Rock platform near Rialto Beach in Olympic Coast National Park, Washington State, America. Michael Scott Lees fine art photo

Olympic Coast National Park, Washington State, United States - Code: SE7801ST


Location: near Rialto Beach, Olympic Coast National Park, Washington State, United States of America

Code: SE7801ST

Portfolio Type: “ THE ONE ” Fine Art Portfolio


There I was with my mate Kyle Power trekking along the beach north of Rialto Beach in the Olympic Coast National Park in Washington State. Actually half the time we were rock hoping. What was exciting about this trek was that high tide makes going around a lot of the headlands impossible till the tide drops again. So having planned our timing we were able to get to our chosen camping spot in plenty of time before we where isolated from the rest of the world.


Kyle hadn’t done a lot of trekking and camping before, he was an outdoors man but just hadn’t carried in everything you need on your back that would last you for four days. It was a tuff walk with a heavy pack, due to camera gear and the fact that you had to rock hope, which means fighting the backpack momentum every time you jumped. But Kyle’s football past served him well.


We selected a camp spot that we thought was well out of harms way of the tide and set up our living area for the next three nights. We discovered that our want to have the tent as high up the beach as possible worked well, as by mid afternoon the ocean was lapping at our tent door. We put rocks in as a make shift sea wall just incase it wanted to come higher, it did come a little higher, but the rock wall served its purpose well. It must have been a king tide as the sea didn’t come up to that level again for the rest of our stay. After an afternoon photographing and exploring we made a camp fire from driftwood, cooked dinner and got to bed ready for a early morning photography outing.


So for the next three days we photographed this stunning coastline from several multiple photographic locations. It was on one of those afternoons that I concentrated on a rock platform, which is where this shot was taken. You have to be so aware of the ocean when on these rock platforms where the water comes surging over the platform, you need to be constantly judging the swell cycle and the size of each wave.


I have been caught out once before in my life where a freak wave covered me in seawater, luckily in that instance I was able to protect my camera gear. There have been other times where my vigilance has paid off and I have been able to avoid damage to camera gear and life and limb. I remember one time back in Australia where I was along way from the breaking waves on a rock platform and there was no sign that the water had come this far up the rock platform. I put my bag down on the rock platform and was going to venture out to where the waves where surging onto the platform with just the camera on the tripod, not wanting to put the camera gear in the backpack at risk. As I stepped away from the backpack I looked back at it and decide just to be safe I would put the bag up on a raised rocky spot of the platform. So off I went and started photographing a 100 metres away with the water at times surging around just below my knees. Keeping a watch on the swells I notice a more fuller wave coming in and scurried to a higher point just next to me, it was lucky I did, as the wave would of swept me off me feet. I jumped back down to where I was photographing and excitedly captured the water swirling around the rock pool. Twenty seconds later after getting the shot I looked up and back to where I had left my back to find that there was water all around it, it was on its own little island of rock. I couldn’t believe it, if I had left my back where I put it initially the camera gear would be underwater… destroyed. I felt lucky and very foolish all at the same time… I learnt a valuable lesson that day.


But on this particular afternoon on the Olympic Coast the ocean behaved herself and didn’t bestow on my any nasty surprises, just beautiful memories.


  • "The One" Fine Art Portfolio

    “The One“ Fine Art Portfolio imagery has an edition size of one, there is only one hand signed print in existence. The image can be reproduced in my Gift Collection product range, but no larger than a 10 x 10inch surface area in size. Gift Collection products, such as the Fine Art Mini print, actively promote the existence of ”The One” imagery and help increase their popularity and potential value. They also act as a preview for customers looking at purchasing ”The One” imagery.


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