After Seattle Center, the next stop on our agenda was Pike Place Farmers Market. This is another iconic Seattle site, best known for flying fish and the original Starbucks. It’s popular among locals and tourists alike, and so you can imagine that it’s very busy, packed with people.
Trying to find parking was a nightmare. With some patience and luck, we were fortunate to find a space that wasn’t too expensive and was within a reasonable walk. Once we were at the market, the crowds were so thick it was hard to get around, and it was a constant battle to not get separated from each other.
We had a list of places that we wanted to visit. We didn’t get to most of them because there were long lines just about everywhere. We did eat some delicious cheesecake. We saw some fish being thrown, which was a highlight (I really wanted to catch one, but I didn’t want to smell like fish the rest of the day). We bought some colorful local flowers.
Pike Place turned out to be both fun and disappointing. We had a good time at times, but it was overly crowded, and not a good place to take four young kids because of that. We didn’t get to experience everything we wanted, things that my wife and I had talked about for weeks leading up to this trip, but what we did get to experience was enjoyable.
As far as photography, this is a great place for street-type pictures. The biggest issue is that it’s been photographed so much, trying to capture something that hasn’t been done before by hundreds of other people is a near impossible task. Also, I noticed that many of the vendors have signs prohibiting photography, which brings up legal and ethical questions. Still, I enjoyed making exposures at Pike Place and the X100F was a great camera for this location.
Next, we went to the Ballard Locks, which are also known as the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks. This is where boats get lowered into the salty sea water from the fresh lake water or vice versa. The Puget Sound connects to Lake Union (which connects to Lake Washington) through Salmon Bay, which is where the Ballard Locks are located. The lake level is a little higher than the ocean, and the locks allow boats to go back and forth.
We arrived right at sunset, and the light for photography quickly disappeared. We didn’t stay very long, but we did get to see one boat go through the locks. It was the wrong time of year to watch the salmon (something this place is known for), but other sea life was active. It was an interesting stop and the kids had a good time.
We ended our downtown Seattle adventure with dinner in the Ballard neighborhood. There’s a small-city-downtown area (that’s how I would describe it) with shops and restaurants. It was well after dark. Parking was terrible (had to circle the area a few times), but we found coffee and pizza that were both excellent. It was a good way to end a great day.
I exhausted the battery on the X100F for the first time, but I had a spare in my pocket. I was pretty much done taking pictures, so I only made a few exposures on the backup battery. I had my wide-angle conversion lens with me, but didn’t use it. All of these pictures are camera-made JPEGs using my Acros Push Process Film Simulation recipe, my Velvia Film Simulation recipe and my Classic Chrome Film Simulation recipe.