New photos from Clayton Beach at Larrabee State Park in Bellingham, WA.
A winter sunset at Clayton Beach – Larrabee State Park in Bellingham
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In March of 2012 I visited Larrabee State Park in Washington State. Both of these photos are from Clayton Beach and show the interesting foregrounds possible on this sort of sandstone beach.
One of my favourite features of Clayton Beach was the sandstone along the edge of the ocean. Most of the “beaches” that I know in this region are either sandy or are a rocky beach that is rather slippery. The usual barnacles, mussels, and algae such as Fucus distichus are still present. As they are on a sandstone surface, however, the rocks are not very slippery even when wet. It feels a bit like walking on sandpaper – and it was nice to not have to worry as much about falling on my butt!
Sunset light on sandstone formations at Clayton Beach in Larrabee State Park – Bellingham
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Other than just providing a non slip surface to walk on, the sandstone provides some great textures and shapes (called Tafoni) for the foreground of a photograph. Both of these images have interesting shapes in the foreground, though the second is more pronounced with more visible pockets of erosion. My previously published photo from Larrabee shows a larger sandstone formation.
I have a new gallery of Ocean Photos on my website which includes more from my trip to Larabee State park. More Ocean themed photos are on their way…
Sunset over Lummi Island with some sandstone Tafoni at Clayton Beach in Larrabee State Park – Bellingham, Washington State, USA.
Clayton Beach at Larrabee State Park
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In March I was lucky to have Alan Majchrowicz give me a tour of Larrabee State Park in Washington State. Thanks again Alan! We were lucky and had some good light at the end of the day. The rocky shores just south of Bellingham are not like the ones I’ve spent more time on around Vancouver – these are mostly sandstone. Much nicer to walk on the sandstone – its like built in grip for your shoes! The water has also eroded the rock surfaces into all sorts of interest shapes and patterns which makes choosing a composition a bit difficult – there are so many great possibilities! Sunsets like this are not something I have done a lot with in the past, and I even brought out the 6 stop ND filter for some of it. Waiting for a 116 second exposure is not something I am used to – but I quite like the results. I will have to do much more with that filter in the future!
This is something I have learned the hard way. While I am not going to bring the SLR when I go to the grocery store, I have learned to bring it with me if there even a decent chance of finding something interesting to photograph. There have been many times when I have found something interesting – and every time this happens my camera has done me little good sitting in its bag back home. This can be a bitter pill to swallow when one comes across something spectacular.
A few days ago I accompanied a friend on a journey to Washington State to buy a new vehicle. I debated whether I should bring the camera bag or not. It was quite likely that I would not have time to shoot anything – and also quite likely I would see nothing to shoot. I’ve had this debate before – and opted to not bring my equipment with me. Frequently this has worked out just fine, but other times I have missed great opportunities by leaving my equipment at home. So this time I brought it all with me.
Glad I did!
We stopped for a quick break along SR20 in San de Fuca which is just outside of Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island. Walked down to the shore and there was a small flock of Dunlin (Calidris alpina) foraging along the shore. A quick dash back to the car and I began stalking them along the shore. Not very skittish at all, but they did move along the shore away from me when I approached. I had to hide behind old timbers of a dock to get as close as possible. Normally it is much better to sit and wait for a group like this to wander back towards you, but they did not seem alarmed by my presence and I had no time to camp out. Dunlin spend their time here on the coasts of Washington State and British Columbia in the winter – fattening themselves up before a migration to their summer breeding grounds in Alaska and along the shores of Hudson Bay.
A few weeks ago I went on an epic photo journey through Manning Park, Princeton, Penticton, Kelowna, Kamloops and the Fraser Canyon. Before I embarked on the PhotoJourney™ I thought it wise to purchase a spare battery. Having haggled a local drugstore down from $160 to $80, which I was quite happy with, I was set. I recently purchased a new Canon lens with Image Stabilization which is rumored to decrease battery life. While I took 650 pictures (many using the IS lens) I did not require the use of my new battery. The question was then – how long can I go before I need to swap out batteries?
The following weekend I went on a quick trip across the US border to Whatcom Falls Park. I saw that the battery indicator was showing about 1/2 of its strength, which means it is almost dead. I still wanted to see how far I could go before swapping out with my spare battery. On the bridge I took about 15 quick pictures before the battery finally died. Nice – about 700 shots per battery!
I reach into my bag to take out the spare. I couldn’t immediately find it. It must be in this flap… or this pocket or…. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I actually told my bag NO in dramatic enough terms to elicit attention from passersby.
Somehow the drive back to the border and home seemed longer than it should have.
At least I got a good shot of the waterfall. Handheld for 1.6 seconds! Image Stabilization works pretty darn good I’d say, though I think I’m pretty lucky to have this shot turn out.
I have put together some of my favourite images made in the last year into this 11"x17" (28cm x 43cm) nature calendar. Included are 12 photographs of landscape and nature scenes from British Columbia and Washington State.
I am a landscape and nature photographer based in Langley, British Columbia, Canada. Most of my subjects are in Southwestern British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest's Washington State. My photography is available for licensing as stock, fine art prints, and giclée canvas wraps.