|Seastacks and Arches at Dawn, Olympic Peninsula|
Sometimes, pictures take planning. I have been wanting to
photograph this location at dawn for over a year, but conditions
have never come together…until today. Access requires a
minus tide at dawn, which only happens a few days a month
if at all, as well as clear skies, which happens almost never…
Typically, when high pressure moves in to the Pacific coast,
so does the fog. So for weeks I have been consulting tide
charts and NOAA weather maps, looking for the right
combination, passing up several opportunities when, although
the tide was right, the weather was not.
This week looked promising enough: a window of opportunity.
The tides and timing were right, but I had to move quickly
before the building high pressure brought the inevitable
fogbanks. I also had to do my own weather research. The
forecast for the coast was for mist and drizzle, but a quick look
at the satellite pictures – and a couple of coastal webcams
online – told a different story. The sun was shining!
Getting up at 4 am, and hiking out in the dark, I arrived before
the first light. As it was, the fog hung just offshore, giving me
only a few minutes of dawn before the warm light vanished in
the gloom. Still, I got some pictures I’m pleased with, and I’ll try
My point is simply that there are dozens of tools on the internet
that can help with planning a shoot: tide tables, weather maps,
webcams, road condition reports. However, it is also possible to
sit at home, staring at the computer and find reasons not to go;
in the end, there is no substitute for simply being there.
Nikon D3, 17-35mm lens