Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Leah's Artwork

It's official. My five year old little girl is a more accomplished artist than I ever was!

She and Ian have both been involved in camps through the local park system and at the Hands On Children's Museum in Olympia. Leah's first camp was an art camp. Her very first pencil drawing (at the very bottom of this post) she brought home on a Monday I was positive that the instructor had at least done the outline.

Not so - these are all done by Leah.

Prior to this she struggled to stay in the lines, suddenly she is free-hand drawing all sorts of things that I would struggle to produce poorly done stick figures of. I guess that camp was right up her alley!

Enjoy your day everybody,


Monday, July 25, 2011

Point of the Arches

I had some questions after a post a while back about "sea stacks". You'll see a bunch of them below.

I'd seen some photos from here on Google Earth while researching Olympic National Park a month or so ago. I knew right then that I wanted to go there. BUT. And this is a huge "but", it is difficult to get there. It is at the far northwestern (read furthest point away on the Olympic peninsula) point, and the only access is after driving small, winding roads, to/through the Makah Indian Reservation where a recreation pass is required, then a two mile hike to the actual beach (Shi Shi Beach). Once on the beach, the Point of the Arches (sea stack formation) is another 2 miles away. This isn't a place to easily take Catherine and the kids.

So this past weekend, Catherine and the kids flew to Miami early Saturday morning, leaving me a weekend free to myself. Perfect timing!

I dropped them off at the Seattle airport and then picked up my stuff and made the long drive to Shi Shi beach and the Point of the Arches sea stack formation.

I had a blast shooting at sunset, and made sure to get up early for sunrise.

Lucky for me, it was still low tide in the morning, which opened up a lot more photographic possibilities. The rocks in the foreground are totally submerged, and the rock formations are completely surrounded by about 3-4 feet of ocean depth at high tide.

I did some more exploring in the area on Sunday, Cape Flattery on the northwestern-most tip of the lower 48 and the Sol Duc (or Sole Duck, depending on who you ask) region of the park.

Overall, a tiring weekend. But I wouldn't have it any other way. Shi Shi was awesome - I slept right on the beach which let me stay up late and wake up early and literally have 5 steps to where I wanted to stand to take photos.

Okay, okay. Enough talk about photography. Hopefully you all enjoy. I know I sure did.



Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sequim Lavender Festival

It has been a while since I last posted. Since then I've bought a new camera (much smaller and lighter while more capable) which I am still getting used to. I also am forced to use the manufacturer software to interpret the raw data until my usual software gets updated. So for the foreseeable future, you'll see what I get straight from the camera, with only a crop for size. I'll maybe repost my reworks once Lightroom gets updated. Anyways...

Last weekend Catherine and I loaded up the car and drove up the Olympic peninsula to Sequim (pronounced "Skwim") for the Lavender festival. We ended up camping at the Heart o' the Hills campground for the weekend, which was a bit damp, but overall nice. This photo below is one of my favorites from the weekend.

We made our way to 7 or so lavender farms (which smelled awesome, by the way) over the weekend, had lavender-flavored ice cream, coffee, and lemonade. Catherine found a nice field that offered "You Pick" with a variety of different lavender plants to choose from.

Early on that Sunday we drove up to Hurricane Ridge. We practically had the place to ourselves, with the exception of a couple of deer, deep snow piles, and cold wind. Even though is was July, next time we'll bring hats and gloves!

That's it for this one. I'll be posting another set of photos from this weekend. I can't wait to really work those in Lightroom - some of them will be special!



Sunday, July 10, 2011

More kids photos

Just having fun with the kids, the sunset, the camera, the flash and the umbrella this evening. I don't know where Leah picked up the modeling stuff (Catherine's vote is one of the Barbie princess movies), but I can hardly get her to act normal in front of the camera anymore. Could be a bad sign ;)

I couldn't get Ian to look at the camera and smile today - only making faces. In the end, I didn't really care for any of his shots, except for the one with Leah above. Leah had a couple of nice shots, but this one below is my favorite from this evening.

I was struck by how much taller Ian looks in the photo at the top compared to Leah. I could swear that just a couple of weeks ago she had closed the gap, but Ian is looking like he towers above her again. Where did I set my bricks?



Saturday, July 9, 2011

Get me off the front page!!!

I just had to get me off the front page of the blog. So I've looked at some photos from the past week I took of Catherine and the kids and picked my favorite of each one.

Here is Catherine as we waited for the park ranger to show up for the tidal pool walk near Kalaloch Beach. Beach 4 to be precise. She is still warming to the idea of waking up uber-early for camera fun. I don't think I'll turn her into an early morning person, but at least she is willing to humor me from time to time!

This is one of Ian in the Hoh Rain Forest, inland a bit from the beach. We didn't have any rain that day, just plenty of sunshine. The light was coming in through the canopy and was hitting Ian just right so that a proper exposure of him led to an underexposure of the background - which was perfect because the rainforest makes for a very busy background.

Finally, here is one of Leah that I took while playing with the flash on the back deck at our new (to us) place. I gelled the flash for a warmer look, but then had to dial that back a bit. Okay, I dialed it back a ton. But I like how she is still in warmer light and the neighbor house is quite cool.

Anyways, now you all get to look at what I love to look at. Family.

Have a beautiful day. We sure will.



Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Other Side of the Blog Story

It feels like forever since I've posted to the blog and so I thought I would share a few photos of the photographer and a couple of my images from this past weekend.

Our day started out early & a little bit misty, but is was nice to be at the beach, even if the water only gets to between 45 and 47 F.

Our main Skinner Sightings photographer with his gear. Yes, he almost always has a tripod or monopod when we travel to help him get better pictures to share with all of you.

Had to include one with the kids...

One parting shot from the beach.

I took most of these pictures below on our trip the previous weekend to the Olympic National Forest on our hike through the woods there:

Here is our Skinner Sightings photographer off the trail scouting out a photo of the river.

I must have taken this one right after he got done taking his. Below is one of my views of the forest.

Hope you all enjoy the view from the not taking pictures very often member of our family. Just thought everyone might enjoy seeing Marc for a change of pace.


Sunday, July 3, 2011

What a day!

Yesterday was a very big, very long day for us! I have been dying to go the Olympic beaches/Olympic National Park for some exploring for some time now. Since this weekend was shaping up beautifully, Catherine and the kids indulged me (yeah!!).

We had thought about driving there on Friday and camping, but since we were late to the party there were no reservations available. So we decided to just make the long drive (2 1/2 hours, maybe longer) in the early morning since there was a Ranger-led tidal pool walk just north of Kalaloch. I loaded up the car the night before, laid out all of our clothes, and then woke everyone up at 4 am.

We were on the road shortly after 4:30, and had the road pretty much to ourselves. Everyone else slept most of the way, which is what we had planned. We arrived at the meeting place for the beach/tidal pool walk with about 10-15 minutes to spare. This was the beach where we explored, below:

The Ranger that gave our walk and talk was informative and a bit fun. The kids absolutely loved walking on the beach, exploring the tidal pools, drawing in the sand, getting their feet wet - the list could go on. The big kids did, too. Though the sun, fresh air, nice breeze, and sounds of the surf were pretty awesome too.

After the walk on Beach 4, we made our way a bit to the north to Ruby Beach. I had read that there were some good sea stacks there. There were some, just not as many as I had hoped. There was a nice pond and river leading into the ocean with this huge sea stack standing sentinel.

The beaches were strewn with HUGE logs that get washed out from the rain forests upstream. They get thrown into the Pacific and tumbled about, eventually washing up on the shoreline. We generally didn't play much on the logs since we were more concerned with the tidal pools and the surf, but towards the end we did explore the upper portions of the beach a bit.

All this fun took us up to about lunch. For all you Twilight fans (no, I'm NOT a fan. I still don't understand why Catherine wanted to punish me by watching one of the movies together . . . but I digress ;) ) we made our way to Forks where we had a nice lunch. From there we headed back in the direction of home, with a detour to the Hoh Rain Forest in the Olympic National Park.

It was a nice walk through the rain forest (over 130 inches of rain per year - which sounds impressive, but the mountains have had over 900 inches of snow this past winter, which is still lingering!!!), but it was lacking in rain. I've read that it is best to visit in time of rain/fog for the right atmosphere, which I'm inclined to believe.

Have a happy 4th of July everybody. I'll be working at the hospital (blah). There was a last minute change to the duty roster, and guess who got picked! Oh well, I'll have the 5th off instead. Cheers!