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  • Writer's pictureDave Pidgeon

Waterfall'ing in Olympic National Park

Updated: Jul 22, 2023

A waterfall tumbles under a bridge in the woods.
Sol Duc Falls in Olympic National Park, Wash.

LOCATION: Sol Duc Falls, Olympic National Park, Wash.

THE EQUIPMENT: Canon 5D Mark IV | EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM | Breakthrough six-stop neutral density filter | Manfrotto tripod

THE STORY: I spent three days walking and photographing Olympic National Park during a smoky and humid October.

I had thousands of images in the SD cards jammed into my cameras. I still wanted more.

I did not have a waterfall image. No long exposure of a beautiful stream slipping down smooth rocks, a serene scene, a photo version of quiet contemplation.

I made a direct line to the parking area where a trail would lead to Sol Duc Falls. I wanted to get there before sunrise for two reasons.

  1. The falls would remain in shadow, making for perfect long exposure shots

  2. The park was crowded, and undoubtedly, the falls would be a popular choice for day hikers, most of whom prefer to wake up after sunrise.

The falls can be found just short of a mile into the old growth, moss-covered forest, and when I arrived, there was one other photographer there.

Perfect. I even saw a hint of autumn gold on the ferns.

Set the camera on the tripod. Pick your exposure (2.5 seconds in this case). Peer through the viewfinder. Press the remote shutter release.

Quiet contemplation.

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

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