It’s National Park Week and Trivia Tuesday! Wanna know what a king tide is and where to see one? Then check out my latest photography article published in the National Parks Traveler to find out the answers, in addition to tips and techniques for photographing king tides and other sights you’ll see if you travel along the Washington state portion of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail.
To read the article, click on the image above.
Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.
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Here’s a fun fact for your Monday: the Hoh Rain Forest in Olympic National Park gets over 12 feet of rain a year. So, when you go visit, make sure you take along a rain jacket.
The image below was taken during late summer, and it was actually a dry day. In truth, all the days I was there in the park were dry days – well, ok, except for the last two days, when I visited Hurricane Ridge.
I’m glad I visited Olympic National Park when I did, because it’s got some rainy weather going on now and probably will for the foreseeable future, I am guessing. Fall is coming. Winter is coming. Lots of rain and wet are coming to the Olympic Peninsula.
I captured this image because, as I was wandering the Hall of Mosses trail in the Hoh Rain Forest, I noticed the sun peeking through the trees. It created what is called a “single point light source” and is great for producing photographic sunbursts. I’d already set the tripod and camera up to photograph the interesting roots, and that little bit of sunburst light was a cherry on top.
I used my Pentax 645z medium format camera for this. I don’t use this camera as often as I should, because it produces wonderful images. As a matter of fact, I’m taking it with me on my forthcoming Yellowstone trip. I’m not even going to tell you how heavy the camera pack is, or the fact that I am carrying one of the long lenses in my laptop bag so I don’t have to put anything in checked luggage. 😁
The National Parks Traveler has published my latest photography article: Your Armchair Guide to Olympic National Park, Part 1 – The Beaches. I had to break this guide into 3 different parts because this park has it all: beaches, forests and beaches. If you are planning a trip to Olympic anytime soon, or are just interested in seeing the photography of this national park, then click on the image above.
Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.
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I was so darned tickled with myself for staying up and capturing the summer sunset on this beach while I was there. I was still wide awake and decided to stick around a little longer. I had a feeling there will continue to be some sort of light show as the sun produced a “last hurrah” of color, and I was right.
I needed my camera on tripod in order to open up the shutter and let the light in. Because the shutter was slower, I might have shaken things up for a blurry photo if I’d handheld the camera. Besides, the slower shutter speed meant the water in Kalaloch Creek (what you see below) would become more “silky.”
The moral of this story is that you should always stay a little longer after sunset. You’ll either get an afterglow like you see here, or you’ll at least photograph the coming of the “blue hour.”
The Difference Between A Summer Morning And A Summer Sunset Ruby Beach, Olympic National Park, Washington
I’ve hammered this in to my National Parks Traveler readers as well as you, I know, but visiting a place more than once, during different times of the day, during different seasons, and/or under different weather conditions can really make a difference in what you see through your camera’s viewfinder.
The first shot was taken around 8:30 a.m. PST. I was just too tired to get up to get a sunrise and I already knew that coastal sunrises along the Olympic Peninsula – at least when staring out in the direction of the sea – are lovely, but not dramatic (at least, not during the time I was there). Sunsets, on the other hand, are spectacular and I’d already gotten sunset shots on two different days at Kalaloch Beach, so I wanted to get a sunset image or two (or a bunch) at a beach with some interesting topography to it. I’d captured images of the actual sunset, and the tide was coming in, so I decided to hike back up the trail to the parking lot. I’d gotten up two-thirds of the way, turned around, and saw the sky an incredible pink-orange color, so I dropped everything and handheld the camera for this shot, taken almost exactly 12 hours later, at 8:32 P.M. PST. That tall piece of rock you see is called Abbey Island.
When I visited Olympic National Park this past January 2019, the government shutdown was still in force, and the park entrance to the Hoh Rainforest was closed and blockaded due to heavy debris on the road with no ranger service to clean it up. I was aching to see some park rainforest (and wanted to get photos for my National Parks Traveler articles), so I drove south of Kalaloch about 27 miles to enter the park portion of the Quinault Rainforest. Not too far along the road after entering is a parking lot for a picnic area and short loop trail over July Creek. Nobody else was there that damp, moody morning, so I had the place to myself. I spent quite awhile photographing the creek and the greenery around it, just from my vantage point on that bridge in the photo. After a bit, I moved off and turned my camera and tripod toward the bridge. I also used the “silky water” technique to make the creek water look satiny. For those of you who might want to try this technique for yourself, you should have either a polarizer filter or a neutral density filter on your lens. Set your camera on a tripod and experiment with slow shutter speeds while keeping everything else set for good exposure. The dark tint of the filter allows you to smooth out the water while preventing overexposure of everything else.
I will be bypassing the Quinault Rainforest for my next Olympic National Park trip (which I start tomorrow), so I’m glad I was able to visit this particular area of the park earlier in the year.
I’m pretty much all packed for my Olympic National Park trip. The camera batteries are charged. All I need to do now is pack up the cameras and lenses. Since I’m taking my own car, this means I can have that “kitchen sink” mentality and take whatever I want, because it’s better to have it and not need it, as opposed to needing it and not having it.
The thing about this national park’s rainforests is that there are so many different shades of green and so many different leaves and plants. And,there’s that sort of “glow” within the forest interior. It can be difficult to capture on digital “film,” but when you do, it’s something to be very pleased over.
A Green Scene Along Maple Glade Rainforest Nature Trail Quinault Rainforest, Olympic National Park, Washington
In honor of Saint Patrick’s Day, I have here for your viewing pleasure, a very very green scene from my winter visit in Olympic National Park.
I’ve never been much of a fan of green. Well, that is to say, green is not my favorite color, actually, red is. But, the shades of greens within the rainforest and the play of light and shadow have given me a greater appreciation of this color, as well as of the rainforest, itself. The last time I visited this park was about 24 years ago, before I ever even knew what a digital camera was, much less owned one.
So, Happy St. Pat’s Day to you!
Corned beef, potatoes, carrots and cabbage are in the crockpot for this evening’s meal. Maybe a little Irish whiskey afterwards, too. 😋😉
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