This was a fun night with a little excitement. When I first got to the beach you could see Mt. Baker in the distance. There were a few people walking on the beach and enjoying the beautiful day. It has been a very mild winter so far up here in the Pacific Northwest.
This next image was taken from the Fort Flagler State Park on Marrowstone Island looking across to the northwest at Port Townsend. I used seven images taken at different shutter speeds to get the town lights across the bay and to also smooth out the water to get that silky look. This image was taking at 200mm with a 2X teleconverter and cropped from the original image. I thought the cormorants sleeping on top of the pylons would be a good foreground element in the image. I was also trying to capture the local ferry as it headed to Whidbey Island. After getting home and process the image, the ferry was too out of focus due to the slow shutter speeds I used. That is when I decided to crop the image to what you see here.
As the sun went down, I was the only person on the beach. As it became darker and darker, it also became very quiet. As I was thinking about the image I wanted to take and looking through the lens to compose my shot, there was a very loud bark from a harbor seal that sounded like it was right next to me. As you can imagine, I jumped like the boogie man just grabbed me. After looking around frantically and catching my breath, I was glad it was dark so no one saw me. I couldn’t see anything so I went back to recomposing my shot because I also almost knocked over my tripod. I then heard something slapping the water and more barking. (Again, sounded like it was right next to me and made me jump again.) I finally saw two harbor seals playing in the water about 150 yards away to my left. It’s amazing how well sounds travels over water. I was then able to take the photos and decided it was time to put on the headlamp and head back to the car.
I hope everyone had a great Christmas and a Happy New Year. I traveled down to Northern California to spend the holidays with family and found some time to take a few photos. These images were taken at the Russian Gulch State Park.
Again, hoping for a dramatic sunset over the Pacific Ocean, I was met with almost clear skies. However, the waves were around four to five feet at times which made for some great white water when crashing against the rocks.
If you haven’t been to Leavenworth, here is a little history. Leavenworth is a very small town that almost didn’t make it when the Great Northern Railway Company moved out of town in the 1930’s. After losing the railway company, the small town spent another 30 years trying not to become a ghost town. In the early 1960’s Bob Rodgers and Ted Price decided to purchase the Coles Corner Café near Leavenworth, changed the name to The Squirrel Tree, and remodeled the café with a Bavarian theme. With the success of the restaurant, they built The Squirrel Tree Chalet Motel. About four years after the Motel was built the entire community started transforming Leavenworth into an old Bavarian village.
Today, Leavenworth is visited by approximately 2 million tourists each year. The attractions are endless. With yearly festivals (The Autumn Leaf Festival, Maifest, Christmas Lighting Ceremony, and Oktoberfest to name a few), you can also enjoy the great outdoors with endless hike and bike trails, skiing, golf, and mountain climbing. The Wenatchee River runs next to the town where you can also canoe, kayak, paddle board or just relax and watch the salmon make their run up the river. If the outdoors isn’t for you there are plenty of shops and a Brewery where you can put your feet up and sample the local brew. If you ever get a chance, take the drive to this wonderful little Bavarian oasis in the mountains.
We had a few days where the fog rolled in so I took the opportunity to go into town and take some photos of the local architecture. If you click on any of the images you will be directed to my website where you can see additional scenes from the streets.
It was a great day for photos. The streets were pretty empty and the fog filtered everything with an even light, which made the colors pop with deeper contrast. I’d like to shoot my next street scenes at night in the rain. I think the lights reflecting off the wet surfaces would look great.
It looks like summer is coming to an end in the Pacific Northwest. Blue skies are few and far between and the leaves are starting to fall off the trees. These photos are of an approaching storm, which dumped about 5 inches of rain in two days. Yep, there’s a reason it’s called the rain forest.
I was fortunate that the tide was low and the rain didn’t start until I was done taking these images. There was even a whale feeding close to shore that caught my attention each time it surfaced for air. Unfortunately, it didn’t stay at the surface long enough for a picture.
I went to Hurricane Ridge to take photos of the Olympic Mountain Range at sunset. I was hoping for wildflowers and big puffy clouds. Well…, the wildflowers were almost done blooming and as soon as the sun went down the big puffy clouds vanished. This was probably the best image I got that night. Just before I took this shot I was focused on the mountain range but could hear something walking in the grass. As I pulled away from the camera, I could see a Buck coming up from below me. As he came onto the trail about 15 feet away on my left, another Buck came up on my right about 20 feet away. After scrambling to change my lens this was the shot I got. The deer are everywhere on Hurricane Ridge and very used to people. However, you still need to respect their space and give them room when walking on the trails.
I’m looking forward to my next trip to the Ridge.
Driving up the road to the Hoh Rain Forest the first thing we see is a herd of Elk. We actually had to stop the car so they could cross in front of us. Very majestic animals. We arrived early at the park and decided to walk the Hall of Mosses trail. With a yearly total of 140 to 170 inches of rain each year it’s easy to see how the moss can and will grow on everything.
About half way through the trail we came across this nurse log which had these very large trees growing from it. I liked the root structure with the different textures from moss, leaves, roots, and the decaying log.
I was hoping to post a photo of Crater Lake National Park but when I arrived the crater was completely filled with clouds and the lake wasn’t visible. There was also about 6′ of snow everywhere, which would have probably made for a great photo. After waiting for about an hour I decided to head back down the hill because it was also starting to snow. Maybe next time.
So instead, here is a photo of Mt. Shasta that was taken a few weeks ago. I was hoping for a few clouds in the sky but that didn’t happen. This photo was taken on the Castle Crags State Park trail. With the sun setting behind the Crags the view and photo-op was better on Mt. Shasta.