Home Sweet Home, Whidbey (Part 2): Clinton & Langley


A long-time fan of plastic cameras, Argentinean writer and photographer Lorraine Healy is the author of “Tricks With A Plastic Wonder,” a manual for achieving better results with a Holga camera. In this second of a series of articles, Healy shares her images and favorite places of her home base: Whidbey Island, Washington.

Langley by the Sea, WA. Diana Mini, Fuji 200.

If you drive up from Seattle to get to Whidbey Island, you will end up in the town of Mukilteo, home to the quick ferry that sails to Whidbey every ½ hour during the day. The crossing takes only 15 minutes, so most of your time is devoted to lining up, waiting to board, boarding and then unloading in Clinton, on the island side.

An old building in Clinton, WA. Holga N with a home-made Scotch tape mask.

Once you get off the ferry, you go up a steady incline while on both sides of the road, Clinton passes by. Or rather, the commercial aspect of Clinton passes by. Perennially trying to become more of a “stopping destination,” Clinton is not helped by the fact that its long skinny corridor of commerce comes up too quickly for ferry traffic trying to leave the area. A few miles up-island, signs point to the city of Langley, or Langley-by-the-sea, as it likes to be known. Any way you drive into Langley, you are likely to see one of several vineyards and wineries.

The Langley Marina, as seen from above. Holga N modified to shoot 35mm film, expired Fuji 400 film.

Up on a bluff overlooking the Salish Sea, or Saratoga Passage, as it is also known, Langley is one of those charming, tidy places everyone falls in love with. It has a couple of great restaurants, quaint little shops along its three “main streets,” a fabulous bookstore, three coffee houses, an old honest-to-goodness movie house, and a few sadly shuttered places which everyone would love to see coming back to life.

The Clyde Theater box-office and two views of the now closed down Dog House Tavern, universally known as “The Dog.” The Dog House is a National Historical Registry building, which means that it cannot be demolished, thankfully. LC-A (top images) and Holga Half Frame (bottom one).

The Marina is an excellent place to go photographing, especially for us local shutterbugs trying out new films or new cameras. It has the open view of the Salish Sea (perfect for long exposures), colorful kayaks and rowboats, an abundance of clouds and weather, and on some amazing nights a chance to catch the aurora borealis.

Six images of the Langley Marina, taken with LC-A l, Diana Mini, Pentax K1000, and Super Sampler, with various films.

Langley is also the site of our local fairgrounds, and the Whidbey-area fair takes place on site every July. I have written about our small county fair before, an old-fashioned kind of affair with a strong focus on 4-H and passing agricultural traditions and skills to the younger generation. There are a few rides, always plenty of color around them, and of course elephant ears and curly fries and all sorts of delicious, bad-for-you foods!

Fun rides and serious animal husbandry at the Whidbey-area Fair. Pentax K 1000 and Fuji Provia (top), Holga N with Fuji 400H.
Two takes on the same vineyard outside Langley, WA, same day, one taken right after the other. LC-A 120 with Fuji Velvia 100, Smena 35 with Fuji Superia 200.

Upon leaving Langley, most tourists get back on Route 525, passing by Bayview—one of several of those not-quite-villages we have on the island. Bayview has a couple of lovely historical buildings, the Bayview Schoolhouse and the Bayview Cash Store. Next to the Cash Store, in an ample open field, we have the Farmers’ Market from early April to late October—the place where you get as close to doing real “street photography” as is possible on the South end of Whidbey.

Bayview Farmer’s Market and the side of the Bayview Cash Store, which sports a pretty big chess set. Sprocket Rocket, Fuji 400 film.

And moving ever northwards, you soon come upon Freeland, then Greenbank, which was covered in my previous article. All along the “spine” of the island (Routes 525 and 20), you can see the rural character of the place in the barns, cultivated fields, and the small farms that give Whidbey Island its flavor. Next time, Central Whidbey!

A small barn near Double Bluff Beach, between Bayview and Freeland on Whidbey Island. Diana Mini.

Lorraine Healy (@lorrainehealy) is an Argentinean writer and photographer living in the Pacific Northwest. A long-time fan of plastic cameras and she is the author of “Tricks With A Plastic Wonder,” a manual for achieving better results with a Holga camera, available as an eBook from Amazon.com.

written by Lorraine Healy on 2017-08-10 #lifestyle #travel #medium-format #35mm #lc-a #color #pentax-k1000 #supersampler #holga-135bc #holga-n #lc-a #us #diana-mini #washington-state #whidbey-island #smena-35-120 #holga-half-frame

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  1. lomodesbro
    lomodesbro ·

    Always good to see your own "backyard."

  2. lorrainehealy
    lorrainehealy ·

    @lomodesbro more to come, too! 🙏🙏🙏

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