A Photo Shoot: The Seattle Great Wheel

My photo shoot this week took me to downtown Seattle. It  occurred to me that I had not done a photo shoot in downtown for a couple of years and the last time would have been before the Seattle Great Wheel (ferris wheel) had been built at the end of one of the piers along the water front. Some facts: The Seattle Great Wheel was built in less than a year, but its story goes back much further than that. Seattle businessman Hal Griffith had envisioned a Ferris wheel in the city for nearly 30 years, but it wasn’t until he realized he could build one on his own pier that his dream became a reality. The Seattle Great Wheel opened to the public on June 29, 2012. Since then, it has become an icon of the city and a destination for tourists and locals alike. Here are some fun facts about the Seattle Great Wheel:

  • The Seattle Great Wheel is the largest observation wheel on the west coast, standing 175 feet tall.
  • The wheel has 42 fully-enclosed gondolas. Each gondola seats up to eight people, meaning the wheel can hold over 300 passengers at any given time.
  • The wheel was manufactured in various parts of Europe and the United States, and assembled right at the end of the pier.
  • The wheel extends nearly 40 feet beyond the end of the pier, over Elliott Bay.
  • The Seattle Great Wheel is open year round. With fully-enclosed gondolas and a covered waiting area, the rain can’t stop the wheel from spinning!
  • The Wheel weighs 280,300 pounds.
  • 550 tons of concrete were poured to create the foundation for the wheel.

My shots are from the view-point of a photographer/artist, so I always look for unique angles and composition. The first picture is of the city skyline and the beginning of the pier. I framed this shot to highlight the fall colors of the trees against the city back drop. The ferris wheel is at the end of the pier past Miners Landing. Ferris Wheel Skyline Please note, it doesn’t always rain in Seattle…nice sunny day!! The next picture is of the Seattle Great Wheel sitting at the end of the pier!

Seattle Great Wheel

Seattle Great Wheel

The next shots are clearly “artistic” in nature, but I like some of the elements and composition, so I wanted to share the originals before I start playing with them. This one is from beneath the wheel looking up…Ferris Wheel Looking up From the SideThe next one is standing beneath the wheel looking up one of the support structures..

Seattle Great Wheel

Seattle Great Wheel

And the final shot a look at the gondolas……..

Seattle Great Wheel

Seattle Great Wheel

As I work through the shoot and evaluate what I have, some of the shots will find themselves transformed into paintings and black and white photography, while others will stay color photographs. Thoughts? Comments? Please visit my main gallery: TheWalllGallery … and follow my work on my Facebook page – TheWallGallery by Kirt Tisdale. (Page likes are always appreciated!) Thanks!


1 thought on “A Photo Shoot: The Seattle Great Wheel

  1. Pingback: “The Wheel and The Ferry” – Art Print of the Week | thewallgalleryblog

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