Just wrapped up another fabulous trip to Olympic National Park on Washington’s stunning peninsula. A week of beaches, rainforests, and great company made leaving hard to do this year. I started my week off with a couple days of backpacking on Shi Shi Beach located near the town of Neah Bay, scouting some new locations and visiting Point of Arches before kicking off my workshop. Shi Shi was hard to beat and certainly didn’t disapoint, it’s probably one of my favorite beach locations on the peninsula, with some epic sea stacks and tidepools, not to mention some stunning sunrises and sunsets. I was however bummed to miss the classic line of rocks that protrude out of the sand and add some amazing foreground shots at Point of Arches. These can be hit or miss depending on time of year and whether they are covered by sand which is determined by the ever changing conditions there. Still pretty sweet though.
Our workshop kicked off mid week, just in time for the rain to start and boy did we get rain! Our first day in the Hoh Rainforest it poured all morning giving us a wet day, but great conditions for the rainforest. As unwelcoming as the rain can be, it really helps bring out the colors and contrast, adding great elements to the foliage. The waterfalls and rivers were also flowing very nicely this year. The winter had brought heavy snows, wet conditions and combined with the persistent cold and rainy spring, made some small falls and creeks very photogenic this year.
Our second day of the trip we ventured down to the Quinault Rainforest, which I think has become my absolute favorite place to shoot as far as rainforests go. It can be a little off the beaten path for a few visitors as it sits on the Southwest edge of the park, making it a longer drive for some travelers and maybe doesn’t get as much attention as the Hoh and Sol Duc do. However I think its ferns and interior forest offer up some of the best compositional opportunities and its small creeks and falls add a well-rounded shooting experience. We lucked out while we were there and had a nice break in the rain, giving us time to wander the forest a little more easily.
On our last night we decided to take a drive out to Cape Flattery which is a phenomenal area located just about as far northwest as you can get in the lower 48. It’s located just outside Neah Bay and managed by the Makah Tribe which requires a recreation permit when visiting. Its views are stunning as you wander the tops of the cliffs viewing cormorants, tufted puffins and sea stacks from above. Pretty amazing place and well worth a trip for photographers.
Now I’m sitting here editing images, playing catch up, and planning for more trips before I head back out. I’ll soon be posting my 2018 itinerary for this workshop and can hardly wait to get back!
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