Exploring the Pacific Northwest Through a Long Lens

The move to PNW started me on my photographic journey
By Chris Johnson – follow Chris on Instagram

I moved from Salt Lake City to the Pacific Northwest in 2018 which was when I started to take photography more seriously.

For me, photography began as a way to catalog my experiences. I love the way high-quality images can elicit emotion and bind you to specific moments in time. I find the most joy in wildlife, landscape and adventure photography.

Photo of Mt. Rainier in the Pacific Northwest

Mt. Rainier, an icon of the Pacific Northwest, one of my favorite mountains

My Favorite Lens – 200-600 mm

The 200-600 isn’t the only lens I use, but I like the look and flexibility it offers. To me, it adds a bit of style to locations that are traditionally shot with a wide-angle lens.

My next most-used lens is my 85 mm prime, then a 16-35 mm for my night photography and landscapes that don’t work for a telephoto.

Photo of Milky Way and Mt. Rainier in the Pacific Northwest

My first attempt at Milky Way photography after lots of research

Photographing Mt. Rainier, Summit Lake and the Milky Way

I’ve always wanted to do some astrophotography. I had known of this location and experienced it during sunset, so I set out for a late-night hike and waited for the galactic core to rise. It turned out to be quite an epic night.

Photo of Seattle Space Needle and Mt. Baker in the Pacific Northwest

Is this one shot, or Photoshop? One shot if you know the location

Get Mount Baker and the Seattle Space Needle in One Shot

I had been looking for this shot for about a year. The first time I saw this angle, I assumed it was photoshopped because Mount Baker is very far from Seattle.

After loads of research, I found the right location and got to experience this telephoto lineup myself. Captured with my 200-600 mm lens. It’s one of my favorite Seattle viewpoints to date.

Photo of sunset from San Juan Island with British Columbia in background

Sunset shot from a high overlook on San Juan Island

Hey I Can See Canada From Here!

This is shot from one of the higher overlooks on San Juan Island. In the distance, you can see British Columbia along with a few of the other islands in the sound. These colors are some of my absolute favorites.

Sunset photo of Rock Island in the middle of a lake with background mountains

An iPhone “reference shot” of a Rock Island sunset

Don’t Underestimate Your iPhone Shots

This one was quite a fun surprise. Initially I thought it was just a throwaway shot. I snagged a couple pictures with my iPhone X with the idea of coming back with my camera.

I forgot about the images for about a month before stumbling on them in my camera roll. It turned out better than expected. It proves the old adage – shoot with the camera you have with you.

Photo of the Super Moon setting over the treeline
Got up early to photography a Super Moon moonset

An Accidental Moonset Photo

A close friend and I spent a week planning the perfect shot for the most recent Super Moon. It wasn’t until moonrise that we realized our location was all wrong.

We went home a bit bummed out, but to get something out of the trip, we got a little rest and woke up early. Our goal now was to snag the moon as it set over the treeline.

This turned out to be one of my favorite shots of the trip.

Chris Johnson

Chris is originally from Salt Lake City. He began shooting about two years ago when he moved to the Pacific Northwest.

He loves everything the region has to offer, and is looking forward to exploring and photographing more of the PNW.

Chris Johnson

Chris is originally from Salt Lake City. He began shooting about two years ago when he moved to the Pacific Northwest.

He loves everything the region has to offer, and is looking forward to exploring and photographing more of the PNW.

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