me ring it in, and that’s what made it a milestone. The calendar says I’m officially a grown-up and in many ways I feel appropriately like one, but in others I feel as young as ever and as wide-eyed about the possibilities ahead of me as I’ve always been. Life continues to be good to me and despite small challenges I can honestly say my soul is very happy inside this body, following this path, living this life, and I think anytime you can say that you should consider yourself a success.

Sydney with a little less sunshine

Because it’s free and a good way to pass the time, I spent another day wandering around the city with my camera. Sarah met me for breakfast at the Museum of Contemporary Art cafe and toured me around the financial district a bit, helping me pick out some sweet museum postcards and a print of this iconic Max Dupain photo that’s going to look great on my wall:

It was a bit overcast again today, which is why we chose not to visit the zoo – apparently the animals are shy and difficult to spot when the weather is less than sunny. It seems Aussie animals are as spoiled by their sunny climate as the people are. 😉 After breakfast she caught her ferry home, and I headed to St James’ Park and on to St Mary’s Cathedral, camera in hand. St James Park had this great fountain:

and St Mary’s was massive, ornate and very inspiring:

All weekend in Darling Harbour there’s been a “fiesta” going on, with latin dance exhibitions, salsa lessons, and a floating “dance shell” stage tied up in the harbour, which explains the fireworks last night:

I walked through it on the way home this afternoon, catching the Brazilian moves of Latin Dance Australia and took some shots of the dancers on stage and some of the enthusiastic crowd members.

These have all been added to the Sydney Gallery, along with a few stray ones from my pocket camera and/or phone. Enjoy!

First weekend in Sydney

Since I’m still waking up about 5 hours before I need to be at work, I’ve had time in the mornings for a leisurely breakfast and posting some photos I took during my first weekend exploring Sydney. It’s a beautiful city, polished and modern but with the occasional bit of history tucked in the corners. I’m very impressed so far, and combined with the sunny climate it’s definitely a place I could spend a lot more time.

Saturday I walked around Darling Harbour, my neighborhood for the next two weeks, exploring the waterfront and marina in between afternoon naps. Sunday I caught a ferry to Circular Quay, on the east side of Sydney City proper, which took me under the Sydney Harbour Bridge (aka “the coat hangar”) and past the iconic Sydney Opera House. I walked down the plaza to get up close and personal with Australia’s most famous building, and then through the Royal Botanic Gardens and briefly into The Rocks, Sydney’s historic neighborhood. The light haze in the sky had cleared by my afternoon cruise home and I caught an even better water-side view of the Opera House, which is a stunning structure both up close and from across the harbour.

I’ll keep posting more photos in here, but what I’ve got so far is uploaded for your vicarious-living pleasure:

Click here for the gallery

Monday I spent at work (obvs) which was great in its own right, as my mates in the office are a bonza crew, and set me up well for my visit. The office is in a building owned by Nokia with a sweeping view of the harbour from the top floor cafe, the walls of which are covered with Nokia promo posters and oversized mockup phones. The coffee there is excellent, and has been everywhere I’ve tried it – the Aussies definitely know good coffee.

Speaking of coffee, it’s 6:30 Tuesday morning here (I know, it’s so strange) and I need to work out, get dressed and head out into Pyrmont to find breakfast and coffee myself. So enjoy the pics!