Even if you have never lived in Seattle, you’re more than likely familiar with some of its primary features that make it stand out as such a unique American city! Yes a good majority of us are coffee addicted (guilty), outdoor clothes like the NorthFace, REI and Patagonia are worn by the vas majority of the patrons, and you will be the weird one for bringing an umbrella on a rainy day.
It’s true that Seattle truly is the rainy city, they average more rain than any major US city, but rain or shine this place comes alive with such a unique culture, music scene, architecture, and the list goes on and on! There’s something for everyone in the area, if you’re an outdoorsman Seattle sits smack dab in the middle of several national parks including Olympic National Park and and the Mt Rainier National Park. If you’e more into the city life they’ve got some of the best restaurants and cafes around the PNW, a vibrant music scene (this is where Grunge started after all), and a youthful vibe from a unique cultural blend of people!
After having lived in the Seattle for a couple months while I got into photography for the first time I took it upon myself to explore the ups and downs, highs and lows of the Emerald City and attempted to showcase it in all of its overcast and grungy glory! I teamed up with talented Seattle photographer Kyle Bowman (you can find him on IG @kyle.r_bowman) to bring you this selected gallery. From city spots to nearby nature right outside of city limits, grab your raincoat and your coffee and please join me for 10 of our favorite spots for photography in a city so chalk full of them that many people don’t even know where to start!
1) Dr jose rizal bridge
An excellent spot for an overlook of the many Interstate roads that pass through Seattle, the perfect place for some long exposure light trails if you brought a tripod!
2) Kerry park
Widely known around Seattle as one of the best overlook of the city (well best free overlook). Come for sunrise on a clear night and you will receive a picturesque view of Mt Rainier gleaming in the background behind the Seattle skyline and harbor, doesn’t get much better!
3) Space needle
We all know that this one was coming, the famous Space Needle, the city’s most iconic architectural piece that offers plenty of great views for your photography, try it in the early morning for best results!
4) edmonds beach
Alki gets a lot of the exposure as Seattle’s most popular beach, but the nearby Edmonds beach offers photographers some stellar shot opportunities with less of a crowd to work around!
5) snoqualmie falls
Just outside the city (about a solid 45 minute drive East) lies the mighty Snoqualmie Falls. These thundering falls offer upper and lower views without the need for a hike to get to them. It’s not recommended but for a picture from the location seen in the picture you must crawl down the fence from the end of the boardwalk on the lefthand side of the lower falls. Just watch your step as both the railing and the rocks can be rather slick, otherwise the view from this vantage point is the best way to get up close and personal with this behemoth of a waterfall.
6) Mount si
About 1 hour drive from Seattle is the ever-popular hike to Mount Si. A strenuous 5 mile out and back hike with a decent amount of elevation gain up switchbacks to the top. At the peak you are rewarded with a sweeping 360 view of the entire landscape including; Mount Rainier, Seattle, North Bend, and the surrounding Cascade Mountain Range.
7) rattlesnake ledge
Quite possibly the most well travelled hike in the state of Washington is still a real gem, and with it only being about 3-4 miles with only a small amount of elevation gain it’s a trek for all hiking abilities with great views of Rattlesnake Lake below as well as the surrounding mountains. For an even better vantage point at the very end before you reach the Rattlesnake Ledge itself as pictures above, take the left at the fork in the trail up the quick escalation trail, there will be less people and an even higher up viewpoint! Astrophotography is popular on clear night’s out here, as photographers can be found most days of the week here at all hours!
8) University of washington campus
One of the more beautiful campuses I’ve ever visited, UW combines a youthful vibe with rustic and historical buildings in a setting that’s ideal for photographers who enjoy interesting architecture! “Hogwarts” library is a clear favorite as seen above, as well as the Cherry Blossoms during certain seasons which line the main walkways beautifully.
9) Pikes place market
Because what trip to Seattle is complete without a visit to the world famous Pike’s Place Market? It combines a great combination of small shops, cheerful cafes, flying fish (you’ll know what I mean once you visit), and the world’s first Starbucks! Street photography galore here, but beware it does close down relatively early.
10) gas works park
A close walk from UW campus within the same district would be this unique park, with its “gas pipes” lining the green hills and its sweeping views of the skyline its hard NOT to find a good photography opportunity here!
That wraps up our list of amazing photography spots around the Emerald City hope you guys enjoyed it and manage to get a new spot or two to check out off of this! A huge thank you to photographer Kyle Bowman once again, you can check out the rest of his work on Instagram with @kyle.r_bowman. Remember to like/share/comment as always, thank you for reading!