I love revisiting locations that I have previously photographed. My camera technology and image processing abilities have come a long way since my “early days” of shooting film. (I wonder how many photographers reading this have ever even shot a roll of film?) Anyway, this beautiful image is from my recent visit to the Sol Duc Valley in Olympic National Park. This iconic rainforest stream next to the trail is always a joy to experience. The thick moss covered rocks, flowing water, and old-growth trees showcase the beauty of the Olympic Peninsula without human influence.
Last month, I flew back to the mainland for some meetings in Los Angeles and a visit to Seattle. During my trip, I also spent two days revisiting Olympic National Park. When I began my photography career almost 20 years ago, I used to drive out to the coast fairly regularly. However, as my travel ambitions expanded and I took on other projects, I had not been out there for nearly a decade. Fortunately, my good friend and fellow photographer Stephen Matera was up for a mid-week mission and joined me for the trip. The skies were unusually clear, so we decided to drive to Rialto Beach and hike up to Hole-In-The-Wall. We lucked out with an outgoing tide and beautiful golden sunlight at this iconic location. This was Steve’s first time here and for me it had been nearly 17 years.
Last weekend I lead 2 clients on an Olympic National Park Photo Tour. The conditions were challenging, but conducive to instruction. Anyone can shoot the sunset at the iconic beach locations, which we did, but my goal was to help them see the world more creatively and refine their composition skills. Four afternoons in the chaos of the rainforest followed by overcast conditions at sunset tested even my proficiency with a camera. I created this dramatic image during one of our sunrise shoots on First Beach. You can see that there was not much of a sunrise, but the ominous rain clouds on the horizon still yielded effective pictures. Whenever I photograph waves, I anticipate them crashing against the shore and then shoot an exposure of 0.5 second or longer as they recede in order to capture their turmoil in a artistically pleasing manner. This involves a lot of trial and error since I do not know how any individual image is going to result, but when reviewing them I look for the same strong lines and overall presence that I photograph in a non-dynamic scene.
I created this image during a private photography tour last July. The weather was overcast with a light drizzle all 5 days, which made for perfect rainforest shooting conditions. We spent each afternoon visiting the Quinault, Hoh, & Sol Duc Valleys and ended each day by shooting sunset at Ruby & Second Beach. The fastest way to improve your composition skills is to shoot in the chaos of the rainforest. If you are interested, you can join my upcoming Olympic National Park Photography our. My tour groups are small & exclusive so that I can provide my clients with personal attention. I accept a maximum of 4 photographers & have still 2 openings available for my April 22-25 tour. To sign up, please email me at .
I am super excited to be participating in the Bellevue Arts Fair again. It has been 5 years since I last participated, and though I have done a number of art shows around the country since then, none has generated the enthusiasm I received at Bellevue in 2004. My booth location is I-12, which you can find on this map. The forecast predicts weather in the 90’s for later this week, which guarantees that the fair will be busy. I look forward to seeing you there!
This image is another one from my recent private workshop that I lead for a client of Olympic National Park. It was only 2 weeks ago today that we were out on the coast getting rained on. We took advantage of the gloomy weather to focus on rainforest compositions. We certainly got our fill of green, mossy pictures. This photo was taken along the Spruce Trail in the Hoh Rainforest. I created it with my Canon 5D mkII, 17-40 lens, f16, 1 sec, ISO 100, Singh-Ray LB Warming Polarizer, Gitzo Basalt tripod, & Acratech Ultimate ballhead. Oh, yeah, and a lot of patience waiting for the decisive moment when the leaves were perfectly still from a total lack of a breeze.
This is another beautiful green temperate rainforest image that I took last week while leading a private photography tour of Olympic National Park. This image is from the Sol Duc Valley on the way up to the iconic Sol Duc Falls. About 1/2 way to the falls is a very scenic little stream covered in green moss that is often photographed. About 3 winters ago, one of the big storms caused a terrible amount of flooding in the area, and a lot of the moss that covered the boulders was washed away. I was out there last year and did not even take a picture while leading a private workshop. This year, I decided to walk up hill to scout for better photo ops. A good 10-15 minutes above the bridge that crosses the stream, I found some much more pleasing mossy boulders than lower down and proceeded to spend several hours taking pictures.
This is my favorite image. This vine maple overhung a nice section of moss covered rocks and had some really cool delicate branches. Even though there was no wind blowing, this image was incredibly difficult to photograph as the leaves were ever so gently bouncing, making long exposures blurry. I was trying for the largest depth of field possible by shooting within 2 feet of the foreground leaves while trying not to fall into the stream on the slippery rocks. I finally got one image while shooting at f16, 3.2 sec, and ISO 400. You gotta love the backlit leaves during a photo shoot in the rainforest! Also, you better like the color green.
I just returned from a 1 week private photography workshop/tour that I lead for a client of Olympic National Park. The trip started last weekend with a sunny 80° day in Seattle. We drove down to Mount Rainier National Park for the first night with ambitions to photograph Reflection Lake at sunrise. The weather changed while we were sleeping, and when we woke up it was cloudy and 40°. So after getting skunked, we started our drive out to our main destination for the week in typical NW crummy weather. I kept telling Dan, that this weather was going to be great for our ambitions to photograph in the rainforest, but that it might not be great for photographing beach sunsets. Over the next 4 days, it mostly drizzled or poured on us, but we took advantage of the weather to photograph the spectacular greens of the temperate rainforest. I spent a lot of time walking around looking for patterns and unique mossy things to photograph. I really felt like I pushed myself photographically in a way that I have never done before in the rainforest. It is not an easy place to see the pictures through the chaos of branches and leaves. I was especially drawn to backlit leaves that just glowed green. I had fun, but it is again sunny and 80° here in Seattle. I’ll be outside working on my tan this afternoon.
A few weeks ago, I lead a private photography workshop for Mark & Ross from Minnesota. We had a very busy 3 day trip photographing the rainforest in the afternoon and beaches at sunrise and sunset. I had not been out to Second Beach for several years, but it was as spectacular as ever. I think that we all agreed that this sunset image was the nicest of the whole trip. Please visit my Olympic National Park Photography page to see more of my images from the Washington coast.