the blog of Seldom Seen Photography

Mountain Blues

Mountain blues? Well, lots blue sky maybe. In fact, the only thing to be blue about was the lack of clouds (ever notice how photographers are never happy with the weather – believe me, Tanya has noticed [and has told me so]). So I saw lots of blue. But how about purples, yellows and reds? I saw them too during the three days I spent on Blue Mountain in Olympic National Park over last weekend.

The trip was an official Mountaineers photography outing, lead by my friend and most excellent photographer John Woods. We camped at campground at Deer Park and had great views of the Olympic Mountains without leaving our picnic table. But we did leave the picnic table, to travel the short distance the rest the way up Blue Mountain for sunset and sunrise shots.

Blue Mountain is 6,007 feet high, which may not sound like much, but because its summit is only less than 12 miles from sea level, it seems like it is way up there. It is one of the highest places you can drive to in Washington State (the parking lot is about 170 feet below the summit). The view is incredible – look to the north and see the Straits of Juan de Fuca, Vancouver Island, the San Juan Islands,  the Canadian Cascades, Port Angeles, Sequim, and Victoria, British Columbia; look to the east and see Whidbey Island, Puget Sound, Mount Baker, Glacier Peak, and the North Cascades; and look to the south and west see the Olympic Mountains.

But there was much more to photograph than the view from Blue Mountain. There were lots of wildflowers and animal life (they don’t call it Deer Park for nothing). And there were hikes to take. It was a great weekend – definitely nothing to be blue about.

Sunset over the Olympic Mountains

Early morning fog in the low lands and over Puget Sound

Morning light on the Olympics

A hawk came to visit our camp

Colorful thistle were abundant in the Deer Park area

A view from very near our campsite

Wildflowers and Mount Olympus

Another view from near our campsite

Indian paintbrush

170 responses

  1. These photos are spectacular. I’ve recently grown more and more interested in Olympic NP, and these made me even more interested! Thanks for sharing!

    August 29, 2011 at 9:57 pm

    • Ashley, thanks for the nice comment about my photos. You really should visit Olympic National Park sometime – it is a special place.

      August 29, 2011 at 10:31 pm

  2. such pretty shots!

    August 30, 2011 at 4:02 am

  3. Gorgeous photos! I like the thistle 🙂

    September 6, 2011 at 10:06 am

  4. Absolutely STUNNING photos — I love the shot of the fog. Incredible!


    September 6, 2011 at 10:33 am

  5. Gorgeous. Even the evisceration of the forest by the mountain pine beetle looks pretty when you photograph it.

    September 6, 2011 at 10:34 am

    • Actually, the dead trees are from a forest fire a number of years ago. I enjoy photographing dead trees (I know, call me weird), but more so when they weren’t taken out by pine beetles.

      September 6, 2011 at 12:23 pm

  6. These photos are really gorgeous – the fog looks so ethereal; I thought it was a photo of the ocean at first.

    September 6, 2011 at 10:36 am

  7. BLaine Robert Parker

    Quite intriguing Pic s !!

    September 6, 2011 at 10:43 am

  8. These are stunning. You chose the times of the day when the light makes mountains like these look even more majestic.

    September 6, 2011 at 10:48 am

  9. woooooooooow realy cool photos..!!well done!

    September 6, 2011 at 10:50 am

  10. Great photography of beautiful scenery. Thanks for sharing it. Connie

    September 6, 2011 at 10:51 am

  11. Chintan Gupta

    you are so good with the camera…It’s hard to believe 🙂 first and third photograph is simply superb….


    September 6, 2011 at 10:52 am

  12. woow! thanks for this cool pics!

    September 6, 2011 at 10:52 am

  13. Piękne.

    September 6, 2011 at 11:04 am

  14. Your shots are amazing! The colour in early morning fog is beautiful and your shots breathtaking! Thanks for sharing!

    September 6, 2011 at 11:10 am

  15. Love those mountains and wildflowers…

    September 6, 2011 at 11:12 am

  16. Such beautiful images. I am touched.
    It is wonderful to be able to photograph simple things yet, see a new world in each of them.

    September 6, 2011 at 11:13 am

  17. Gorgeous picture! 4th one down in stunning

    September 6, 2011 at 11:15 am

  18. kalee11

    These photos are so beautiful they look faked! (And I mean that as a compliment!)

    September 6, 2011 at 11:22 am

  19. Pingback: Mountain Blues (via joebeckerphoto) « Psilomelane

  20. w.o.w i could really spend my days just for the heck of the view…!!! amazing

    September 6, 2011 at 11:25 am

  21. These photos are absolutely unbelievable!! Gorgeous!! Even with the all of the lighting issues you had… 😉

    Thanks so much for sharing and congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

    September 6, 2011 at 11:27 am

    • So that’s what happened, I wondered why I suddenly had so many comments. Thanks for looking!

      September 6, 2011 at 12:26 pm

  22. Beautiful photos! I love the colors.

    September 6, 2011 at 11:27 am

  23. Awesome photos!

    September 6, 2011 at 11:42 am

  24. SaraPey

    You did an amazing work. Seriously!

    September 6, 2011 at 11:47 am


    September 6, 2011 at 12:07 pm

  26. Nice work! I’ve never been there.


    September 6, 2011 at 12:11 pm

  27. It’s fantastic!!!!

    September 6, 2011 at 12:18 pm

  28. I love the times of day when the sun hits the world just so and everything’s golden! Gorgeous scenery and incredible photos!

    September 6, 2011 at 12:23 pm

  29. outrageously beautiful

    September 6, 2011 at 12:31 pm

  30. Your photography is the best!!! Wow…..

    September 6, 2011 at 12:32 pm

  31. Those are some great views of the pacific northwest!

    September 6, 2011 at 12:45 pm

  32. Jameson

    These are spectacular! I’m a sucker for great nature photos.

    September 6, 2011 at 12:46 pm

  33. vixstar1314

    Wow beautiful pictures thanks for sharing

    September 6, 2011 at 12:48 pm

  34. nice photos

    September 6, 2011 at 1:00 pm

  35. Maya

    One word: Woah!

    September 6, 2011 at 1:05 pm

  36. These pictures capture the place exactly as I remember it from camping trips as a child; complete with all the magic and wonder the Earth presents through the eyes of a youth. Phenomenal work! Thanks for the reminder to live in awe of my surroundings!

    September 6, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    • Genevieve, it’s that way for me too; at least that is one reason I do photography. I took long camping trips across the West with my parents and siblings when I was young. The photography brings some of that back. Thanks for your nice comments.

      September 6, 2011 at 1:10 pm

  37. Good

    September 6, 2011 at 1:13 pm

  38. Pingback: Mountain Blues (via joebeckerphoto) « A Cameo Life

  39. Goodness, these pictures are stunning. The very first one of the rock with the bright light hitting it, but the other part in shadows, is brilliant. I especially love the one of the fog with the mountains in the distance. The close up of the thistle plant is also gorgeous. I would love to visit Olympic National Park now.

    September 6, 2011 at 1:38 pm

  40. thebigbookofdating

    WOW really stunning photos! love em (:

    September 6, 2011 at 1:40 pm

  41. Your photos are beautiful. I really enjoyed your post! Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

    September 6, 2011 at 1:44 pm

  42. ohioken

    Grreat pictures.

    September 6, 2011 at 1:51 pm

  43. Pingback: Mountain Blues (via joebeckerphoto) | whatamiwishingfor

  44. you are so freakin’ TALENTED. i am in awe.

    September 6, 2011 at 2:36 pm

  45. I love pictures of the out doors and those blew my mind! They were so amazing! Good job 🙂

    September 6, 2011 at 2:37 pm

  46. Great shots! What an experience to have!

    September 6, 2011 at 3:02 pm

  47. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! I love the photo of the fog (I also thought it was the ocean at first). The blue sky in the hawk photo is absolutey gorgeous and those thistles…. aren’t they unusual? Thanks for posting this!

    September 6, 2011 at 3:08 pm

  48. Red Toenails

    Wow. Loved this. Can’t get enough of pics where you feel like you can step off into them.


    September 6, 2011 at 3:35 pm

  49. Thanks for the incredible photo journey.

    September 6, 2011 at 3:50 pm

  50. I love the mountains, and this pictures are beautiful. I especially love pictures 1, 3, & 4. These photos definitely deserve to be highlighted on Freshly Pressed.

    September 6, 2011 at 3:59 pm

  51. The first picture is really stunning. Congrats!

    September 6, 2011 at 4:11 pm

  52. Beautiful, thanks for sharing these. Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed.

    September 6, 2011 at 4:13 pm

  53. These photos are georgeous. You really deserved to be freshly pressed.

    September 6, 2011 at 5:02 pm

  54. Great photos! Beautiful light and very atmospheric – well done 🙂 A mountaineering photography trip sounds like something I’d like too!

    September 6, 2011 at 5:25 pm

  55. Betsy

    Lovely photos. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    September 6, 2011 at 5:47 pm

  56. Amazing. These pictures reminded me of the beautiful things in life. Thank you!

    September 6, 2011 at 6:02 pm

  57. diggingher

    absolutely stunning photography. Isn’t it magnificant to admire Creation.

    September 6, 2011 at 6:02 pm

  58. Exquisite shots!

    September 6, 2011 at 6:18 pm

  59. those are insanely beautiful photos. I want to go there!


    September 6, 2011 at 6:26 pm

  60. Rai

    This looks like SUCH a fun trip! It makes me miss Alaska.


    I was never so lucky =(

    September 6, 2011 at 6:33 pm

  61. Ben

    These are great. Mountains always remind me of God’s power. Thanks for sharing with us!

    September 6, 2011 at 6:58 pm

  62. beautiful!

    September 6, 2011 at 7:08 pm

  63. wonderful photos, i love the wildflowers. i could imagine myself sitting there just enjoying the view and interacting with nature.. thanks for sharing.

    September 6, 2011 at 7:36 pm

  64. nice share gan 🙂

    September 6, 2011 at 7:39 pm

  65. I love the morning light and the hawk. Those are my favourites. Are you a pro photographer?

    September 6, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    • Leadinglight, the hawk shot was pure chance, as it landed in a tree next to our camp and gladly posed. I am a professional, but only part-time. I’d starve if I had to make my living at photography. Glad you like my work.

      September 6, 2011 at 8:37 pm

  66. That’s definitely not the Deer Park where I live. I’m from Deer Park Texas. All we see are smoke Stacks. Very beautiful where you are from
    Maybe I need to move.

    Mark from

    September 6, 2011 at 8:17 pm

  67. Gorgeous Pics! Great shots and awesome eye! I am freshly impressed! 🙂

    September 6, 2011 at 8:31 pm

  68. Mini.Sun

    in sea of clouds just like in fairyland, bring us relax and happy.

    September 6, 2011 at 8:39 pm

  69. amazing, breathtaking pictures…congrats for getting Freshly pressed!!!

    September 6, 2011 at 8:41 pm

  70. I’ve camped out in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming to name a few, and it is difficult to capture natures majesty in a still shot. You have done so in these gorgeous photos. They brought me back to those very places. Thanks.

    September 6, 2011 at 9:08 pm

  71. MaiBao

    Breathtakingly beautiful.

    September 6, 2011 at 9:46 pm

  72. So beautiful it is! Well done!

    September 6, 2011 at 10:00 pm

  73. awesome pictures. 🙂 most specially that i love color blue 🙂

    September 6, 2011 at 10:01 pm

  74. Gorgeous photos. Unfortunately for myself, all of the mountains around me are tan; living in Arizona can be such a drag when it comes to nature.

    September 6, 2011 at 10:29 pm

    • But Ben, I love the Southwest including those brown mountains. They have a different kind of beauty. I’m going on a trip to the Southwest soon (though missing Arizona), check out my blog over the next month.

      September 7, 2011 at 7:53 am

  75. Such good photos- I was hesitant when I checked this Freshly Pressed entry, but I’m so impressed by your clearly thoughtful composition, not only with shapes, but with color/contrast, depth of field/object alignment and GREAT soft light from rising/setting sun!

    Not just another person with a fancy, expensive camera taking “auto” shots of some backyard flower. So glad I saw this!

    September 6, 2011 at 10:35 pm

    • Thanks Patrick, my camera almost never goes on into auto mode. Thanks for commenting.

      September 7, 2011 at 7:51 am

  76. Incredible photography. You are talented! And the beauty of nature… My God, it’s so spiritual! The Mountains are so fascinating and beautiful!

    September 6, 2011 at 10:43 pm

  77. I’m sure we were at the same place at the same time:

    September 6, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    • Klaus – not sure it was exactly the same place, but it’s close. Looks like you were there Labor Day weekend, I was there the week before – though both weekends had similar weather. Nice shot, btw!

      September 7, 2011 at 7:49 am

  78. natbeau123

    gorgeous…amazing photos!

    September 6, 2011 at 11:05 pm

  79. a hawk pauses
    to punctuate
    the letter H
    Marie Marshall

    September 6, 2011 at 11:26 pm

    • Thank you for the poem!!!

      September 7, 2011 at 8:04 am

  80. I am a professional, but only part-time.

    September 6, 2011 at 11:57 pm

  81. wonderful photos, i love the wildflowers. i could imagine myself sitting there just enjoying the view and interacting with nature.. thanks for sharing.

    September 7, 2011 at 12:00 am

  82. These are great. Mountains always remind me of God’s power. Thanks for sharing with us!

    September 7, 2011 at 12:01 am

  83. These pictures reminded me of the beautiful things in life. Thank you!

    September 7, 2011 at 12:03 am

  84. Phenomenal work! Thanks for the reminder to live in awe of my surroundings!

    September 7, 2011 at 12:05 am

  85. Glorious -you have graet skill 🙂

    September 7, 2011 at 12:09 am

  86. Those are gorgeous pictures! You’re truly talented.

    September 7, 2011 at 12:54 am

  87. AH


    September 7, 2011 at 12:55 am

  88. Love it! Mountains are my favourite places, even more than the ocean. Though looks like you have them both close together there…

    September 7, 2011 at 1:27 am

  89. Very lovely photos, seems like such a dreamy place to spend your time.

    September 7, 2011 at 1:43 am

  90. beautiful…….สวยมากๆเลย

    September 7, 2011 at 2:21 am

  91. Great photos! Congrats on Freshly Pressed.

    My father-in-law is into photography and like you, he’s always wishing the weather were different, but he often ends up with beautiful shots, too.

    These photos are amazing! I lived in the Seattle area for 2 years and just moved to Sicily. I was surprised at the nostalgia I felt with seeing the mountains in some of your photos, I really did love that view. The rest (closeups and such) were amazing too! Great work.

    September 7, 2011 at 2:23 am

    • Yes, us photographers are never happy with the weather.

      I’d love to visit Sicily someday. Bet the views are good there too!

      September 7, 2011 at 7:46 am

  92. this is the true colors of nature…!

    September 7, 2011 at 2:34 am

  93. James

    Absolutely beautiful. There are a lot of places in the Scottish Highlands where I live which I’d really love to start taking pictures of and I’m thinking of buying a decent camera. Got any recommendations?

    September 7, 2011 at 2:36 am

  94. Lovely photo’s, well done on making freshly pressed, you deserve it!!

    September 7, 2011 at 2:59 am

  95. wow you take a fantastic photo!

    September 7, 2011 at 3:16 am

  96. Make me remember when hiking to Rinjani Mountain in Lombok Island…Luxury Rental Bali

    September 7, 2011 at 3:21 am

  97. AWESOME is an understatement! What’s the camera you’re using? 🙂 Such superb shots!

    September 7, 2011 at 3:31 am

    • I’m shooting with a Canon 50D. I have three main lenses, a 10-22mm, a 24-70mm, and a 70-200mm. I also sometimes use a 100mm macro – that one was used on the thistle shot.

      September 7, 2011 at 7:37 am

  98. Pingback: Mountain Blues (via joebeckerphoto) « Iman Arief Hidayat Story

  99. Roshanne

    Absolutely beautiful and inspiring

    September 7, 2011 at 3:59 am

  100. Hey thats beautiful. Very well captured. Especially the tree, it appears like it has been given a human form or many human forms.

    September 7, 2011 at 4:08 am

  101. The Freshness

    Looks nice man

    September 7, 2011 at 4:18 am

  102. Wow! BEAUTIFUL shots! Absolutely gorgeous. Nature is beyond wonderful.

    September 7, 2011 at 4:27 am

  103. Amazing Photographs!!

    September 7, 2011 at 5:04 am

  104. Omg Photos Are spectacular.

    September 7, 2011 at 5:06 am

  105. I just love the varying colors of the sky….Breathtaking pictures….You have done commendable job!!!! 🙂

    September 7, 2011 at 5:49 am

  106. michel

    Beautifull pictures

    September 7, 2011 at 6:39 am

  107. Stunning images. Thank you for sharing them.

    September 7, 2011 at 6:40 am

  108. Pingback: Mountain Blues (via joebeckerphoto) « Newbons Blog

  109. Gorgeous pictures. I’ve never been Washington before but it looks like an amazing place to visit.

    September 7, 2011 at 6:57 am

  110. lapiskamay

    spectacular views. Great Job!

    September 7, 2011 at 7:12 am

  111. I love your photography. I was just in Washington and hiked in Olympic Nat’l Park. If you have time…check it out on my blog.

    September 7, 2011 at 7:15 am

  112. The picture of the dead trees really stuck in my mind. Please if you have more like that I would really like to see them. There is something about the complexity between death and life and the cycles in between that fascinates me with nature.

    September 7, 2011 at 7:24 am

  113. Pingback: Mountain Blues (via joebeckerphoto) « patzblog

  114. Superb photos..! Somewhere else to put on my extended list of places to go before I die 🙂

    September 7, 2011 at 7:53 am

  115. Scott Meis

    Great shots, indeed you and I share a passion for these fine PacNW parts.Cheers!

    September 7, 2011 at 8:36 am

  116. Felicia

    wow, your photos are simply breathtaking!!!!

    September 7, 2011 at 8:43 am

  117. Pingback: Mountain Blues (via joebeckerphoto) « jazzercrak07

  118. adrianduque89

    these photos are amazing!

    September 7, 2011 at 9:11 am

  119. Lovely photos! I especially like the naturally framed hawk and the colorful wildflowers. Congratulations on making Freshly Pressed!

    September 7, 2011 at 9:43 am

  120. beautiful images! breathtaking!

    September 7, 2011 at 9:45 am

  121. jdhh

    Votad mi foto si os gusta plis!!

    September 7, 2011 at 10:21 am

  122. Great photos! What an incredible array of colors. I really love that shot with the fog, it almost looks like the view from another planet!

    September 7, 2011 at 10:23 am

  123. Very nice Post !! I appreciate your overall Blog !! Keep it up !!

    September 7, 2011 at 11:05 am

  124. WOW!!!!

    September 7, 2011 at 11:15 am

  125. Nina Somnia

    Oh wow. These photos just made me want to pack up and move to Washington! 🙂

    September 7, 2011 at 11:30 am

  126. Yup, what amazing photos!

    September 7, 2011 at 12:30 pm

  127. wow great pictures! good to see some of the olympics…i’m from bainbridge island so this was fun to look through.

    September 7, 2011 at 12:33 pm

  128. iknihnicka

    piękne zdjęcia:)

    September 7, 2011 at 12:49 pm

  129. Thanks for sharing
    I really like the pics

    September 7, 2011 at 12:54 pm

  130. Pingback: Mountain Blues (via joebeckerphoto) | cvasderek

  131. Awesome photos! These give me SUCH an itch to head back to the mountains.

    September 7, 2011 at 3:56 pm

  132. Beautiful photos! Congrats on being FP’d!

    September 7, 2011 at 4:41 pm

  133. niceroses

    Wow, these are some beautiful pics, I loved the Early morning fog in the low lands and over Puget Sound. Thanks for sharing with us 🙂 Listening to Dario Marianelli’s creations while watching your pics was a beautiful experience 😀

    September 7, 2011 at 9:24 pm

  134. wow those are amazing

    September 7, 2011 at 10:55 pm

  135. Pingback: Olympic Mountains « Lyconpedia – The Mini encyclopedia

  136. not a single bad photo amongst it. well done. my favourite is the dead trees. I bonsai and that would be great inspiration.

    September 8, 2011 at 3:26 am

  137. Amazing photos.

    The first one kind of reminds me of a Georgia O’Keeffe painting.

    September 8, 2011 at 3:32 am

  138. Simply beautiful. A glance through the pictures remind us that this world can’t simply exist without a creator.

    September 8, 2011 at 4:14 am

  139. beautiful pictures hope man leave such beauty alone so our children and grand children will be able to enjoy also.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 8, 2011 at 5:54 am

  140. i like all the photos you have in your portfolio, Hello from team of

    September 8, 2011 at 7:36 am

  141. Your work is amazing. Thank you for showing us such beautiful pieces!

    September 8, 2011 at 8:58 am

  142. Your pictures are stunning!

    September 8, 2011 at 9:09 am

  143. Great photos! Thank you for posting. Now I want to go climbing!

    September 8, 2011 at 9:36 am

  144. GORGEOUS photos.

    September 8, 2011 at 2:18 pm

  145. Beautiful photography. Washington State is the place to be in the summer…when it’s not raining, when it’s not foggy, when it’s not windy…
    Thank you. Connie

    September 8, 2011 at 6:15 pm

  146. Pingback: A Great American Road Trip – coming soon « joebeckerphoto

  147. amazing places.. i wish i some day visit these sites 🙂

    September 8, 2011 at 10:58 pm

  148. I love the way you show us the wonders of these fascinating structures

    September 9, 2011 at 2:59 am

  149. Amber's Attic

    Beautiful photographs…

    September 9, 2011 at 8:13 am

  150. Beautiful!!!!

    September 9, 2011 at 6:58 pm

  151. great photos!

    September 12, 2011 at 12:41 pm

  152. Pingback: a hawk « kvenna ráð

  153. Joe, you have just been ‘pinged’ 🙂


    September 12, 2011 at 10:05 pm

  154. Beautiful pictures. Thanks.

    September 13, 2011 at 5:57 am

  155. The pictures make me miss traveling even more like on a normal day. They are absolutely inspring and beautiful!!!

    September 19, 2011 at 6:50 am

  156. Pingback: Home Again « joebeckerphoto

  157. Pingback: Celebrating 3 Years and Counting (Print Giveaway!) | joebeckerphoto

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