Sunset and Night Photography in Olympic National Park, USA

I recently took some time with my daughter to make the trip to Hurricane Ridge in the Olympic National Park, Washington (state). We were taking advantage of a new moon to do some stargazing in the clear air at 5200 feet. We arrived before sunset and walked some of the area trails. The deer were very cooperative models. I took several shots of this male deer and positioned myself so I could capture the deer with the mountains in the background. He was feeding so his head was down most of the time. Patience paid off because when he final raised his head, I snapped this image:

Deer, Mountains and meadows Hurricane Ridge, Olympic National Park

Using a tripod shooting 1/40s at f4 with ISO100, I was happy the deer did not move during the exposure.

As the sun set, I took this shot (1s, f22, ISO100):

Mountains and meadows at sunset, Olympic National

Finally, once it was dark enough we looked at the stars and I set up for some night shots. This image is looking south over the mountain range (20s, f1.8, ISO3200 using a 50mm lens; two image vertical panorama):

If you get the chance to visit this wonderful and diverse park be sure to take your camera!!

Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Curtis Smith (Curtwill7)

Photo credits: Curtis Smith.

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October 18, 2014


Thanks for the comments Rayzer1. It is very much appreciated!
I don't know the Larsen doctors. I will keep my ears open.


October 18, 2014


Gorgeous work! I notice you are from the Kingston area. I was just up there enjoying the fall colors and visiting my aunt and uncle, Drs. Stephen and Robin Larsen. They are fairly well known in the arts community; maybe you know them?

August 28, 2014


Thanks again everyone for your comments on this blog post. Here is one more from the same night as the others:

   Sunset, Mountains, Meadows and Stars   


August 23, 2014



What a truly beautiful location. I love the colour in the second picture!

Keep up the great work :-)

August 23, 2014


Magical images, specially the one with the deer.

August 22, 2014


Very nice shots,I'm from the east side Spokane area. We do have some nice scenery here.

August 22, 2014


If you go there on a summer evening, the deer are much more visible. They usually are scarce during the day when many people are there.

The star gazing is fantastic as well so if you have a good telescope bring it along. The Milky Way image actually has a meteorite trail in the upper right corner but you can barely see it in the thumbnail.

Thank you to everyone for the encouraging comments!

August 22, 2014


It's a very nice place - I have been there but the deers didn't show up:

 Olympic National Park, Washington, USA 

August 22, 2014


Wow! Beautiful :-)

August 22, 2014


Wonderful experience. Thanks for sharing!

August 22, 2014


Beautiful photos. Love the deer shot particularly.

August 22, 2014


congratulations! it very beautiful.

August 21, 2014


Great pics the outdoors is a great place thanks for sharing

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