Port Angeles on the Olympic Peninsula, WA

A Segment of the Bill Forney Workshop

(5th of 7 Posts from this Trip)


(Note:  Click on any of the images below to see an enlargement in a new window)


Port9The last segment of Bill Fortney’s His Light Washington state workshop was on the Olympic Peninsula.  Our focus (no pun intended) was the Olympic National Park, but for most of it, we were based in Port Angeles at the Olympic Inn (a great lodging and meeting location).  Not ever having been to the Olympic NP, I wasn’t expecting it to be mostly drive-to.  By that I mean lodging (other than campgrounds) are mostly outside the park, and all of the thoroughfares skirt its huge perimeter.  Access to the various spots for photography is generally via one-way park roads leading from various parts of the bordering US101 highway (yes, the very same legendary route that runs the entire length of the west coast to San Diego).

Port3Although we were here primarily for Olympic NP, Port Angeles offered some pretty interesting shooting opps all by itself.  The harbor is home to a number of shipping piers and terminals of all sorts.  Although grain is a major export from Washington, much of that travels to the Pacific via the Columbia River to the south.  This harbor is dominated by shipping transiting from Seattle and Vancouver, BC, by logging operations and by the huge Nippon Paper mill at the neck of the Ediz Hook.

1-px-x-560-px-background-line-shimPort7While there were plenty of interesting boats, marina scenes and passing ships offering their own shooting opportunities, I was particularly intrigued by the old boat dry-yard and the remnants of old docks and pilings that still litter the harbor’s edge.  There was a particularly interesting fishing vessel on blocks undergoing some form of restoration (with long way to go).  It was a perfect model for practicing the HDR method, which was one of the training sessions by team leader Jim Begley.

1-px-x-560-px-background-line-shimPort4I had discovered what I thought was an interesting setting on one early morning.  The old pilings, while not as dramatic as others I found in Astoria (more on that in a later post), I liked the mood that seemed to suggest a story about the harbor.  I tried different speed settings, but until I pulled out the Lee “Big Stopper” 10-stop filter, I couldn’t slow the water ripples enough.  That filter is a must for anyone shooting moving (especially) rippling water.

1-px-x-560-px-background-line-shimPort8In town, I came across what I first thought might just be artistic whimsy.  I noticed and immediately became fascinated with this huge (72’x25′), fantastic painted mural on the side of a old building.  It is of an oddly shaped streamlined ship, somewhat resembling an old Airstream trailer.  But no, as I learned later, it’s actually a depiction of the 1935 ferry, MV Kalakala, which did service in the Puget Sound from 1935 until 1967.  The Kalakala (the real ship, and reportedly the world’s first streamlined ship) still exists, although in a sad state and with a very checkered, but interesting history.  If you’re more information about the Kalakala and some terrific photos of her, Click Here.

{Please note:  The Kalakala mural is the work of artist Cory Ench.  Although I took this photo, it should be assumed Mr. Cory Ench, the building owner, the city and/or others hold all of the commercial rights to this image. It is reproduced here strictly for informational purposes, and may not be copied or reused in any commercial manner without express permission of the artist and all other individuals or entities who may hold all rights to its commercial use.}

I think Port Angeles might be worth exploring with camera gear for a few days all by itself.  Maybe a good place to return to, maybe in the fall or even rainy season.


I hope you’ll take the time to check the next postS from the trip (Next 2 posts of this same date).  Thanks for checking in, and cheers,



  1. That early morning shot of the pilings is fascinating. Almost looks like a painting. Love the old fishing boat too – very expressive in an unusual way.

  2. Loved the pilings with the beautiful painted sky as a backdrop. Almost looked lonely.

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