Sunday, April 11, 2010

Ebey's landing preserve, Whidbey island

Perego lake, Ebeys landing, Whidbey island

Equipment: Canon 20D, Sigma 10-20mm

Image details: 12mm, f/9.0, 1/80sec, ISO 100
Ebey's landing on Whidbey island is an area of stark beauty and historical significance. The bluff at Ebey's landing is a windswept headland laced with scenic coastal trails on Whidbey island. This natural preserve has been on my list of places to visit ever since I made my first trip to Whidbey island. For more information about the preserve refer to this website.

I particularly enjoyed the drive through Whidbey island in late evening light on the way to Ebey's landing. As I was driving by a red tailed hawk dived into the wheat fields nearby possibly hunting mice. The road leading to the landing trailhead is particularly interesting - a curvy winding road with the blue pacific ocean on the left and high brown bluffs to the right. In the right light it will be a great shot - will need to keep it in mind for my next visit.

Click here for more information about hiking trails in the area. I arrived at the landing a little late in the day and did not have time to hike the full loop - that will have to wait for the next trip. My goal on this trip was Perego's lagoon - a freshwater lagoon separated from the ocean by a narrow strip of the beach. The lagoon is a haven for birdlife and gets frequently flooded by saltwater. At the end of a long summer the lagoon was dry and the cracked up lagoon bed looks like something you are more likely to see in Death valley than on the Washington coast. I was hoping for a bright red sunset to shoot the cracked lake bed. 

Shooting on the lagoon bed was very interesting - the lake bed was pretty soft and difficult to walk on. Good thing I had good hiking boots on , the boots were completely crusted in the soft lake bed mud. The sunset was pretty decent and I got some good shots. I made both vertical and horizontal compositions. I made a couple of exposures - the plan was to manually merge the two exposures using layers in Photoshop. I have tried HDR before but have been dissatisfied with the unnatural results. Once I was satisfied with my shots I headed back to the parking lot.

In hindsight I left the location a little too early, Once I got back to the parking lot the colors really picked up and the sky was painted red! The next time I'm going to stay put till the sun completely sets! However all was not lost - I was able to setup next to the beach close to the parking lot and shoot long exposures of the Olympic mountains over the Strait of Juan de Fuca. I knelt down and took a series of horizontal shots which I combined into a panorama. I found the leading lines of the mountains, ocean and shoreline very interesting...It seemed like they were all converging at the bluffs of Ebey's landing :)

Earth meets sky, Ebeys landing, Whidbey island

Equipment: Canon 20D, canon 24-70mm

Image details: 24mm, f/16, 30sec, ISO 100

Directions to Ebey's landing

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