View Full Version : Awww,Man, I Have To Move To Seattle.....

william linne
10-May-2007, 17:13
I'm used to living in the Bay area, where I can use SFAI darkrooms for 10/hr and print color or black and white and process my b&w film there for $5 per session, as many rolls/sheets as I want. I get my 8x10 and 4x5 color neg film processed cheaply and quickly by Oscars and my transparencies by NewLab. They also have 8x10 enlargers at SFAI so I can print color or b&w in that size. I can run over to Calumet if I am desperate for something and can't wait for B&H.

How will Seattle compare? What will I be giving up? Does anyone live there that can help me by answering these questions? I'm not real thrilled about the move.



Colin Graham
10-May-2007, 17:47
Bummer. I lived there about four years ago and at the time Glazer's was a decently stocked store. Plenty of gear, film and darkroom supplies, not sure how it is now. Also, there were a few darkroom rental facilities iirc. There is a pretty good lab over in Fremont but I can't remember the name just now. Seattle was a great town when I first moved there and could be again if they could tackle some infrastructure issues. It is certainly gorgeous. Sorry I know this isn't much help but I'm sure others will chime in. Good luck with the move.

David Karp
10-May-2007, 18:00
I was in Seattle a few months ago visiting relatives. I dropped by Glazers because I needed to buy some film. It was well stocked with film of all types. It seemed like a really nice old school camera store.

Can't help on the rental darkrooms.

Doug Dolde
10-May-2007, 19:06
I tried getting through the winter up there three times with no success. Dark, wet, cold, never see the sun for months on end. Love it in summer though. Go out to the Olympic National Park !

Jim Jirka
10-May-2007, 19:35
Glazers Camera is a well stocked store with very smart people to help you out.

Ivey is located next to Glazers for all types of film processing.

I believe the film lab in Fremont ProLab has discontinued film processing.

One good thing, no state income tax. :)

Matthew Runkel
10-May-2007, 20:06
Photographic Center Northwest has rental facilities that you can learn about here (http://pcnw.org/facilities/index.php).

Scott Knowles
11-May-2007, 06:53
Hey, it could have been worse than here (Seattle), like North Dakota. I'll echo the same, Glazer's is the best all around store, and consistently has supplies others don't have. Instead of selling out all the "old school" stuff, they simply moved it across the street where they can focus the main store on the digital system (camera to computer) equipment. It was either adapt to the market or fade away.

I don't know what Ivey charges for 8x10 sheets, but 4x5 are $2.50 each, no matter the film or instructions (push/pull). And they're just next door to Glazer's. I don't know about rental labs except when I hear. As suggested, the PCNW has one and there may be smaller ones around the area and you just have to search. Sadly, ProLab (http://www.prolabwest.com/) went digital commercial accounts only and dropped all consumer services.

Ok, we don't have the Golden Gate Bridge and other stuff to photograph, but we do have a lot more mountains and other things, and they're a lot closer, once you clear the traffic. And we have BC, Oregon and eastern Washington not far away too.

And sorry, about the winters, it's a seasonal thing. You either adapt (aka, get out the winter clothes and rain gear), hibernate, or move to California (kidding).

Benno Jones
11-May-2007, 08:18
Following the lenses I've bought from you?

I also buy most of my (non-mailorder) supplies from Glazer's. A few blocks away there is another store called Optechs, which I haven't been into in a while because they're no longer open on weekends. As well, there's Rainier Photographic Supply, although I've never actually made it in to their store. All three have websites, so you should be able to scope out what they have.

I am a graduate of Photographic Center NW's certificate program, and I can tell you first-hand you probably don't want to rent darkroom space there unless you actually like sharing your chemicals with beginning students who don't know what cross-contamination means. Although they (at least used to) have the only 8x10 enlarger for use that I know of. You need to become a member (about $30 a year I think? I've let mine lapse) before you can rent time there.

I currently rent space from one of the PCNW teachers who has a home darkroom near where I live. There are a number of other rental darkrooms that I've never been to so I can't say anything about. Googling Rental Darkroom Seattle turns up a number of them, as does the www.darkroomsource.net website.

Ivey's is where I take my color film for processing, but I believe they no longer actually print directly from film. I bring them a scan of the negs I want printed and they do a lightjet print. Panda Lab near Seattle Center is great for B&W negatives and printing.

I've lived up here for just over 17 years and while things have changed a lot in that time, there's still plenty of great places to shoot both around the city and around the state. Where else can you drive east 2 hours and shoot in a rainforest and the next weekend drive 3 hours west and shoot in a desert?

Jim Jirka
11-May-2007, 09:21
I think it is drive east to the desert and west to the rainforest. :o

Benno Jones
11-May-2007, 12:35
I think it is drive east to the desert and west to the rainforest. :o

Well, it may take longer than I stated, but you can get to both places in both directions if you really want to... :)

That's what I get for posting before breakfast... :(

Rob Vinnedge
11-May-2007, 12:57
Glazer's Camera is one of the best photo supply stores I've ever used. They have an informed, diversified staff, competitive prices, and is one of Ilford's main distributors for ULF film. Ivey Imaging, which is next door, is the primary commercial photolab in town, with others such as Panda and Moon filling the gaps.

Seattle is a beautiful city surrounded by water, mountains, desert, and forests. Cost of living is higher than most cities but comparable to San Francisco. Transportation needs vast improvement, and housing prices and availability are somewhat discouraging due to the incredible interest in this area. Seattle is alive with restaurants, pubs, coffee shops, bookstores, visual and performing arts, farmer's markets, bike trails, sailing, you name it. It is also within three hours drive from two other wonderful cities, Portland, OR and Vancouver, B.C., as others have mentioned.

Doug must have visited during an unusually bad winter. The weather is generally a lot nicer than most people think. Check the annual weather report for this area.

Paul Metcalf
11-May-2007, 13:23
There's a few pretty good photographers in this area too (e.g. Art Wolf and Bruce Barnbaum). I'll second Glazers and Rainier Photography, I've used both. Optechs is out of the analog photo supply business (the large refridgerator at Glazers is from Optechs). Used to use Ivey a lot, but since doing things at home, haven't passed through their doors in years. It's been a couple of years since I've been to Kenmore Camera, but they still have analog materials. R&K in Auburn (south of Seattle) carrys film (probably up to 4x5 only, though) and some (limited) large format equipment.

Donald Qualls
11-May-2007, 13:57
Don't know if they're still there, but there used to be rental darkrooms at the Good Shepherd Center, near the University District between N 47th and N 50th (it's a former Catholic school, and the playground fronts on N 50th, a few blocks west of I-5). The same location is or was home to Pacific Northwest Ballet, so shouldn't be hard to find...

william linne
11-May-2007, 17:42
I really was hoping the cost of living would be marginally better than SF.

Paul Fitzgerald
11-May-2007, 18:30
" R&K in Auburn (south of Seattle) carrys film (probably up to 4x5 only, though) and some (limited) large format equipment."

Sorry but it was an empty storefront 2 months ago with no forward address.

"I really was hoping the cost of living would be marginally better than SF."

Average rent in Martin Luther King county last month = $1,604.00
Median house price = $465,000
Average of homes and condos = $407,000
gas this afternoon = $3.56.9
cigarettes, same store = $6.35

renting is geting tight with the conversion to condos, it does rain 200 days a year here and we do have about the worst traffic in the nation for no good reason.

I really do hope you're not moving because it's cheaper than SF, it's not.

Colin Graham
11-May-2007, 18:44
I really do hope you're not moving because it's cheaper than SF, it's not.

Yeah, all of western WA is pretty much out of control. Still, it's hard to find a prettier place to live. The diversity of scenery is quite something. I just got back from a trip to the Potholes last month, it's like having another world only a couple hours away.

william linne
11-May-2007, 19:51

Brian C. Miller
11-May-2007, 20:25
Well, it may take longer than I stated, but you can get to both places in both directions if you really want to... :)

That's what I get for posting before breakfast... :(

You need to hook up with me for home-roasted coffee! :) We could have a good road-trip.

Anyways, William, there is cheap rent up here. I pay $465/mo for a one-bedroom apartment, and there are cheaper places available in my neighborhood. You can find bargains if you look for them, but the location may not be perfectly convenient. The buses are pretty decent, and you can get around on a bicycle.

Optechs is all digital now, and has been so for some time. RK went out of business, and Rainier Photographic bought their stock. Incidentally, Rainier is going to have a big sale soon on all that stuff, so check out their web site for the date.

Eric James
12-May-2007, 13:00

Wait, there's more:

When I first moved to Seattle I heard a local yell across the street (down by the King Dome): "We don't F#@$ing jaywalk in Seattle, A$#hole!"

You may also come across members of the Lesser Seattle Society; their slogan is:

"Have a nice day - someplace else!"

12-May-2007, 18:15
Hi William et. al,

Thought I'd chime in too.

Having moved from SF/Marin (paradise) to DC (definitively NOT paradise) a few years ago and having spent a LOT of time in Seattle in both winter and summer and having been there just a few months ago I can tell you you're in for a pleasant surprise if you have not spent much time there.

Traffic-certainly not 'great', however it's all relative. DC actually has the 2nd worse traffic in the country, behind LA. As long as you're not going to/from Bellvue over the bridge during rush hour or through town on I-5 at rush hour it's really not bad at all-no worse than trying to get through the 580 maze onto the bridge into the City during rush hour (and that's before the 'melt') or back over the bridge out of the City or through the Caldecott going East in afternoon. I can spend (literally, NO exageration) 90 minutes to go less than 16 miles during rush hour here-I'd take Seattle 'traffic' ANY day.

Climate-sure it rains, it does the same in the Bay Area. Difference is that it tends to drizzle for days/weeks on end in Seattle whereas in SF/E. Bay we get all our rain in a series of ongoing storms from Nov. to March. Summer's great-sun sets about 22:00, light's great and the weather's usually really nice just like the Bay Area. Sure winter's long and dark but it's like that in a lot of places around the world. Bad thing about winter is that the sun rises about 9:30 and sets about 4ish. And it occasionally snows too.

Rent/Costs of living-about the same as the Bay Area, however it IS less. And where you live will affect your costs. If you live South of the City in places like Tukawilla or Kent it's a lot less. Ballard is in town and it's great-like Alameda twenty years ago. Greenlake, Capitol Hill and West Seattle are not cheap but they're great places to live. Or you can live on one of the islands (Bainbridge, etc.) and take the ferrys. Belltown's overpriced and tragically hip, and crowded.

I'd recommend Glazer's without a moment's hesitation. Like everyone else has mentioned they have two stores; one for lighting, grip and film/chemistry/paper/etc. and the other for everything camera related. When I was there last they had a full range of digital stuff, and film from 35mm to 8x10. They actually had three 8x10s set up.

Can't make any recommendations about labs but the staff at Glazers can tell you where to go.

And i'll second every other post that mentions the incredible physical beauty of the surrounding landscape. I lived the Bay Area for 25 years, Seattle is more beautiful by far.

Let me know where you land there, I'll be curious to hear how you like it.


Robb Scharetg