Photography Scavenger Hunt at Pike Place Market

This urban adventure with the Photography Committee at Pike Place Market included a scavenger hunt for specific photo ops, while getting plenty of walking exercise (including lots of stairs).
Anita Elder Anita Elder
Seattle Photography Committee Chair
July 14, 2017

You don't always need to leave the city to get outside and enjoy the surroundings (while getting some exercise). Last weekend, a group of Mountaineers from the photography committee headed to Pike Place Market for a photo scavenger hunt. It was also an opportunity to check out the new section of the market shortly after it opened to the public.

Our list of things to photograph included:

  1. A fish in mid-air
  2. A reptile stalking the produce
  3. An ant's view of the market
  4. Something gooey
  5. Something that conveys music/sound
  6. A pig that's not Rachel
  7. Something that shows depth of field
  8. Neon lights
  9. A charmed life
  10. Sea creatures that aren't real
  11. A tapestry made of metal

We got there early while the vendors were still setting up shop. This allowed us to explore the new section without crowds of people. This is the first time in 40 years that Pike Place Market has grown the "marketfront." The expansion has a public plaza with views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains. It also has table space for farmers, craftspeople and retail space.

From our scavenger list, we set off to find Billy the piggy bank (item #6 checked off) and to photograph the views of Elliot Bay and the mountains. On the edge of the plaza, we found hanging metal charms that featured names of hundreds of Pike Place donors (checked off #9). Tiled murals allowed us to check off #10 and #11.

The new expansion has multiple levels, so we got our exercise going up and down the many stairs (which was really good exercise for my new knees and prep for my hike to Berkeley Park at Mt. Rainier with its elevation gain).


Next, we headed into the market proper to find other things on our list. By this time, tourists were really starting to show up, so we got to work on our agility while manuevering through the crowds.

Most Seallites know that to find a fish in mid-air, one must visit the world-famous Pike Place Fish Market. I was never ready with my camera to actually catch a fish in mid-air, so I did the next best thing...I took a photo of the neon fish under the market sign at the north end of the market (well, it is up in the air).

I've been to the market many times, so I knew exactly where number two on the list would be. There's been a fake iguana sitting on the produce at one of the stalls for as long as I can remember... sometimes even having a cherry in its mouth! I pointed it out to a few of the photographers, but I think some still missed that one.

Likewise, most know that something gooey means the bubblegum stuck to the famous gum walls at Post Alley (approximately under Market Spice). Though the walls were pressure-washed a couple years ago, visitors have added their gum to the walls, making it look like nothing had changed.

Before leading the trip, I had gone online to look for ideas to add to the scavenger hunt list. One thing I learned was that there was another pig on a public rooftop garden. How many of you knew there was a garden at the market on a rooftop, let alone another pig? We went off in search for it. Even though I had read of it's approximate location, I couldn't find where to access the rooftop. Some newer photography members (and my visiting brother) found it before I did. For future reference, there's a ramp behind Market Spice that goes directly to the garden.

The garden was so beautiful! Rufus the pig greets you as you enter and is holding a bucket with chalk, to be used to write your own message on his big chalkboard covered body. This spot was also a great place to get an ant's eye view (#3) without getting stepped out by a crowd. Photos of flowers are a close-up photographer's dream, so many of us spent quite a bit of time at the garden.

We continued to explore other areas of Pike Place Market to complete our scavenger list before officially ending the activity (plus, it was getting super crowded by this point). It was such a perfect morning and everyone had a great time on this Seattle Mountaineer Photography Committee urban adventure!

The above Photos by Anita L. Elder


Joins us for Photography activities!

photos by Dennis Day

Photos by Paul Hall