Rialto Beach

Another late night at work so another rather short post.  In keeping with the Olympic National Park theme, I’m going to go with one of my favorite shots of the trip.  I may be alone in that and quite frankly, I think my favorite changes every few months.  But this one is hanging in my office and I enjoy staring at it when I’m stressed sometimes.

This was also taken at Rialto Beach right next to La Push (that home of Twilight, again).  This, I guess, would be the extreme southern end of the beachwhere the Quillayute River splits the coastline as it empties out of the Olympic National Park leaving these rocky spires to act as guardians of the harbor.  (The river moves from left to right in the picture, which faces out over the pacific.) This was another day that the sky wasn’t cooperating with me so I resorted to shooting everything in black and white. (note: I shoot everything in RAW anyway, so the file still records the color information, but you can set the LCD screen in back to preview the pictures in B/W.)  I later added an antique gray-scale filter to give it a sepia tone feel.  I had to use a graduated neutral density filter in the field to help calm the drastic contrast between the dark landscape and bright overcast sky where the sun was trying to make a brief appearance.

Maybe I like it because I know how hard it was to end up with something I actually liked.  Maybe it was the after dark walk back to the parking lot.  I had almost forgotten about that until I started writing this post.  The cool part was the access to the little isle where this giant rock was positioned was by way of a jetty.  It was an interesting scramble over rocks that ranged from a chest of drawers to a small car with the surf pounding in during the day.  It was entirely ethereal at night where it was mostly the sound of pounding waves and the cool spray surrounding me engulfing me with my headlamp shimmering on the thousands of tiny drops of water floating in the air.  Every now and again the light would catch the orange reflection of some animal stalking me as I made my way back.  Two round blinking orange marbles reflecting back at me, then they’d disappear only to show up again 20 feet to the left or right.  I still have no idea what they were. I imagined something the size of a cat, but never saw more than the glowing stare.

It was one of those situations where I didn’t necessarily feel in danger by any stretch of the imagination, but there was something rewarding about making it back to the parking lot where the rental car offered a nearly silent retreat from the sounds of the ocean.  Anyways, I hope you enjoy this one.

Canon 50d, ISO 100, Sigma 10-22 @ 10 mm, f9, 1/1000 sec, ND Grad Filter, Manfrotto Tripod and head

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