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Up until this year, my fall photography has been limited to the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and Wyoming. In that region, I generally focused on shooting grand landscapes composed primarily of aspen trees and oak brush. Moving to the Pacific Northwest, it opened a wide range of autumn photographic opportunities from the high country of the Cascades to the shores of the Pacific Ocean. When I visited the rainforest of the Olympic National Park in the spring, I was overwhelmed by the mystical nature of the forest. I took note of how many maple trees inhabited this region and the possibility of outstanding scenery during the fall.
Based on on-line research, I narrowed down the timing of the fall color change to middle week of October. I had never been to the Hoh Rainforest so I didn’t have a set agenda on locations that would be most photogenic. After arriving I quickly noted that many of the big-leaf maples had dropped their leaves. Initially, I was quite disappointed. However, not long after hiking through the rainforest, I noticed the vine maples were just starting to achieve their peak color. As it turned out, it was the optimum time to photograph for fall color. The dropped leaves of the big leaf maples provided a nice carpet of reddish-brown while the vine maples provided an amazing splash of color is a sea of green vegetation.
The Hoh Rainforest provided so many interesting scenes I was somewhat overwhelmed! Of course, as typical in a rainforest, it was raining most of the time I was hiking. Properly dressed, the rain wasn’t an issue for my comfort, but, in fact, it was an added benefit I hadn't considered. Filtered light provided exceptional lighting and the misty rain enhanced the mystical feel of the forest.
It’s not often multiple natural elements come together to help enhance a photography shoot, but in this case, I couldn’t have asked for better conditions. There is no doubt I will never forget my first fall in the Pacific Northwest!
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor