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Old Nov 1, 2009, 2:02 PM   #1
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Default Hoh Rain Forest, Olympic National Park

This is an awesome location, but it's where I had the most trouble photographing. Part of the problem was light - it was partly sunny and the dynamic range was often beyond a digital sensor. I took a number of bracketed shots and merged them in photomatix, with varying results. The other problem is that it's overwhelming - there's just so much to look at. I had a hard time trying to capture the true feel of the place.

It's been a couple of months of contrast for us - in August we visited the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest and saw some of the oldest living trees in the world. Their bark is very dense, with thin growth rings, showing a hundred years in an inch or so. They grow in an area where nothing else much grows, with long views showing nothing much beyond brush and rocks.

Hoh rain forest is about as opposite as you can get. With all the rain, trees in the rain forest have big, thick growth rings, trees grow very quickly, going from seedling to blown-over logs quickly. I wish I had taken pictures in the visitor centers at both locations showing the differences - it was amazing.

Plants grow everywhere, even on each other. I felt like I shouldn't stand still very long or else I'd find a fern or moss growing on my shoulders.

Because there's so much water, trees have a shallow root system. They are blown over easily, which isn't a bad thing - the downed trees become home to new trees and other plants. This is the bottom roots of a tree that fell sometime in the past. It's now hosting ferns and other trees, allowing the trees to grow above all of the plants that thickly blanket the ground (and can choke them out).

Eventually the trees that sprout on the downed trees send roots down to soil and the "nurse trees" eventually rot away, leaving new, large trees with holes in their root base, showing where the tree had been:

One of my HDR attempts to try to capture the scene:

And closer up:

There's springs throughout the area, making picturesque places.

Fall color:

Lots of mushrooms:

I don't think my pictures really capture the feeling of this beautiful, complex location. It's so different than what I'm used to, almost unbelievable. And it is definitely a "must-see" location, even if all you do is walk one of the short nature trails, like we did.
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Old Nov 1, 2009, 4:45 PM   #2
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Been out and about but back and I see you really did have fun in the Olympics. Nice pictures there MtnGal ... they are all great I really laughed at at he phone think any one really wants to call from a wet phone grown over with moss lol some times they have too..Did you or have you been up on road 20 in between Marbelmont and Winthrop.. that's a nice drive thru the actual wilderness...water falls and all.. don't do in winter they close the road off then..
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Old Nov 1, 2009, 5:35 PM   #3
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What a lovely green lush landscape - so well captured too! Makes me want to travel, yet reminds me of our Smokies (which are considered a temperate rain forest). We see much the same luxuriant growth of mosses & ferns, and the same "nurse log" effect.
The phone booth is a great shot - fine gentle humor, but I think I like the row of trees (#4) the best!
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Old Nov 1, 2009, 6:35 PM   #4
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Outstanding Harriet!
Love the phone booth,
those are getting harder and harder to find.

Life's a breeze on a Goldwing...
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Old Nov 1, 2009, 7:42 PM   #5
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Thanks for the compliments! The first two pictures were taken by Dan using the K20 and the DA 55-300, by the way and the rest are mine. We didn't explore much beyond the more famous spots. It was was too short of a trip to really explore and get off the beaten path, which we love to do. Next time perhaps we'll drive the Wrangler and explore some of the dirt roads.

As far as phone booths go - there used to be a phone booth in the middle of the Mojave desert, with nothing for miles around it. It was famous - people would go out of the way to drive to it, just to make a call from it. It wouldn't surprise me if people take one look at this phone booth and make a call, just to say they've used it.

I've always wanted to spend time in the Smokies - the pictures I've seen sure make it look wonderful, my kind of place. What's frustrating to me is that I once briefly lived in North Carolina and never bothered to take the time to explore the Smokies or any of the other beautiful areas in the mountains. I've often regretted being young and foolish and not taking advantage of my time there.

Last edited by mtngal; Nov 1, 2009 at 7:45 PM.
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Old Nov 1, 2009, 7:51 PM   #6
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Wow! Harriet, that is a really great series-

The colors seem to be alive and oh, so vibrant. Nicely done. Thank you.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Nov 1, 2009, 10:00 PM   #7
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Boy oh boy...those are wonderful pictures, Mtngal. Living on the Prairies with quick access to boreal forests...those pix look otherworldly to me...beautiful, but otherworldly.

I see your husband used the 55-300...I have this lens also and continued to be impressed by it's sharpness.

My wife took a look at your pix and we decided that forest will be on our bucket list of places to visit....and photograph.

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Old Nov 1, 2009, 10:08 PM   #8
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These are really great shots Harriet. I mentioned in one of your earlier threads that back in the 1970s I had hiked and climbed in the North Cascades. I remember one climbing trip when we spent over a week in the high country well above tree line -- crossing glaciers, scaling jagged rock peaks, etc. After the high country traverse was over we descended into a valley to reach a hiking trail, and as the day went on we went through snow fields, alpine meadows, scrubby gnarly stunted trees, devils club, and finally, those amazing lush old growth rain forest. I'll never forget the awe and wonder of those forests. Your photos are a wonderful reminder of that amazing country.

And I agree, the photo of the pay phone is hilarious!
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Old Nov 1, 2009, 10:40 PM   #9
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Wow we are sure getting wet on these walks with you and Mole, but it's sure worth it,
Fabulous shots full of colour, I love the shot of the trunks, look like giants legs, wonderful.


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Old Nov 2, 2009, 7:48 AM   #10
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Great photos and narrative of the Hoh.

At the time I visited I was shooting film with a C---N A-1 and a 28-70mm lens and my pictures were quite disappointing.

You have managed to capture the scope and feeling of the rain forest extremely well.

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