Seattle, Washington

[/caption] View of Mt. Rainier, stadiums and Seattle’s shipping port from Bell street pier 91. A great place to get some awesome photos of Seattle, Elliot Bay and Mt. Rainier is by hiking to the top of the fairly new Bell Street Pier cruise terminal. You also have a great view of the Olympic mountains and West Seattle but the best view is of the highrises in downtown Seattle. This is a photo looking directly south and there was a massive cloud system moving through Seattle. You can also see the low lying clouds at the base of Mt. Rainier. I made sure to attach my CIR-PL and warming filter due to the bright sun glare as well as from the glare of the water and buildings. I was using my tripod and remote switch and attached my Sigma 17-70mm lens and set the focal length at 70mm. The aperture was at F-5.7 and I set the ISO at 100 and the white balance at -0.3 to offset the glare. I wanted to increase the shutter speed, which was at 1/197 second. Even though I took this photo in July you can see how much snow was still on the mountain.

Seattle, Washington

[/caption] Even complete darkness can’t bring down the skyline of Seattle, Washington! If you’ve ever wondered what a city skyline would look like, hours after the sun has set, this photo gives you an idea. The entire scene is filled with nothing but the bright lights being generated from the city itself. There is absolutely no light being generated by the sun. However, after so many hours, from the time of sunset, the night sky becomes so dark that you are pretty much unable to take any photos of a brightly lit night sky unless your OK with a very grainy and pixelated photo. I believe that this was my last shot before I decided to call it a night. I was able to set the shutter priority to 32 seconds and was even able to remove all of my filters. The aperture was set at F-5 and I set the white balance at +1. The sky was partially shrouded in clouds but as you can see the sky looks pretty awesome! I was even able to keep the ISO at 100 and luckily you don’t see any grain in the shot as well as no pixelation. This photo was taken from the banks of West Seattle with Elliot Bay in the foreground. Luckily, I was able to have the shutter open for over 30 seconds without having a ferry or boat blur the shot. This can be a very frustrating task but as the night gets later the ferry crossings get smaller and very few boats are out in the Bay.

Seattle, Washington

[/caption] Beautiful view of Seattle with Mt. Rainier looming in the distance! The grand view of downtown Seattle from Kerry Park. Not many cities on the planet offer a view like this. One of the most spectacular mountains on the planet teaming up with one of the most photogenic cities on the planet offer views that demand a persons attention! This photo was taken during the month of July and just minutes from sunset. Just make sure to bring all of your lenses and don’t forget your tripod, bubble level and remote switch. You may also want to bring a variety of filters and brush up on your setting so you can ensure that you get the best shots. I always utilize my histogram so I don’t miss out on the best shots and avoid taking bad shots that I don’t realize until it’s too late.

Forest Park in Portland, Oregon

[/caption] 5,170 acre Forest Park is the largest city park in the lower 48 states and is located within Portland’s city limits. The park offers over 50 miles of hiking trails and over 10 miles of biking access. There are numerous creeks and small waterfalls that cascade through the park and several wooden bridges take you over the creeks. There are hundreds of wildlife that call Forest Park home, including bald eagles, owls, hawks, deer and coyotes. In fact, more than 112 bird species and 62 mammal species frequent the park and its wide variety of trees and shade-loving plants. You’re allowed to hike with your dog but you are required to keep them leashed and always clean up after your dog. Unfortunately, not everybody does either of the two.

Mt. Rainier, Washington

[/caption] Mt. Rainier offers some of the most spectacular views along with hundreds of miles of hiking trails throughout the National Park. August and September provide some of the best opportunities to capture the alpine flowers and wildlife that encompass the park. There are hundreds of waterfalls, lakes, towering trees within the forest, wildlife galore and the views will amaze even the most experienced landscape photographer.

Oregon Coast

[/caption] The Tillamook Lighthouse can be seen from almost anywhere between Cannon Beach and Seaside, Oregon. The lighthouse is about 1.2 miles from the coastline and was deactivated in 1957 due to the cost and danger of trying to reach the rock. The Tillamook lighthouse is one of the most spectacular lighthouses to look at and makes you wonder just why they even built it in the first place. It resembles an old and haunted house that could have housed some type of creature that looked over the stormy Pacific Ocean. However, if you want to get a decent close up of the lighthouse you will want to have at least a 700mm telephoto and expect to set it atop your tripod and make sure to use a remote switch. I took this shot with my 250mm telephoto and set the focal length at 135mm. If you are visiting during a much more sunny day you can really get some great photos since the sun moves just south of the lighthouse and you can get some great photos with the sun drenched skies saturating the water. The area surrounding the location of Tillamook lighthouse offers some of the most amazing photo opportunities and hiking trails so you won’t have any problem hanging around to take advantage of the best photo opportunities.

Mt. Jefferson Wilderness, OR

[/caption] A birds eye view of Mt. Jefferson and Jefferson Park with Russell lake looming smack dab in the middle of the Wilderness. Late July, August and September are the best times to visit the Jefferson Park wilderness. In fact, any other days of the year will be either covered in snow and impassable or you will find yourself trudging through steep slopes that are too dangerous to cross. The forest road that you need to drive is about 7.5 miles and once the snow level drops, the entire road will be closed and that will make your journey that much more demanding. I couldn’t imagine snow-shoeing or cross country skiing to the Park but I assume that people can and have done it. However, the best thing about visiting during the summer months is that you can swim in the lakes, view the wildlife, photograph some of the creeks and waterfalls and most importantly, you can view the hundreds of wildflowers that grow throughout the wilderness. If the day is sunny when you visit, you’re pretty much guaranteed some of the best photographic opportunities. So, I would plan on bringing your tripod and as many lenses that you can carry. I actually saw a snow owl leaping from a tree and flying away as I was taking a photo of the mountain with my wide angle lens. Unfortunately, my camera was on my tripod and I didn’t have a telephoto to get a shot but the owl was gone before I was even able to see where it flew off to. I took this shot from the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), which can be seen in the photo in the lower right hand corner.