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Hello, readers, and happy February 2024!

We are now three months into this blog's fourth year, and as ever, I have been taking photographs, traveling, and enjoying experiences faster than I can write and publish posts about them. 😊

I'm torn between two desires: to spend less time writing, and to spend more time finishing up the 80 some drafts I have lying around. I do, however, know that a few parts of my workflow have really not been working out for me.

Here's how things are going to look going forwards...

Batu Caves

✍️ 🕑 • Tags: Malaysiasacred placesHindu Templesmonkeyscaves • Places: Batu Caves

A visit to Kuala Lumpur, perhaps, is not complete without a visit to the Batu Caves.

These limestone caves, on the city's northern outskirts, are home to a host of Hindu temples.

The first inkling of an idea came in 1890 when Tamil trader K. Thamboosamy Pillai noted that the cave's entrance resembled the vel, the sacred spear of the god Murugan.

Today, that very same cave entrance is home to a 272 step concrete staircase, and a towering 140 ft tall statue of Murugan.



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A 2023 Autumnal Odyssey

✍️ 🕑 October 13-15, 2023 • Series: Steve in Seattle • Tags: fall foliageState/Provincial Parkshaunted housescorn mazesantiques • Places: Buckley, WA Flaming Geyser State Park Centralia, WA The Huntting's Pumpkin Patch and Haunted Forest

My desire to go out of town, to explore, and to get up to something fun is, perhaps, rivalled only by Chelsea's.

After I finally finalized plans to be away for the first week of October visiting Northern California and Southern Oregon (mostly solo), and to be away later in the month for a wedding and an eye exam, Chelsea had some travel plans of her own (with me).

The goal: haunted houses and corn mazes.

Looping Lake Quinault

✍️ 🕑 • Tags: Olympic National Parkrainforestswaterfallslakesloggingdreary daysWashington State • Places: Kestner Homestead


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During my 2019 visit to the Olympic Peninsula, I passed by the Quinault Rainforest, in the dark, without stopping.

2023 would be different.

I would not pass up the opportunity to be transfixed by the beauty of Lake Quinault, the luscious rainforest, and everything I could easily see along the Lake Quinault loop, a scenic 30 mile drive just off Highway 101.


Shooting Svema 64 at Dusk

Slowing Down in Capitol Hill & West Seattle

✍️ 🕑 Mid-February 2023 • Series: Steve in Seattle • Tags: film photographyblack and white photographyslow film • Places: Emma Schmitz Memorial Overlook Cal Anderson Park

Around when I decided to sign up for time class last February, I decided I was going to try to shoot some lower ISO film. By this, I mean, film that is less sensitive to light, or, film that requires slower shutter speeds in order to get a similar final exposure.

I actually purchased a few rolls, which I will gradually get around to shooting. This one is Svema 64, which is actually one of the faster (and probably more sensible) slow rolls that I picked up.

Svema was a large film producer for the Soviet Union. After the fall of the Soviet Union, their Ukraine-based equipment was picked up by another company, Astrum. Their films seem to be in short supply these days, and I wish them the best considering the ongoing war. Mine was a roll of 24, cut from a bulk roll by the Film Photography Project.

I loaded it in the Ricoh 35 ZF, a fixed lens viewfinder camera. Mine has a broken meter, so exposure is done fully manually.

My main goal was to try getting some longer exposures by the Puget Sound, but I started out with a few snaps in Capitol Hill, starting on 15th Ave. I used a cable release and a mini tripod.



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(Some of these scans are a bit half-assed. Please, forgive me. 😆)

A Weekend 'Round Mt. St. Helens

✍️ 🕑 September 9-10, 2023 • Series: Steve in Seattle

I booked a "two bedroom suite" off Airbnb near Mt. St. Helens for a visit with my parents in June.

Then, I got sick with mononucleosis.

The booking was non-refundable, so I rescheduled it for September. (The months in between had minimum stays of > 1 night, and I was not about to potentially double my loss.)

By the time September was rolling in, things seemed bright. My friend Jim from Milwaukee was planning to visit. The three of us could hit up the volcano, and the extra bed wouldn't go to waste.

Our final plans were a bit tumultuous, but the trip was fun, and the volcano, of course, is amazing.

Bumpass Hell

✍️ 🕑 • Tags: geothermal featuresLassen Volcanic National Parkslide film • Places: Bumpass Hell

Lassen Volcanic National Park is (per the brochures) home to the largest geothermal activity west of Yellowstone in North America. Some of these spots are unfortunately in an area of the park that was heavily damaged by wildfires two years ago, and are currently closed to visitors. However, Bumpass Hell, the park's most famous geothermal area is open, accessible, and well worth a visit.


This boulder, found by the parking lot, is one of many that arrived here when Mt. Lassen erupted in 1915.
This boulder, found by the parking lot, is one of many that arrived here when Mt. Lassen erupted in 1915. open_in_full   info