Favorite Images of 2019!

I’m finally writing a new blog post after a long hiatus – it’s good to be back!  I’ve been very busy with photo assignments and teaching the last few years, and my photo adventures have taken me across the US, and to Asia, Mexico and Europe. Posting to social media has taken a back seat.  But as I sit in my office looking out at the fresh Seattle snowfall, I thought it would be fun to share a few of my favorite shots from 2019. 

So here is a massive photo post – yes I pared these down from a list of 66 so it could be longer….

This past spring I was able to spend some time shooting The Oculus among other awesome New York buildings. For me, New York City is photo heaven, every block is full of interesting angles, light and street life. I also had fun testing my new Ricoh GR II camera which I used along with my trusty Fuji X kit.

Beautiful photo of the Oculus in New York
People walking by The Oculus in New York
The Oculus
Nighttime photograph of Upper Manhattan
Uptown Manhattan from the One World Trade Center
The Vessel and skyscrapers at Hudson Yards in New York
Hudson Yards
Falafel stand in the rain with taxis in New York near Central Park
Falafel stand in a heavy rainstorm

Architecture images for clients.

Home designed by Syndicate Smith Leavenworth, WA
Home designed by Lane Williams Architects, Seattle, WA
Home designed by Click Architects, Seattle, WA
Tacoma Museum of Glass
Tacoma Museum of Glass

We had a really fun and relaxing trip to Singapore and Bali. Two amazing but very different places, mystical Bali really won us over.

Rice fields at sunrise, Canggu, Bali
Rice fields in Canggu
Monkey mother and baby in Bali Sacred Monkey Forest
Sacred Monkey Forest
Surfers and waves at sunset in Bali near Canggu
Surfer on wave near Uluwatu Bali
Bali is surfing paradise
Kecak fire dancers in Ubud, Bali
Kecak Fire Dance – sample audio
Hindu priest ringing bell at a temple in Bali
Tirta Empul Temple Hindu Priest

Another year with beautiful celestial events + summer camping trips in the wild areas of Washington State.

January 2019 lunar eclipse as seen from Seattle, WA USA
Lunar Eclipse
Burned tree at Alta Lake State Park, WA USA
Burned Tree Portrait, Alta Lake
Puget sound view at Larrabee State Park in Washington State
Larrabee State Park

It was very loud when I shot these images + 80 mph winds under the helicopter!

Erickson Air Crane
Air Crane
Worker using a cutting torch to cut steel on a barge
Cutting torch
Grumman P-47D Thunderbolt aircraft in flight, Everett, WA USA
P-47D Thunderbolt

Some of my favorite “people” shots, the first one is my awesome niece posing as a construction boss.

Construction site, child posing as boss with hard hat
“The Boss” on a Westerbeck Architecture project
Ballet dancer and baby
Laura Tisserand – Pacific Northwest Ballet
TTV photography portrait
TTV Portrait
Canoe journey Suquamish, WA USA
Suquamish Canoe Journey Hosting
Beautiful woman in the Fremont Solstice Parade
Fremont Solstice Parade
Mike Kunnen of Seattle Historic Window using a planer
Mike of Seattle Historic Window Company for Seattle Met

And a few of Seattle, my beautiful home base in the Pacific Northwest

Sunset, airplane and Mount Rainier as seen from Elliott Bay in Seattle, WA USA
Mount Rainier from Elliott Bay
Terminal 86 grain elevator and ship at sunset
Terminal 86 Grain Elevator
Ballard Locks, interior view
Inside the Ballard Locks during repair work
Downtown seattle as seen from the now demolished Highway 99 viaduct
View of downtown Seattle from the recently demolished Highway 99 Viaduct
The great Seattle wheel at night with colorful lights
Unusual view of the Seattle Great Wheel

Solar Eclipse – Prineville, Oregon

It has been a while since I last blogged but I’m excited to tell the story of our solar eclipse experience!  We packed four adults and our dog into a Honda Fit and journeyed to the rural town of Prineville, Oregon for the chance to experience the total eclipse.  Heeding the dire warnings of gas and food shortages we filled our tank every chance we got and brought 4 days worth of planned meals in a big cooler.  As it turned out, we experienced no shortages of anything and there wasn’t even a single traffic backup along the way.

By now I’m sure you’ve heard many accounts of this eclipse, and millions of people saw it first hand.  It certainly was an amazing and epic experience that exceeded my expectations, but to me it was also a bit scary and surreal.  It wasn’t just that it got dark – it was the sudden darkness that took place at the start of totality that was such a shock, and it got much colder!  Seeing the sun as a little ring of light in the sky was beautiful and all around the horizon it looked like a sunset.

I brought my camera and a big lens but I didn’t make any serious plans for taking photos – I didn’t want it to distract from the experience, plus it was my son’s 16th birthday trip.  But once I saw the eclipse in the sky I had to shoot!  Luckily I was able to get a couple of stunning images.  I also filmed an impromptu video and we did a time-lapse of the darkness coming and going.

These first 3 images capture the beginning of the darkness.  In the first you can see the sky in the distance above the cars is still evenly lit.  The second photo shows the shadow of the moon falling on that area, my wife is pointing.  I think the shadow was moving at about 4000 MPH across the earth.  I adjusted the third photo to show the actual illumination at the time, about 2 minutes before totality.  The light was also a strange color, it seemed greenish.  Please scroll down to see the rest of the photos and story.

Here are my two best photos, the first is during totality showing the spectacular corona.  In this shot you can also see Mercury in the bottom left of the frame (white spec).  Mars was in the top right area but not visible here.  For the record – all of the following images were not retouched in any way, the colors are neutral as well.

I was able to also capture one good image during “third contact” as the sun peeked back out around the moon.  You can also see a solar prominence flaring up above where the sun is reappearing.

Here is the video of the mayhem during the eclipse.  I just filmed for a few seconds and then dropped the camera so I could take photos.  Notice right after I set the camera down you can see Mercury and a passenger jet up in the sky.  The jet looked awesome near the eclipse!

Eclipse-Film-082117-4338 from Will Austin Photography on Vimeo.


This is the time-lapse showing the light change over about an hour –

solar-eclipse-prineville-082117-4317-3 from Will Austin Photography on Vimeo.


And there is more!  Here is a shot of another eclipse in May of 2012.  I shot this inadvertently while working on a location shoot in Colorado.  I noticed the sky got dark very quickly and took this image.  You can just see the partially eclipsed sun through the clouds just before sunset.

Solar eclipse May 20th, 2012 from Ellicott, Colorado

My shot of the total lunar eclipse from September, 2015 with an airplane flying through the frame.

Lunar eclipse with airplane lights, September 2014 Bellevue, WA USA

The strange summer of 2017 continued with the Seattle area with most of the Pacific Northwest blanketed in forest fire smoke.  The news has been dominated by the devastating hurricanes in the southern US but much of the forested western part of the country is on fire as well.

One day it was so gloomy I was able to take a shot of the sun without a filter, you can even see the sun spots!  And another shot with a fir tree silhouette.

Sun photographed through forest fire smoke showing sun spots by Will Austin Photography

Sun and Douglas Fir tree photographed through forest fire smoke - Will Austin Photography

The moon was dark red even when full.  I stayed up late to get these shots but the moon eventually disappeared entirely.

Full moon through forest fire smoke photograph by Will Austin Photography

This one was taken at higher magnification with a Nikon 1 V1 and FT-1 adapter on a Nikkor 200-500mm lens.

Partial moon photograph by Will Austin Photography

Such a long post, thanks for reading!  I also suggest you read Annie Dillard’s 1982 essay on her eclipse experience.


Architectural Photography Workshop

I’m very excited to be teaching my new workshop – “Introduction to Architectural Photography” at the Photographic Center Northwest this weekend.  There are still a couple of spots open, sign up now to learn how to capture stunning images of architecture!

Will Austin architecture photograpy workshop seattle

APR 22-23 | SAT & SUN

Instructor: Will Austin
April 22 – 23, 2017 | Saturday 3:00-8:30pm & Sunday 12:30-5:30pm
$350 (Members Receive 10% Discount with Code)

Level: Introductory – Advanced
Prerequisites: Proficient working knowledge of camera operations and digital image editing required.

Join architecture and location photographer Will Austin for this two-day workshop exploring the art and craft of capturing the built environment. We will cover the full process of capturing and creating professional quality architecture images. Topics include: pre-shoot preparation, legal considerations, equipment needs and shooting techniques, camera capture settings, composition and staging, weather considerations and natural light, existing and supplementary lighting, different solutions for lighting interiors, shooting “creative” images, and workflow/post production.

The first day we will view example images and discuss the techniques employed in their capture. We will also shoot on location, both interior and exterior. The second day will include the workflow and post-production techniques where we will use raw images to create our final, retouched image.

Smitty’s Market Barbecue, Lockhart, TX

Wow it has been a long time since I last blogged!  So much has been going on and I just felt like taking a break.  But I am getting back-logged with projects I want to share, so I’m revving back up, here we go…..

First up are some images I took at BBQ mecca Smitty’s Market in “The Barbeque Capital of Texas.”  We made a quick stop there on way from East Texas to South Texas and it was so amazing we just couldn’t leave.  The employees and owner said “take all the photos you want” and I had a blast.  The longer I shot the hungrier we got, so we finished off the visit with a feast.  Of course the food and hospitality were outstanding!  My son says “that is the best food I’ve ever had” and he wears his Smitty’s t-shirt proudly.  Thanks also for inspiration from esteemed photographer Wyatt McSpadden who introduced me to Texas barbeque history via his wonderful Texas BBQ book.

Smitty's Market Barbecue in Lockhart, Texas photo by Will Austin

Smitty's Market Barbecue Exterior in Lockhart, Texas photo by Will Austin

This is an old border I added from a scanned antique print, thought it was fitting!

ParentMap Superheroes

The new ParentMap “Superheroes for Washington Kids and Families” issue is out on newsstands!  And here is the Superheroes article on the ParentMap website.

It was such a pleasure working with the wonderful ParentMap staff on this big project – you are my Superheroes!

Bike Works kids photographed for ParentMap Magazine by Will Austin

Here are a few sample pages, there are many more in this article.

Clarence Acox Jr. and Jacob Zimmerman photographed for ParentMap Magazine by Will Austin

Ana Mari Cauce photographed for ParentMap Magazine by Will Austin

Marla Smith-Nilson of Water 1st International, ParentMap Magazine by Will Austin

Studio Photography – Star Wars Edition

Photographed a light saber armed Jedi have I, and the Force was strong in this one….

Jedi master Shaye Whitmer visited my SODO studio for a ParentMap magazine article shoot.  It was difficult to capture the glow from the sabers but, like all Jedi, Shaye was very patient.  And get this – he makes these amazing sabers and uniforms from scratch.

Shaye teaches science and art at Shoreline’s Evergreen School and holds several great summer Jedi camps where kids build light sabers (can I go?).

May the Force be with you!

Jedi Knight Shaye Whitmer photographed by Will Austin for ParentMap magazine

Ex’s With Benefits Video

A quick post from the road to announce today’s release of a music video that I directed – “Hey You” from Ex’s with Benefits’ debut album Bad Hotel.  It was really fun to work in the video realm and with everyone on this project, including videographer Jonathan Ross and editor Benjamin Staub.  And of course a big thank you to Ex’s With Benefits for including me in this great project!



Axiom Design Build in Seattle Met Magazine

It is always exciting to see a client’s work published, but I was especially pleased to see Axiom Design Build featured in the April, 2015 edition of Seattle Met!  I’ve been photographing Axiom’s outstanding work since 2007, totaling almost 40 shoots now.  This article is in the Beer Issue (bonus!) and features a great remodel project of a midcentury home in Seattle’s Magnolia neighborhood.  Click here to read the article on the Seattle Met website.

And to see more of their great work check out the photo portfolios on Axiom’s site.

Seattle Met article, photography by Will Austin

ParentMap Magazine Superheroes 2015

I just realized that this is the 8th year I’ve shot the ParentMap Superheroes for Washington Families feature.  This is one of my most fun and rewarding jobs.  The staff at ParentMap are like family to me and it is always an honor to meet these Superheroes who make such a difference in the lives of so many youth!

Here is the story link – 2015 ParentMap Superheroes

This is Deputy Superintendent of Tacoma Public Schools Josh Garcia and his kids.  From the article –

“Josh Garcia is changing the way schools view success. When he became deputy superintendent of Tacoma Public Schools (the state’s third-largest school district, serving 30,000 students) in 2012, he started a conversation with parents, teachers and the community about what they thought was essential in a child’s schooling and overall growth.

Garcia went on to reshape the district’s accountability system. Usually, districts measure their success by attendance, test scores and graduation rates; Tacoma’s system considers a much wider range of indicators. With the new system in place, Tacoma has already seen positive results — in the past two years, the district has experienced increased enrollment in pre–K programs, graduation rates have improved by over 20 percent, and the number of high school students taking college-level courses has almost doubled.”

Josh Garcia of of Tacoma Public Schools.


Seahawks “Hawkitecture” Prints

Hello, just a quick post to let you know I have a few of my “Hawkitecture” images from the Seattle Seahawk’s Super Bowl run(s) available as prints.  It has been difficult to fulfill the numerous requests for these individually so I made a dedicated print order page.  There are several printing options and I kept the prices as low as possible in order to share the 12 love, GoHawks!!!