Seaside Sunrises and Sunsets
My first trip to the Olympic Peninsula was entirely different than I expected. I went to see Olympic National Park, expecting mountains and waterfalls and of course the rain forest. I wanted to see everything. Now this park is about 4 times the size of Mount Rainier National Park. I've lost track of the times I've been there and I've yet to see everything. Seeing all that I wanted on this first weekend was impossible unless I wanted to spend most of my time in the car. Instead it turned into a leisurely trip that focused on the coast.
The first night was spent in Lake Quinault Lodge. The night was planned entirely around the time of sunset.
Being so close to the coast, I couldn't resist trying for a sunrise shot. I wasn't going after the sun itself, just the glowing light that would hit the beach. I also knew we'd get there after sunrise, but hoped the mountains would give me a little time. First stop was Kalaloch.
Not a single cloud on the horizon, but the pink glow and birds were still a pretty sight. I wanted more so up the road we went to Ruby Beach.
The hike down was pleasant put chilly. Luckily I was prepared with my fingerless glove. I must for any photographer who shoots in the cold!
After a full day of exploring more of the coast and checking into out hotel, we went to La Push. I wanted one of those breathtaking sunsets I've seen so many times of the coast. Of course, for the spectacular ones, you need clouds. Once again, I had a perfectly cloudless sky. We arrived early so I'd have a chance to scope out where the sun would set and where to get the best angle. After about 30 minutes, I decided to pull out my camera and take some other shots. I open my trusty Canon backpack and no camera! I search it again, just in case it was hiding. I tried to keep calm as I walked back to the car, hoping it had slipped out of my bag. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. I was devastated. I even thought of running back to the hotel to grab it, since I realized it hadn't been in my bag–i'd carried it in separately. The hotel was at least 20 minutes away and I had maybe 30 minutes until the magic.
I new my iPhone would do great. A few of my favorite pictures were with my iPhone (yes, another time I thought I had my camera and didn't), but it's only the 4, so there is a limit on how much I can enlarge a print. Thankfully, I was with a friend who had the iPhone 4s which has more megapixels than mine. He of course let me use his phone to get my shot. I think partly to keep me from having a breakdown on the beach. It may have taken me a few minutes longer if I were alone that day to get over it, but I still would have gotten over it. I just had to feel what I was feeling so I could let it go.
I took tons of pictures with his phone. Knowing I would have done HDR if I would have had my camera, I processed the iPhone picture the same way. Turned out pretty damn good.
The iPhone doesn't disappoint. We woke up once again before dawn so I could get a second chance at La Push with my Canon 40D. It was a beautiful dawn on the beach. Quiet, serene, and just how I like it.
The last morning of my long weekend. I woke up every day earlier than I do for work. It was absolutely worth it. I can't wait to do it again.
Keywords: Canon EOS 40D, HDR, High Dynamic Range, Olympic Peninsula, Pacific Northwest photography, iPhone photography, sunrise photography, sunset photography