Super Conflicted

The uncomfortable boosterism in media.

The uncomfortable boosterism in media.

Two summers ago, I was on my feet at Safeco Field only because it was the only way to see. As Felix Hernandez was putting the finishing touches on a perfect game on Aug. 15, 2012, the woman next to me began to weep. Her boyfriend turned to me and said, in a concerned tone, “It’s OK to look happy about this.”

But I struggled with that sentiment, as I did last night, after returning home from watching the Super Bowl with my parents. “Congratulations!” said a friend, who watched the game with my wife. I felt odd about not brightening up, but not as odd as I would have felt fist-bumping my friend over my hometown Seahawks’ 43-8 victory over the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XVLIII.
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Exposed: Japantown

Exposed: Japan: The Art of Manju won the Food category

Exposed: Japan: The Art of Manju won the Food category

When I first heard about the Exposed: Japantown photo contest, I was determined to win it. Which is an irrational goal, since no one can control the judge’s tastes, the competition’s skill level, or one’s own luck.

Still, Seattle’s Japantown is the spiritual center of my background and being, and its revival has been spearheaded by my longtime friend (and former NYC roomie), Binko Bisbee and her husband John, whose shop, KOBO at Higo has become the area’s center of culture and commerce. Plus the central goal of the contest, to expose and promote the area, spoke loudly to me. Marshaling the means to produce meaningful images of a place so important to me also would represent another milestone in my journey as a photographer, it still being in its early stages.
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Treats from the Olympic Peninsula

The marina in Port Townsend, Wash., at sunset.

The marina in Port Townsend, Wash., at sunset.

I keep kicking myself because I waited until about nine months ago to care about exploring my own backyard (again). As I have, I keep realizing that I’ve been to all these places before — with my Mom and Dad or the Boy Scouts — and looked at things differently. Nowadays, I see things in terms of scenes. This lead photo is an example: I “saw” it after my wife Florangela and I disembarked a cruise to Protection Island. She patiently waited as I set up, then shot some long exposures (10-stop, neutral density) to coax out some glassiness and reflection in the water. This one came in at 20 seconds at f22.
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