TIAA #32: “A Gleam of Golden Light”

Tosin’s Images & Anecdotes (TIAA) is my self-assigned photography challenge of 2022. The immediate objective is to select one image from my inventory (a cityscape, landscape, portrait, oddity, etc.) each week and write something about it. This “something” could be the story behind the photo, a triggered memory in relation to the photo, or simply a reaction or reflection based on the subject matter featured. The long-term objective is to encourage myself to add more content to “La Vue Atypique”, which celebrates its first decade in publication this year.

"Bound(less)" / Route 99 / Seattle, Washington, USA / August 12, 2022
“A Gleam of Golden Light” / Route 99 / Seattle, Washington, USA / August 12, 2022

What can I say about the photograph above?

Let’s see. I’m using the latter half of 2022 to resuscitate my timelapse photography as I wasn’t really motivated to invest the much needed time to execute each instance prior to July. If you engage in timelapses, then you know how massively time-consuming they can be when you’re on location. Lately, I have packed magazines and other reading material to peruse while Alpharetta (my Sony Alpha a6000 travel camera dedicated to exclusively executing timelapses) captures different scenes around the Emerald City. I’m usually shooting 20 photos a minute for anywhere between 90 minutes and two hours in one spot.

This week’s entry for the TIAA challenge features a cellphone image that I captured before I started recording the timelapse with Alpharetta. If I find a scene very moving or expressive, I will use my cellphone to take a quick picture and share it with my friends, which was precisely the case with this specific photo.

Recalling my “lone wolf” roots, I think I really liked the sole white car in the bottom center of the frame entering the urban landscape that is the Seattle waterfront via the relatively new underground tunnel of Route 99. This highway takes vehicles directly beneath downtown for roughly two miles (3.2 km). One takes this tunnel to completely bypass the downtown neighborhood of Seattle. However, if you’re approaching from the south side, as this car was, you’ll be greeted by this splendid view for less than a minute before you drive below all of it. This image was captured right before the sun descended behind the Olympic Mountains to the west of the city. For a few minutes before the sun’s final scene of the day, the entire downtown skyline gleams in golden light. One needs to be in the proper location to capture the ambiance quickly before the gleam is gone. It’s a much shorter show than most realize.

I could not really conjure up a fitting title for this photo. As I type this article, the following titles have been swirling through my psyche: “Bound”; “Bound(less”); “Adventure Highway”; “Never Stay in Your Lane”; “Parallel Paths”; etc. Alas, after I typed the previous paragraph, I recognized a suitable title.

On a more personal note, I suppose the photograph reminds me of my adventure to the American west coast, thus abandoning ad infinitum — with absolutely no regrets — my abominable life in Washington, D.C. (Never has there ever been a more beautiful moratorium for a particular chapter of my life. I wonder how I could create or illustrate this sentiment via photography). I was never certain that I would find a “life” in Seattle. I just remember that I was more than ready to take the risk and observe the result. That was in 2007.

Again, absolutely no regrets.

Nevertheless, the adventure never ends. Wherever I am with my cameras, that’s where the adventure persists. Everyone’s life is his, her, or their unique adventure, endemic to the individual. Everyone has a moment in that white car during the adventure — with a vision or preconception of what might lie ahead, but still not quite certain of everything entailed once you enter the tunnel. You can then reflect in retrospect once you exit from the other side — but the adventure continues, always.


33 articles down for the TIAA challenge. 19 remain!

One Comment Add yours

  1. Kirk. says:

    Very poetic entry either the tunnel asm adventure and where it leads! Nice image as always!

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