Olympic National Park Workshop – A Top 10 List!

All of us here at Rocky Mountain School of Photography agree that our hometown of Missoula, MT is darn near perfect. We think it has something to do with rivers, lakes, mountains, local ice cream, and a generally a fun “vibe.” But even with all of Missoula’s good traits, we sometimes can’t help but look longingly westward toward the other “cool” cities of Portland and Seattle and the rest of the Pacific Northwest in general. We’ve even been known to refer to those cities as West Missoula, in hopes of making some sort of connection. (You know, like, wouldn’t it be totally cool to get Seattle’s autograph and tape it inside our locker at school??!!).

Alas, we are here and the Pacific Northwest is there. But that doesn’t stop us from planning exceptional photography workshops in that neck of the woods. In fact, we have a few things happening there so at least we get to visit in hopes that the “cool” will rub off on us. One of these workshops is our Olympic National Park workshop led by Don Mammoser. A published author, professional photographer and former zoologist, this weeklong experience definitely takes participants beyond simple shutter speeds and apertures. Don’s knowledge of the flora and fauna adds incredible value to your photographic experience. Plus, you get to experience a rainforest, mountains, beaches and everything in between while traveling between Forks and Port Angeles, WA.

In lieu of a lengthy novel about his workshop, I asked Don for a Top 10 list of things a photographer might expect from this experience. Here is what he returned. I especially like #3.

Top 10 Things You’ll Learn on the
Olympic National Park Workshop



1) That Olympic National Park offers incredible diversity for a photographer.

2) That in a week’s time we’ll see, experience, and photograph craggy coastlines with crashing waves, old-growth rainforests with gigantic trees, thundering waterfalls, quiet forests, fleeting wildlife, and towering, glaciated peaks offering endless, impressive views.

3) That this park doesn’t have the crowds of other, equally famous national parks. Here we often have an entire beach or rainforest to ourselves.

4) That one seemingly insignificant, moss-encrusted, cascading brook, can offer hours of peaceful photography.

5) How to use a variable neutral density filter to make ocean waves look like fog.

6) That a polarizing filter is still a necessary and helpful photographic device, even in this age of “fix-it-in-Photoshop.”

7) That interesting foregrounds are important when taking photos with wide-angle lenses, and that the landscape in Olympic national Park has endless possibilities in this realm.

8) That water condensed from atmospheric vapor sometimes forms in the clouds and then drops in the rainforest and how to protect our gear if such a natural phenomenon occurs.

9) That close-up photographic opportunities are truly everywhere and if we go anywhere and move slowly, those opportunities will present themselves.

10) That being together in a like-minded group of folks brings out creativity, friendship, camaraderie, and joy in everyone, and that a week like this changes lives.


Want to learn more about Don Mammoser? Visit his profile page here.