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  • Writer's pictureDave Pidgeon

Symmetry at Second Beach

Updated: Jul 22, 2023

Sunburst over the sea stacks of Second Beach in Olympic National Park
Second Beach in Olympic National Park, Wash.

LOCATION: Second Beach, Olympic National Park, Wash.

EQUIPMENT: Canon 5D Mark IV, EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM

THE STORY: It's mid-October in the Pacific Northwest. You'd be forgiven if you thought that meant rain, some drizzle, more rain, followed by rain with drizzle.

Instead, when I visited, it meant summer-like conditions. That made for perfect symmetry when I arrived on the coastline.

You can choose from so many locations on the coastline of Olympic National Park and find iconic sea stacks, what this region is known for.

My choice was Second Beach. When doing my pre-trip research, I found what others had created there irresistible.

You hike in a beautiful wood for about a mile from the parking lot along La Push Road (State Route 110). When the trail leads you off the ridgeline and onto the beach, you're met with something that's simply grand.

This evening, I had brilliant cerulean sky without a single cloud. A few folks mingled along the sand, but the space is so wide, it was easy to feel solitary.

The western trajectory of the sun allowed me to place it perfectly in between Second Beach's two largest sea stacks.

What happens next is easy. Fix the aperture to a small opening, f/22 in this case, lower the ISO to 100, find the shutter speed, and fire away.

Symmetry with the sun and silhouetted sea stacks.

Dave Pidgeon is a seasoned writer and photographer from Lancaster, Pa. You can reach him at


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