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Michele Wetzel
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/8/2005

My First Trip to Seattle - Photo Ops?


My first trip to Seattle and Washington State - any photo locations you could recommend? Could I photograph Olympic National Park and Rainier each in a one day visit? Sunrises/Sunsets?
Thanks a bunch!

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8/23/2010 7:41:23 AM

Ian M. Dewar
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/6/2005
  Hi Michele,

Washington is certainly a big state but a number of the sites are reachable in a long day from Seattle. I have done the Rainier Loop many times. You leave Seattle well before sunrise and head to Paradise. Remember that you need to allow time to get to Paradise itself and not just the park entrance. Reflection Lake is a classic sunrise shot. Breakfast at the lodge and then a morning hike on the trails at Paradise. Afternoon over to Sunrise, arriving mid afternoon via the Stevens Canyon Road, and then be at Sunrise for the sunset. Finally another long drive back to Seattle, but any gps tool should manage to plot this without backtracking. Remember to check the NPS website to check if all the roads are open.

Olympics I have also done in a day but this gets much more tricky for taking classic photos, tends to be more of a tourist trip. You would be much better staying a night on the Pacific side in Forks (great if you have teenage kids into Twilight). If you want to spring big bucks then the lodge at Kalaloch is a great choice. My favorite is Ruby Beach if you can time the low tide for the tide pools. You can visit Hurricane Ridge for the sunset across the Olympics and catch a late night ferry back to Seattle, or Port Angeles is another great stopping point. Hoh Rain Forest works for overcast days. Use the ferry, great views of the city, but Olympics Pacific side is quite a long drive.

Both of these options to the mountains assume you are coming in the next few weeks, after that be prepared for snow. Also, we are passing the point where a forecast of clear blue skies can be guaranteed and you may find you photography more focused on macro than sweeping vista shots.

Seattle opportunities are endless; Pike Place Market, Ballard Locks, Waterfront, views from ferries, etc. We are a big city, so always be aware of your surroundings and come have some fun.

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8/27/2010 2:06:09 PM

Donald R. Curry
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/2/2006
  I really enjoyed Olympic National Park. There are a lot of photo ops along hiking trails in the rain forest. Sol Duc Falls is interesting and a great photo op.

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8/27/2010 6:12:36 PM

Sarah G   I was looking around when I came across this image by Jennifer Short and I thought of your forum question. She recommends the place in Seattle. The description under the image will give you a place to consider going to.

P.S. I've never been to Seattle or Washtington State. Enjoy your trip!!!

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8/29/2010 10:38:47 AM

Michele Wetzel
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/8/2005
  Ian, Donald and Sarah

Thank you for responding and all the info! It helps greatly and looking forward to my new adventure! Again,


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8/30/2010 1:28:52 PM

Carlton Ward
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/13/2005
Contact Carlton
Carlton's Gallery
Hello Shelly,
It depends on what you want to shoot & time. If you have the capability of making a trip to the Hoh rain forest (Olympic peninsula), I highly recommend it. It would eat an entire day just getting there, shooting for a few hours and getting back but it is a 1 of a kind place that will leave you in awe of its beauty & diversity. It would be even better if you stretched this out to 2 days as there are cool rocks formations in the ocean (close to the Hoh) and starfish, eagles & other sealife along Puget Sound side.
I live in North Bend (30 miles east of Seattle) and there are lots of places to shoot landscapes. waterfalls, Elk and lots of other things. Contact me if you want to venture out this way and I can show you a few places.
Seattle Center is a popular tourist place as the Space Needle is there alongside the Pacific Science Center and a couple of other places.
Pikes Place Market is another popular place and just behind it is Alaskan Way which has the Aquarium. I dont consider Pikes Market a great photo place and would opt for other choices 1st.
As far as shooting in the Olympic Nat'l forest & Mt. Ranier in 1 day, it is kinda iffy. Unless it is a clear blue sky day, you cant photograph Mt. Ranier if you are standing right in front of it as it is socked in by clouds most days. The Olympics are on the other side of Puget Sound from Seattle and Mt. Ranier so you will need to take the ferry but it is an amazing place and I do recommend a guide as it can be time consuming trying to find places as most of the cool areas are off hwy 101 which makes a giant loop around the entire Olympic peninsula.
I camp in the Hamma Hamma, Dosewallips Hood Canal & other places when I can.
There is also Island Adventures for some incredible whale watching trips which leaves out of Anacortes (an hour north of Seattle) and this time of year they are still following the Orca's (J. K & L pods) around the San Juan islands. A few Humpbacks * Minke's have also been seen lately.
Hope this helps and don't hesitate to contact me. Here is a shot of the Space Needle (they removed the Ferris wheel a few months ago).
Cheers, Carlton

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8/31/2010 1:03:20 AM

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