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  • Writer's pictureDave Pidgeon

Blue mountain ridges in Olympic

LOCATION: Along Route 101, Lake Crescent, Olympic National Park, Wash.

THE EQUIPMENT: Canon EOS 5D Mark IV | EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM

GPS: 48°3'28.4256" N 123°52'59.8404" W

THE STORY: This image seems to grab a lot of attention whenever I share it on social.

It was in many respects a happy accident. That's what happens often in photography, that what turns out to be one of your most popular images is one you never intended to make.

Try to picture this - it's a super bright morning, and I mean super bright. A pearly haze hung over the entire Olympic Peninsula due to a historic wildfire that burned hundreds of miles away.

Remember when you were a kid, and you'd walk behind window curtains? You'd use your hands to push through to make your way out? That's what it was like.

I followed Route 101 eastward, concluding a few epic days of photography in Olympic National Park. Exhausted from early mornings and late evenings and zipping around an expansive national park in a rented car, I was ready for a little comfort, downtime to edit images, and some good coffee with heavy cream.

And although the smoky morning haze would make you squint even with sunglasses on, I caught through the pines that lined the serene Lake Crescent a glimpse of light and shadow contrast in the distant mountains.

Dodging a large tractor trailer that let me know how idiotic I was to spontaneously turn left into his path, I found a small parking space on the side of the road.

If you ever travel with a photographer, I hope you don't mind a little spontaneity. It often leads to images like this.

What you see above is what I saw, just with adjusted color temp to give it that tranquil blue tone.

Of all that I created that magical weekend of visual sensations in Olympic, this one seems to be the most popular.

Dave Pidgeon is a seasoned writer and photographer. He lives in Lancaster, Pa., with his three sons. You can contact him at


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