Sol Duc Valley, Olympic NP, USA by Scott Eliot

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Picture Story

Deep into the Sol Duc Valley under the misty forest canopy of Olympic National Park in Washington State a beautiful Autumn vision is unfolding this year amid the colorful maples and golden under growth foliage. After heavy fall rains have recharged rivers the majestic Sol Duc cascades have again become a roaring spectacle churning into the valley chasm below.

The prior day heavy rain and high mountain snow had slammed into Western Washington enveloping the peninsula in thick low clouds and fog. Perfect! I prefer and plan landscape photography outings based on incoming or exiting weather systems to assist in adding atmospheric interest in my compositions but the heavy weather gave pause in being able to access the valley trail head and hike safely to the vista.

Hoping for the best we outfitted for rain and set out on a chilly afternoon hike. About a mile into the trail we had hiked beyond the valley fog and sunbreaks began to appear overhead. As we neared our destination a misty magical scene began to unfold with sunbeams illuminating the forest mist creating numerous composition opportunities along the trail.

Upon arriving at the planned destination in the Sol Duc Falls chasm the roar presided their visual presence with a heavy misting rain expelled by the churning white water promising to keep dry camera and lens photography challenging. Low light made the requirement for tripod stability necessary and so I composed and constantly chased the front element of the lens with my cleaning cloth covering the camera completely with a towel between shots. I present to you the change of Autumn at Sol Duc Falls!


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