Wildcat Cove Samish Bay Sunset Larrabee State Park

Bellingham Bay Samish Bay

Bellingham Bay Samish Bay

Taylor Dock Boardwalk Boulevard Park Bellingham WashingtonTaylor Dock Boardwalk, Bellingham WA  #64663  #Purchase

2018 is turning out to be a year of new beginnings. Along with the launching of my new website comes this first blog post of the year, featuring several new images. These new photos are even more special in that are the first made using an entirely new camera system.

Last week during a brief window of decent weather I took a short break from working on the new website. This break enabled me to finally get out in the field to test out my new Nikon D850 camera system and a couple new filters. I find reading and writing reviews of photo gear a huge bore. So, if you’re interested in my opinions of the D850 you can contact me. I’ll be happy to share my first impressions.

The first photo above is from Boulevard Park, along Bellingham Bay. Aside from the new camera and lens, this was my first photo using a Lee Big Stopper filter. For those not familiar, the Big Stopper is a neutral density filter that dramatically increases the length of exposure. This extended shutter speed results in any movement becoming blurred. In the case above, the sky and water took on a silky texture. Photographing after sunset during the “Blue Hour” adds to the mood with cooler saturated tones.

Larrabee State Park

Wildcat Cove Sunset, Samish Bay Larrabee State Park, WashingtonWildcat Cove Sunset, Larrabee State Park  #64680  Purchase

The next day I decided to head down to one of my favorite local winter destinations, Larrabee State Park. Usually I stop by Clayton Beach on the south end of the park. However, since I’ve made numerous photos from that great location I decided to check out Wildcat Cove beach. I haven’t been there for many years and I forgot how scenic it can be.

Wildcat Cove Samish Bay Sunset Larrabee State ParkWildcat Cove Sunset, Larrabee State Park  #64695  Purchase

The tide was going out, exposing some interesting and extremely slippery rocks. The winter light was also warm and pleasant with some nice wispy high clouds. Since it was mid-week there weren’t many people. So it was nice to leisurely set up my gear and make a few photos as the sun went down.

I wanted to get in more practice with the Lee Filters so I made couple more tries. Exposures of even a few minutes long seem to take forever when  it’s getting dark and cold!

Wildcat Cove Samish Bay Sunset Larrabee State ParkWildcat Cove Sunset, Larrabee State Park  #64696  Purchase

 

 

Clayton Beach sunset Larrabee State Park

Samish Bay Bellingham Bay

Samish Bay Bellingham Bay

Clayton Beach sunset Larrabee State ParkClayton Beach Sunset, Larrabee State Park, Washington  #59666  Purchase

Once again its time to post some new photos from my favorite winter doldrum photo haunts, Larrabee State Park and Bellingham Bay. These locations are only a few miles from my home, so when I can’t get out on some winter ski trips I head to the local beaches for some fresh air and inspiration. These photos were made within a two day period when there was a lively mixture of sunny and stormy weather, a time during which you can usually get a wide variety of lighting conditions. To read more about Larrabee State Park check out this post from last year.

Clayton Beach sunset Larrabee State ParkClayton Beach Sunset, Larrabee State Park, Washington  #59681  Purchase

Bellingham Bay WashingtonStorm clouds over Bellingham Bay, Washington  #59689   Purchase

Cormorant, Bellingham Bay WashingtonCormorant, Bellingham Bay, Washington  #59699  Purchase
Bellingham Bay WashingtonBellingham Bay, Washington  #59692  Purchase

Samish Bay, Larrabee State Park Washington

Larrabee State Park Samish Bay Washington

Larrabee State Park Samish Bay Washington

Samish Bay, Larrabee State Park WashingtonSamish Bay #56660  Purchase

Like in many previous years, during the lull between winter and spring, I’ve been making several visits to Larrabee State Park. Situated along Samish Bay a few miles south of Bellingham this is one of the best locations for photography in the area. Hikers trail runners and mountain bikers will find numerous trails into the Chuckanut Mountains. For the photographer, the shoreline along the bay is the place to be. Facing out to the famous San Juan Islands the shore is lined with sandstone cliffs and boulders eroded into fascinating formations. There is even a small natural arch dipping into the water, if you can find it.

Clayton Beach

Possibly the best location for photos is Clayton Beach at the south end of the park. It is accessed by a trail approximately one-half mile long. Once on the beach there are great rock formations. M favorite being just to the left of the beach. Back at the main park entrance,  a short trail takes you down to a sandstone formation with more great compositions.

Clayton Beach, Larrabee State Park WashingtonSandstone erosion patterns Clayton Beach #47151  Purchase

If you go you will need to purchase a day use pass, unreasonably priced at $15. Although a yearly pass for all Washington State Parks, the Discover Pass is $30. The best time for photography in this park is late afternoon to sunset. This when the golden colored sandstone glows in the light. Low tide is best since you’ll be able to access more formations. However since this is a popular park it will be next to impossible to get photos without the sand being tracked out. The good news is that in winter most people leave around sunset. During my last three trips I had the beach all to myself. It’s a different story though in summer when the park is packed with people.

Clayton Beach, Larrabee State Park WashingtonSandstone pinnacle Larrabee State Park #47154r