Blog Photos: May 3-7, 2015 - Olympic National Park, Washington

Location: Forks, Washington
Dates: May 3-7, 2015
Joseph Rossbach and Alex Mody
Group Size:
Limit of 10 participants
Rec'd Lodging: Forks Motel

Click here to register!

Overview: Referred to by many as being three parks in one, Olympic National Park is an incredible and diverse place. 95 percent of the park is designated wilderness. In this wilderness, one can find three drastically different ecosystems which exist in perfect harmony: thousands of acres of lush temperate rainforests - complete with massive old growth forests, over 60 miles of rugged coastline, featuring sea stacks and picturesque rocky beaches, and layers of jagged, glaciated mountain peaks that stretch as far as the eye can see. There is nowhere else in the contiguous US where all of these ecosystems may be found so close to one another, and it makes Olympic National Park a dream destination for a nature photographer of any skill level.

Throughout this tour, we will photograph as much of what Olympic National Park has to offer as we can in three full day and two half-day sessions. We will have sunrise and sunset shoots along the coast, including but not limited to locations such as Second Beach, Rialto Beach, and Ruby Beach. We will venture up to Hurricane Ridge at least one afternoon, in search of wildlife and scenic alpine vistas, and during the day, when light and conditions allow, we will photograph lush, jurassic-esque scenes of mossy trees and gigantic ferns deep in the rain forests.

Joseph and Alex will teach a variety of techniques—both in the field and during our informal classroom sessions—that will allow you to advance both your technical skills and artistic vision. We focus on a number of professional field techniques to help you create dramatic and powerful nature images, including:

• Working with dramatic light, including sunrise and sunset
• Using less-than-dramatic light to your advantage
• The fundamentals of powerful composition
• Abstract techniques for creating artistic photographs

We’ll also teach you a number of professional “digital darkroom” secrets as well. Our hands-on informal classroom sessions - held during the middle of the day when the light is not conducive to successful photography - will teach you the fundamentals of image processing, and allow you to master important techniques including:

• Working with adjustment layers
• Layer masking and image blending techniques
• Making difficult selections
• Color management
• Special effects techniques used for artistic expression
• Exporting, sharpening, and saving images for optimum web presentation

Fitness Level: Like any outdoor nature photography workshop, a reasonable degree of fitness is ideal. We will not be engaging in any strenuous physical activity. The majority of the locations we will visit can be easily accessed by road, and short 5-10 minute walks. A few locations we may visit require short hikes to access, no more than 3 miles round trip and featuring anywhere from 0-300ft of elevation gain. When photographing the coast, we may need to get our feet wet in order to get the best shots possible.

(subject to change in accordance to weather conditions.)
We will have a 2-3 hour meet and greet during the afternoon of May 3rd, before heading out to photograph sunset at one of our beach locations. Joe and I will give a joint presentation on the techniques and areas we will cover over the course of the workshop. We do not have a set intinerary for this workshop. We are professionals - we will take into consideration the tides, weather conditions, as well as our participants' personal goals, and we will make decisions to put our clients in the best position possible to create compelling images. For the duration of the workshop, we will be out in the field each day, photographing before dawn, and late into the evening, breaking after sunset. What we do in between depends upon the weather. If conditions are conducive to making images throughout the day, we will do so. If they are not, we will hold informal classroom sessions, going over basic and advanced digital workflow topics (as mentioned above.) We will break for meals, and we will also be certain to plan for a few hours each day to rest, relax, and back up images as needed. We will break on May 7th, after a final morning shoot, wrap-up brunch, and optional image-sharing session.

All participants are required to find their own lodging. Joseph and I are staying at the Forks Motel in Forks, Washington, and suggest that you do too. This will be our base of operations and meeting point for the workshop. There are a number of campsites in the Park, but beware that they are likely to be crowded during the weekend, and may be up to 45 minutes away from where we will meet in the mornings.

Workshop Includes:
- Expert instruction and guiding in the field
- Informal classroom instructional sessions
- Image critique sessions with both Joseph and I

Not Included:
- Transportation (Participants are asked to carpool. Due to insurance reasons, we are not able to drive any participants.)
- Lodging, meals & incidental costs

Recommended Equipment:
- Digital SLR camera (w/extra batteries and memory cards.)
- Wide to standard zoom lens, with their lens hoods (I carry 14-24mm and 24-70mm lenses)
- Telephoto zoom lens for extraction and abstract scenes (I use a 70-200mm lens)
- Tripod
- Cable or electronic shutter release
- Circular polarizing filter
- Graduated neutral density filters (if you use them.)
- Rocket blower and micro-fiber cloths for keeping glass surfaces dry and clean
- Flashlight or Headlamp
- Rain jacket and pants
- Waterproof hiking boots
- Bag to carry photo gear and extra food/clothing
- Waders or river shoes
- Clothing for comfort anywhere between 35 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit (bring extra socks!)

Final Payment: The final balance is due and payable 60 days before your workshop departure. Seven days prior to the due date you will receive a reminder email that your final payment is due. If full payment is not received by the 60 day deadline, we will charge the balance to the credit card on file. If you are paying by check be sure to send it before the deadline or your reservation will be subject to cancellation. If you want to pay by Paypal, we will send you an invoice.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.