These last couple months have been excellent and extremely busy. I’ve been knocking out life goals left and right, and things show no sign of slowing down. I spent the month of September in the Balkans, exploring a part of the world I’ve long been interested in seeing (posts coming soon!). Last weekend I completed my Rescue Diver course and next weekend I start orientation at the Emerald City Pet Rescue where I’ll be volunteering with shelter animals. I’ll also be starting a new job on Nov 1st with the City of Seattle, which I’m super excited about. The weekend before my first day, I’ll be visiting Maggie in Boston for some New England road tripping. AND I’m going back to school to get a certificate in photography!

The program is surprisingly long – one night a week in the classroom for three hours, several weekends on location for photoshoots, for a full school year. I should graduate May 29th, 2018. But it will all be worth it. Once I’ve completed the requirements, I’ll have a certificate from the University of Washington (a school I’ve long dreamed of attending), something that should carry some weight when looking for potential photography jobs in the future.

Our first location shoot is at the Japanese Gardens at the Arboretum. The last time I was here was on a school field trip when I was a kid (I studied Japanese in both elementary and high school). I’m excited to go back and see it as an adult, through the lens of my camera. Admission is $6, or you can pay $75 for a yearly subscription which also allows you afterhours access to the gardens to get all those perfect photos with no people in them. Tempting, but I just don’t know that I’ll come here enough to make it worthwhile.

japanese gardens

I take nearly 500 photos in just over two hours here. Possibly a new record for me. But as you’re about to see, the Japanese Gardens are especially photogenic in the fall. It’s really hard to narrow it down, but one of the lessons we’re learning in this class is photo selection. No time like the present to work on that!

The gardens are popular place for photographers and it’s easy to see why. There are so many colors this time of year, and so many interesting and unique details that appeal to the camera.

It’s also popular with families who come to feed the Koi in the pond (or play in the gravel). Fish food is available for purchase at the gates for $1.

Okay okay. So I didn’t really do a great job of narrowing my photos down. But believe me, this is a lot less than I originally wanted to share. Just look at these colors! It looks like a painting.

The leaves just seem to pop, begging for attention. Alright, I’ll take your picture. Show off.

The Japanese Gardens aren’t very large, it only takes about an hour to see everything. But if you have the time, it’s worth spending a few hours here, soaking up the ambiance. Find a park bench (there are many), sit back and enjoy the people watching.

Another reason I’m excited for this course is that it will should prompt me to¬† photograph my hometown, something I don’t do near enough of. I’ll likely be writing several posts to share these photos over the coming months. I hope you’ll enjoy a look at the greater Seattle area through my camera lens as I work on my photo taking and editing skills.

Silver Falls State Park
Cuba Breakdown and Travel Tips