In many ways this was the Dawn of my Career. Was just out of school and had moved from NYC/NJ to Seattle. It was my return to the PNW. I had set up shop as a Photographer and was taking my first workshop led by Art Wolfe. The Great American Photography Weekend Series that lasted a few years. They were so popular that I’ve run into many people that were in the same workshops.
Part of the Workshop was a contest with the winners from each being published in Outdoor Photographer. The rules were simple, you have 1 roll of film – color slide 36 exposures and you have to turn the film in by 4pm.
That meant getting up before dawn. My plan was to get out to the coast and then work my way back through Olympic National Park to Port Angeles and turn in my film.
I hardly slept. So I was sound asleep when my travel alarm went off. Luckily the roosters at the lodge I was staying at woke me. I jumped in my car without coffee and raced west along 101.
Cursing as the sky started to lighten I knew I better go to plan B the coast was still 40 minutes away and the road was twisty, dark and wet. Not at all meant for racing.
I was passing Lake Crescent when I saw this eruption of color in my rear view mirror. I knew I had to pull over but where? 101 is lined with guard rails. there are many cars from the 40s and 50s in the lake.
The light started to fade as the sun rose higher, the cloud layer was about 500 feet I judged best I could with my rear view.
I found a pull off and a perfect view.
Fast is Slow, Slow is fast. Put your 80mm-200mm on your camera, keep it dry, move to position and set up your tripod.
Disaster, the new tripod had frozen up. I couldn’t get the plate off. In my earlier haste I tossed it in the back of my car and it landed on the thumb release.
The light was fading. GET THE SHOT. That’s what I remember Art saying in the Lecture the night before.
So I braced the camera against the tripod and shot one frame. It was the first of the day….and I had to conserve.
PART II. Tomorrow.