Become Your Dreams – Olympic National Park, Washington

It’s great to be back with a new blog post for you all. With the launch of my How to Photograph the Northern Lights Tutorial & Star Photography Photoshop Actions & Luminosity Channels it’s been an insane past 2 months.

My goal as always is to bring you all top notch content from all aspects of landscape, night and star photography! Do you have any comments or suggestions on new tutorials you would like to see on this website? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

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My latest goal is to simplify life by all means, and this includes photography. You’ll see what I mean in these emails, they are simple yet very powerful concepts and tools which you can implement right away!

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Let’s Get to It!

For anyone that missed it I made a free tutorial for you all. It will show you how to post process / edit your Northern Lights photos from start to finish in Lightroom & Photoshop.

Fresh out of some amazing hikes in the Pacific Northwest, winter is quickly approaching which means awesome snowshoeing and travels abroad.

Recently we spent some time in the Enchantments of Washington State. This place is unreal! I’d highly suggest it to anyone that wants to escape reality for a week. We spent 5 days out here exploring, hiking and taking photos!

Taken on a 5 day backpacking trip in fall of 2014.
Paul Weeks Shooting in the Enchantments of Washington State


The Shot

This is one of my favorite spots to shoot on the Olympic Peninsula. You can camp here, or even better hike up the beach for days without seeing a soul. The Wild Coast as they call it has is very remote once you get out there a day or two. It also has some really nice easy to access locations for day trippers.
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The Wild Coast – Olympic National Park, Washington

I’ve been spending a massive amount of time on the Olympic Peninsula lately. Last weekend we backpacked a few days into the rain forest to capture the streams and lush greens that spring brings to this part of the country.

Here is a quick video I took with my Nexus 5 this past weekend while hiking in the rain forest. If you listen closely you can hear a bunch of bird noises in the back ground. Click 1080P for best resolution:)

The Behind the Scenes shot shown below was taken from the same location as my Portfolio image ( included at the bottom of this blog post ) after the moon had risen a bit more. This particular weekend the weather was really nice so I threw my hammock in the trees right by the fire. With the waves crashing, and a nice breeze coming off the ocean, it was unbeatable.

Our camp fire burns as the moon illuminates the Pacific waters of Olympic National Parks Wild Coast.
Camping on the Pacific Coast / Taken at very high ISO, hand held, just after midnight.

The Shot
I’ve been scouting this location for a while, trying to get something new and unique as there are a ton of great shots from the beach seen in the foreground. This time of year The Milky Way rises in the South late in the evening. This still wouldn’t really give off enough light to illuminate the awesome landscape of the Pacific Coast.

Just the right soft light was necessary to show off all the small details and sea stacks cover the coast in this region of the country. After an attempt early in the year with a crescent moon there still wasn’t enough light.

Going back to the same location again with a 96% moon seemed to do the trick. As the moon rose from the East ( just out of the top left corner of this photo ), it lit up most of the landscape and threw some amazing shadows over everything else. The colors were soft, and a light fog / mist from the ocean’s surf started to cover the coast line. Multiple exposures were taken to experiment with exposure time, and the effect that these exposure times had on the color and feel / texture of the water.

Finally everything came together… an almost silvery moon glow coming off the ocean in the immediate foreground, a soft haze rising from the coast as it fades into the background, and the over all dreamy feel that the Pacific Coast provides at night, under a nearly full moon. 

The Night Watch- Ruby Beach, WA

This will be my last day posting to the blog for a week, I am headed off to Italy for a much needed vacation. We are landing in Venice, then traveling Cinque Terre & the last destination is Rome. Hopefully there will be some great weather, lots of new pictures, along with some amazing food & lots of wine. If you want to learn some star photography while I’m gone, here are some useful links to do so.

Under the Stars Lightroom 4 Presets
Star Photography Portfolio

The Shot
During my last Online Star Photography Post Processing Group Workshop we processed this shot. I really like how it turned out. The night it was taken at Ruby Beach Washington was one of the darkest nights I have ever seen. The Milky Way felt so bright that it seemed to hang right over the ocean.