Olympic National Park, Washington, USA by Michael Thomas

Picture Story

Olympic National Park is a large park with a variety of ecosystems. In the north there is Mt Olympus, Hurricane Ridge and Sol Duc Falls. To the west is the Pacific Ocean and beaches such as Rialto, Ruby, Second and Third Beaches. In the center but accessed from the west is the Hoh Rain Forest. One of four such forests on the Olympic peninsula, it has been designated a World Heritage Site and a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. While “rainy” Seattle receives 36 inches (90 cm) of rain annually, Hoh Rain Forest gets as much as 14 feet (420 cm) a year along with another 36 inches from fog and mist! The most common tree species are Western Hemlock and Sitka Spruce. Ferns and mosses abound, making for some very photogenic scenes.

For visitors to Hoh Rain Forest and the beaches, the small town of Forks, Washington is a good central location with several basic motels, B&Bs and family restaurants. Forks' main claim to fame is its place in the Twilight series of novels and movies. Nearby La Push is part of the Native American Quileute Reservation. I found many examples of native art there to photograph. There are a number of campgrounds in the area, including one at the Hoh Rain Forest itself.

This image is a three shot flat stitch using my 90 mm TS-E lens. To avoid introducing parallax errors, I shifted the camera an equal amount in the opposite direction to the shift of the lens. In effect the lens position is held constant while the sensor is being shifted to capture the wider image circle of the tilt-shift lens, in effect a virtual panoramic sensor.

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