The Pacific North West is known for a breath-taking coastline, an opulent vegetative interior with a fresh rainy weather and spectacular mountains. With so much to savor, the Pacific North West should be in the bucket list of every photographer alive. Here are a few reasons why.
10 of the best locations to shoot in the Pacific North West (PNW):
- Mount St. Helens
Mount St. Helens is a thorough representation of nature’s fierce rebirth in the wake of the volcanic eruptions of May 1980, which left behind a devastation worth mentioning. Nearly one century later, activities have gradually resumed around the notorious Mountain. While it a dangerous place to shoot, the landscape here provides excellent vistas and wildlife waiting to be caught in the act.
The rebirth of Mount St. Helen and its environs provides exceptionally scarce shots and goodly-weird-angles. A typical example would be the Johnstone Ridge Observatory which falls well within the blast zone and provides an excellent view of the mountains north side.
- Mount Rainier
Mount Rainier has been themed the most photogenic mountain by many, and it is rightly so. The park around the mountain itself was established in 1899 and has become a hit for photographers and just about anyone into impressive sights. A camera in hand and a shutter happy finger are all you need on this mountain to claim some genuinely professional shots. There are over 800 vascular plants, 159 birds, nearly 60 mammals and 16 amphibians looking to create the most unexpected “photobombs”.
- San Juan Islands
San Juan Islands guarantees some of the most unbelievable shots in the PMW. A host of eagles and orca whales come to show off anytime a human comes visiting. Thanks to the rain shadow, this Islands happen to be the warmest location along the entire coast. Do be weary of reptiles who just want to bask under the warmth of the sun, and not have their photos taken. Not everyone likes to be photographed you know.
- Opal Creek
One of the oldest growth forests in which logging is disallowed allows you to experience a true untamed botanical facet of mother nature. Walking through the ancient forest, you will find out what a tamed forest means, different from an untamed one. Enjoy not only the view of green all around but the smell of ancient vegetation and heat resulting in an almost drug induced state of happiness.
- Mount Baker
Quck-sman-ik, which means the “white mountain” was the name christened to this mountain by the Nooksack Indians who inhabited this region long before white settlers arrived.
Mount Baker is partly used as a major recreational area especially around winter for winter-friendly activities. Something worth seeing during the summer are the blooming alpine flowers found on many high-level trails. If you find yourself there, ask to be shown the Fireweed and Columbine flowers; these are some of the most amazing sights around.
- Mount Vernon Tulip Fields
The rainbow-like landscape with tulips and a blue mountain background create one of the most eye-catching displays of nature. It’s little wonder why so many tourists come here with cameras of varying capabilities and still manage to get a lovely shot to take home.
- Sequim Lavender Fields
The gorgeous little city of Sequim gets less than 15 inches of rain per year, thus giving rise to perfect conditions for Lavender farms. Visit Sequim with a camera and some spare batteries because no matter how many pictures you take, you will always want to take some more, until your shutter finger becomes sore.
- Seattle Centre and space needle
Visit Seattle and approach one of the most iconic landmarks in the Seattle skyline camera in hand and ease yourself to the beautiful art available in the art center just nearby. Capture amazing pictures utilizing the famous blue building as your backdrop.
- Pike Place Market
Produce wonderful shots of succulent fruits and vegetables, as well as bundles of fresh flowers amidst the noisy movements of traders and tourists jostling and bubbling. It is one of those shots that shows life from a rather unique perspective.
- Seattle Waterfront/Ferries
Get up close with the Seattle waterfront and choose your models from the beautifully crafted sculpture parks, to the cruise ships and bikini filled beaches. Add to this sight the Olympic mountain providing an excellent background for whatever kind of photos you intend to take.