A Commute Across the Duwamish

135s are usually categorized as portrait lenses for studio work, but if you take one to the streets, the subjects are as sharp as the schedules they keep. On an assignment for Sony Mirrorless Pro, I shot the morning commute across the Duwamish river.

Sigma 135 attached to an a7R.

Like the commuters, I cross it at least once every ride. The Duwamish is an industrialized estuary and Seattle’s only river. It’s estimated that less than 1/2 of Seattleites know the river exists or that it’s on the Superfund list.

Best known for the tech companies here, the tides of the Duwamish are a reminder that Seattle is really a port town and a hub of trade since the gold rush.

Be it gold, bits, or groceries delivered in an hour, Seattle has always boomed and busted. I don’t think I’ll see a bust again, been through 2 in my time here, but will photograph the industrial side of Seattle before it’s gentrified into condos and office buildings.

Deep in a 5-billion-dollar boom, the commuters rushed across the bridge to work and the construction cranes downtown, while tugs pushed freight along the Duwamish River and people fished for chum salmon at the port.

There’s a blue-collar essence to Seattle lost in the hum of tech like Amazon, jets at Boeing Field, and the smell of Starbuck’s coffee with whiffs of pungent cannabis grows.

Sigma 135: at the Port of Seattle.

I rode the Tern GSD and true to its name, it helped me get shit done, like a photo shoot.

Sigma 135: on the Spokane Street Bridge.
Sigma 135: with a pint at Naked City.
Sigma 135: on the bike path.
Sigma 135: fishing at the Port of Seattle.
Sigma 135: crossing the Duwamish.
Sigma 135: tugs pushing freight.
Sigma 135: train drawbridge.
Sigma 135: bike share.
Sigma 135: Concrete plant.

Read more about this morning commute shoot on Medium or Sony Mirrorless Pro, and I’ll have a full review of the Tern GSD soon.