[/caption] One of the best places to get a panoramic view of the Olympic mountains is while you’re visiting the San Juan Islands, WA. It seems like you’re a long distance from the mainland of Washington state but you have the opportunity to get an unbelievable panoramic view of the entire area. You are also able to see Mt. Rainier and Mt. Baker in the east and south. The Olympic mountains are about 30 miles from the island but at least you have the ability to see the entire length of the mountain chain as well as view the water. This photo was taken near Eagle Cove, which is near the southern tip of San Juan island. I made sure to use my tripod, bubble level and remote switch in order to avoid any camera shake. I had my 55-250mm telephoto but decided to use my 17-70mm and set the focal length at 70mm so I would be able to get a better quality photo. If you do visit the islands, plan on bringing your entire arsenal of lenses since there are so many photographic opportunities available.
[/caption] This is a photo taken from a rock outcropping at American Camp which is about a 10 minute drive from Friday Harbor. This photographic spot drew my attention since the neighborhood and the landscape looked a lot like a setting you might find in Iceland or Greenland. From this vantage spot I had the opportunity to photograph a large pod of Killer Whales cruising past me that were about 100 yards from where I was standing. There were dozens of boats following another pod of whales that were pretty much moving in the same direction. I couldn’t believe that within 5 minutes from arriving at this spot we noticed the pod swimming right towards us. You can also see directly over the Haro Strait and see the most incredible view of the Olympic mountains as well as Vancouver Island. You can also see Mt. Rainier in the far distance as well as some of the other taller Cascade mountains. It was about 2:30pm when I took this photo and I was afraid that the quality would really be hampered since the sun was directly overhead and the glare from the water was relentless. Luckily I brought my tripod and attached my CIR-PL and warming filter to limit the glare and overexposure. I was using my Sigma 17-70mm lens and set the focal length to 17mm in order to get the most panoramic view in order to showcase the incredible view from the spot I was standing at. Since I had the camera in Program/Normal mode the aperture was at F-5.7 and the shutter speed at 1/128 second. I set the ISO to 100 and the white balance at 0 in order to limit the glare. I also made sure to use my tripod, bubble level and remote switch in order to avoid any blur. I also angled the camera at a slight angle in order to avoid some of the glare which was directly overhead.