Land of Free Beauty: July Photo of the Month

Written & Photographed by Evan Eremita, Northwest Photographer

Last year the northwest was treated to a very early and long summer which, to me, translated to lots of swimming! I decided early on to spend most of this long summer seeking out and jumping into as many blue and turquoise lakes as I could.

This hike was to Goat Lake in the Goat Rocks Wilderness, in the center of three volcanoes, Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Rainier, and Mt. Adams. After a good swim in the beautiful turquoise waters, much snacking, and a long nap in my hammock, it felt just about right to start making the hike back to the car. I decided to make the loop and take a different trail back, and I'm glad I did. Long views of Mt. Adams towering above thick forest highlighted the early portion of the hike back, especially as the sun began to set and paint the sky with beautiful pink and purple tones.

What looks to be a giant cloud in the left side of the frame is actually thick smoke from one of the many wildfires last summer. Mt. Adams is acting as a barrier, momentarily keeping the smoke to the east. Another beautiful end to a beautiful summer day in the Pacific Northwest.

I first got into photography shooting with a cheap point and shoot camera on a 4 month cross country road trip, eventually landing in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, which is now my current home, living in a sailboat in Seattle.

Evan's goal as a photographer is to help develop a deeper appreciation for this beautiful world we live in, to spark something in the back of people's minds to become a little more conscious and caring for the earth with their actions. To see more of his work visit his ETSY shop, and follow his adventures on Instagram: @Snuggly.Bear!

After Sunset: April Photo of the Month

Written and Photographed by Jason Neuerburg, Northwest Photographer

Curiosity fuels a lot of my adventures. I love driving forest service roads just so I know what's at the end of them. Same goes for hiking trails or a campground space. There's so much to discover in the Northwest and last year, I made over 40 trips to go find what's out there.

It was February of 2015 and if you remember – there wasn't any snow. It wasn't difficult to convince my friend Kit to join me for a few nights of backpacking. The forecast was set for mid-70's near the coast. We took an early ferry to the peninsula and made our way to Port Angeles to pick up our bear bin and camping permit. Then off to Rialto Beach to hike up the coast to Hole-in-the-Wall Camp. We spent the weekend in front of these two huge sea stacks, which were great subjects to photograph – both during daytime and nighttime.

Since I love to shoot night photography, I always try to look for a campsite with open sky or a subject to light up or silhouette like the sea stacks. This shot combined light from the late evening sky, our campfire, and my headlamp laying inside the tent. When you don't have the powerful sun to contend with, it's much easier controlling the lighting. You can use headlamps, flashlights, glow sticks or even your phone to add light to a scene.

The coast is a wild place to explore and experience its powerful vastness. I plan on more excursions to the coast this year and anticipate capturing a lot more photographs at night around campfires with friends. 

Jason grew up in the Driftless Region of Southwest Wisconsin. He's a freelance photographer in Seattle and enjoy coffee, hiking, camping, and going to see live music. Visit his website for more nature and music-centric photography and join him on his adventures here: Follow Jason on Instagram: @driftless_photographer

January Photo of the Month: Into the Solstice

Written and Photographed by Beau Ramsey, Northwest Photographer and Adventurer

It’s all the moments, the memories, the adventures, the suffering, the beauty and the freedom that draws me back to my first love.  Nature. It’s those moments you’re face to face with a black bear in the dense, wet swamps of the Washington coast. The startling moments spooking a heard of Roosevelt Elk in their sword fern beds and hearing their breathing close by.  It’s that connection to life, that connection to nature that inspires me to always want more.

It’s never a simple question when asked how nature influences my work. I guess to put it simple nature is a part of who I am.  It was never something that was forced upon me but rather a beautiful world I discovered as a child.  A place I went to find my balance when I felt a little off.  I started taking a disposable camera on my early adventures. I think it was just to prove to my family and friends the things I would see or what I would catch and release from the creeks.  Eventually I grew up, moved from the coast to the base of the Cascade Mountain Range.  The jagged, snowcapped peaks beckoned my heart for new adventure. 

I started to explore these alpine mountain wonders filled with danger, excitement, physical challenges and jaw dropping views.  I quickly knew I had to upgrade my camera to capture these exquisite glimpses of surreal beauty. I had to find a way to bring back a slice of what I was experiencing above the hills.  My passion has always been the experience first and the photography second.  The photo I’m sharing was from the longest night last year so I decided to utilize all the hours of the night.  Rather than complaining about these short days, I thought why not be thankful for the long nights.  These long nights filled with beautiful stars, crisp air and vast landscapes with no people around.  Some of my greatest memories are hiking under the moonlight.

My partner and I started trekking up the snowy Skyline Lakes Trail in the Central Cascades with heavy overnight packs around 1am.  The air was cool and the clouds opened up to make short glimpses of the starry night sky.  As we ascended the trail, I quickly set up my tripod and captured this long exposed photo. Often times, capturing a photograph in the outdoors requires a quick reaction while always being prepared for the perfect moment.  The more you take photos the more you can predict these moments. We eventually made it to the frozen, snow covered lake.  We dug in our snow camp and with proper gear, comfortably fell asleep.  We woke in the morning to a beautiful sunrise and fresh snow on our tent.  Once you experience these moments the mountains always seem to call.  Sometimes they call at night.

As a 5th generation local from Long Beach, WA, Beau Ramsey has deep roots here in the Pacific Northwest.  Beau currently resides north of Seattle, WA and is owner/operator of Ramsey & Adams Construction.  During his free time he’s found exploring the outdoors of the PNW and capturing those moments as a photographer. Follow his adventures on instagram: @beauramsey

December Photo of the Month: Up in the Air


Written & Photographed by Dylan Furst, Northwest Photographer

After hiking many of the trails and visiting most of the lakes in the Central Cascades range, I had been craving a new perspective. The opportunity for a helicopter ride over Blanca Lake presented itself, and I was not about to let it pass. With a sunrise wake up call, we flew out from Boeing Field and started our flight into the mountains.

It’s amazing seeing the Cascades by helicopter, the perspective is so much different than an airplane. As we began to fly above the mountain peaks, you could feel the sharp winds from the valleys below move the helicopter, humbling you with it’s power. With the doors being off at the same time, this flight is not for people who are afraid of heights. It’s a pretty amazing feeling to look down and be so close to untouched waterfalls and pristine wilderness that most likely nobody has explored. I decided to put my feet out and snap a photo, but It proved to be more challenging than it looked. When I stuck my legs out of the cockpit, it took a lot of my strength to hold them steady in front of me. We could not idle in the air due to the danger of the winds and had to keep the helicopter moving, thus making it very hard to compose my photograph. In a way it reminded me of shooting a wedding, you really only have one chance to get the perfect photograph, and our pass by over Blanca Lake was the first kiss.

Photographing nature makes me feel alive. It gives me a great appreciation for the world we live in, and compels me to share the feelings I have in these moments with my audience. Not everyone can appreciate the beautiful area that surrounds us, and I want to inspire others to feel the same way that I do. Photography has allowed me to have an even stronger connection with nature, and I think everyone can appreciate it if they give it a chance.  

Born and raised in Bellingham, Washington, Dylan Furst's backyard in the Pacific Northwest has heavily influenced his style as a photographer. From hiking without direction and driving unfamiliar roads, there’s no greater feeling than not knowing what’s around the next corner. Visit his website.

This photograph was taken by a professional photographer. We always advocate to be use proper safety on the trails and in the outdoors.

Good Morning Mount Rainier: November Photo of the Month

The perfect place for sunrise in Washington: Tolmie Peak Fire Lookout

Written and Photographed by Riley Beck, Northwest Photographer

        My friends and I decided to drive down to Tolmie Peak Fire Lookout at Mount Rainer National Park for a sunrise. We didn't sleep (being that the drive was a little over a three hour drive from home). We got coffee from the 24 hour coffee stand and left around one in the morning. 
        After hours of driving, followed by 17 miles of potholes and washboard, we arrived at the trailhead and took off with headlamps excited for what was ahead. It was my first time that close to Mount Rainer and it was stunning. You reach Eunice Lake a couple miles in and see Rainer for the first time in all of its glory and a fire lookout perched high above the lake. 
       Some moderate switchbacks lead you above Eunice Lake until you reach the fire lookout. If there is possibly a perfect sunrise spot in Washington this is it. An unobstructed view of Rainer lit up by the golden sun with Eunice Lake below is the perfect setting. It was a very long night and morning, but well worth the hours of driving and lack of sleep. The trip and view are one I will not soon forget. 

Riley Beck has lived in Washington his whole life. He enjoys hiking and backpacking with his friends and spends every day off possible on the trails. See more of his photos.