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A Challenge of OLYMPIC Proportions

If something I’ve learned after years of shooting landscape and wildlife is that Mother Nature doesn’t give its best moments and sights easy. You got to have a lot of patience, a good eye and a ton of luck to nail a great shot.

Nowhere is this more true that in Olympic National Park. A place with four distinct eco systems, the coast, astorm-swept strip of sand, rock, and massive trees featuring tons of drift wood and dramatic islands in the middle of the ocean. The lowland forest features huge trees older than 200 years that blanket much of the park’s lower elevations. The temperate rainforest, green and otherworldly, where Sitka spruces, Douglas firs grow to gargantuan size and old age. Trees here are covered in moss giving an eerie look to the forest. And last but not least, the mountains where glacier-topped peaks dominate the landscape.

In Olympic EVERYTHING looks awesome, magnificent and glorious. You tend to think that there is a picture everywhere, but nothing is farther from the truth. There are less than 10 locations that will actually yield great imagery. And then, you have to be there at the right time of day: sun is your worst enemy in the forest, which means really early shoots way before sunrise. For costal shots, you have to study the tides angle of the sun and become a master hike to go over the huge logs tossed like matches on the seashore. In the rainforest an entire universe of UBER GREEN dominates the site. Every shade, intensity and complexity of this color is represented here…it is incredibly hard to recognize where the good shot is, let alone to fine a meaningful subject.

Olympic is a challenge even to the most seasoned photographers, a challenge that I will gladly take year after year.

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