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Olympic National Park Regional Event (May 30-June 2, 2024)

May 30 - June 2

Leader | Travel & lodging | What to expect | Preliminary itinerary

Registration is now open

Event Overview

Join Washington-based photographer Rod Barbee to photograph one of the Pacific Northwest’s crowning jewels – Olympic National Park. May is a great time for visiting Olympic National Park since the forests, streams, and waterfalls are in their prime and the after Memorial Day timing means the park won’t be overly crowded.

Based in Forks, WA we’ll plan to visit the Hoh rain forest, Sol Duc Falls and the surrounding forest, Lake Crescent and coastal beaches with sea stacks like Rialto, Ruby, and Second Beach. Our exact itinerary will be somewhat weather dependent. With any luck, we’ll get a bit of rain so that the rain forest will look lush and green. Sunsets on the coast can be enhanced by clouds and unsettled weather, so we’ll be hoping for a bit of both.
NANPA is an Authorized Permittee of the National Park Service.

Early Bird Rate: $735 NANPA & ASMP Members/$935 Non-members by May 11, 2024
After May 11, 2024: $835 NANPA & ASMP Members/$1035 Non-members
Last Date to Register:  May 29, 2024
Maximum number of attendees: 10

Stream with moss covered rocks in the forest along the Sol Duc Trail, Olympic National Park, WA. ©Rod Barbee



Rod Barbee

Rod Barbee is a professional photographer, writer, and instructor. He’s been a regular contributor to Outdoor Photographer magazine and has also been published in Nature’s Best magazine, Audubon and Mead calendars, Northwest Travel and Oregon Coast magazines, Orvis clothing catalog, the National Park Service, and more. Several of his images appear in the Amphoto book “American Vision”. His first book, The Photographer’s Guide to the Oregon Coast, co-written with David Middleton, is available nationwide. His book, The Photographer’s Guide to Puget Sound and Northwest Washington was published in the spring of 2007. His latest book is Oregon Coast Memories (Countryman Press).

Throughout the year, Rod leads and co-leads photo workshops across the country. A gifted and enthusiastic field instructor, he likes nothing more than sharing his knowledge and ideas. Besides teaching his own workshops, Rod has led and co-led workshops and tours for Great American Photography Workshops, The Nature Workshops, and Photographer’s Alliance Workshops. Rod has taught nature photography through Bellevue Community College in Washington state, The Mountaineers in Seattle, Olympic College in Bremerton, WA.

The natural beauty discovered during backpacking trips into Olympic National Park led him to nature photography. It has since become a passion in his life from which he continues to learn and grow.

Rod and his wife Tracy Rowley live in Port Ludlow on Washington’s Olympic peninsula. You can learn more about Rod by visiting his website at

Travel and lodging

Pacific Inn
352 S Forks Ave
Forks, WA 98331
Tel: 360-374-9400

NANPA is holding a block of first floor rooms for event participants at the following rates:(2) Single King bed: $184 per night + tax

  • (3) Single Queen bed: $179 per night +tax
  • (5) Double Queen bed: $194 per night + tax (based on double occupancy)
    To book a room, call the hotel at (360) 374-9400 and request a room in the NANPA room block.


  • Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) is the closest major airport. Travel time to Forks is approximately 3.5 to 4 hours.
  • Portland (Oregon) International Airport (PDX) is another option. Travel time to Forks is approximately 4.5 hours.Transportation to and from the hotel and during the event is not included and is the attendees’ responsibility.Car Rental:  A regular rental car will be fine; we will not be driving on roads that require extra clearance or 4×4

Event Transportation

Transportation to and from the hotel and during the event is not included and is the attendees’ responsibility.

RIDE SHARING:  We will be starting each day from the Pacific Inn. Ridesharing is encouraged to reduce the size of our vehicle presence and improve the traveling/following experience. You are welcome to either drive or ride with someone. This is also a great way to meet people and make new friends during the event!

Note that NANPA does not have insurance for carpooling arrangements and assumes no liability for them. Carpooling, ride sharing or anything similar is strictly a private arrangement among the participants. Participants assume the risks associated with this travel.


All meals except Tuesday’s Group Lunch are on your own. The location of the Tuesday Group Lunch, which is included in the event registration fee, will be shared at the Meet and Greet. Attendees are encouraged to eat together with their group as part of the overall experience.

Hoh rainforest, Olympic National Park, WA ©Rod Barbee


What to expect

Photography Locations:

Some of the locations that we will most likely photograph include:

  • Sol Duc Falls area
  • Lake Crescent area
  • Marymere Falls
  • Hoh Rainforest
  • Rialto Beach
  • Ruby Beach
  • Second Beach

Your leader will have visited the areas prior to the event and the field trip locations will be based on what’s most photogenic at the time, weather conditions, etc.  These will be announced on Thursday evening during the Registration/Orientation.


A moderate fitness level is required.  There will be some hiking involved, none of it overly strenuous

  • 1.5 mile round trip to Sol Duc Falls. Some ups and downs but generally easy.
  • 1.5 mile round trip to Second Beach. Some elevation gain and loss, downhill to the beach, uphill on the way back, switchbacks near the beach.
  • 2 to 2.5 mile round trip to end of Rialto Beach. Participants can hike as much or as little as desired. Hike is entirely on the beach.
  • Possible hike to Marymere Falls, approximately 1 mile round trip. Mostly flat with short, steep climb to waterfall viewpoints.
  • Most other shooting locations will require a short walk..


The daytime temperatures on the Olympic peninsula in May can vary widely. In general, we should see daytime highs in the 60s with lows in the low 50s. Mornings on the coast can be cold and possibly windy. It is advisable to be prepared for occasional rain showers and certainly cool mornings. There is also a very real chance of rain.

Packing suggestions:

  • Hiking boots or sturdy walking shoes
  • Cool weather clothing including cap and gloves
  • Wind-breaker shell
  • Warm sweater or fleece
  • Rain gear
  • Insect repellant
  • Sunscreen
  • Snacks
  • Water bottle
  • Flashlight or headlamp in case of after-sunset hike back to cars.


  • Camera – DSLR or mirrorless, full frame or cropped sensor. Also, bring the camera manual should you need to consult it. Cellphone camera as backup is better than no camera and good for snaps of your group.
  • Lenses – Lenses in the following ranges: Wide angle (16-35) normal to medium telephoto (24-120) telephoto (70-200 or 300). Macro lens for close ups. Longer telephotos might come in handy for occasional wildlife, but not necessary.
  • Non-abrasive Lens Cleaning Cloth and Wipes.
  • Tripod – Sunrise, sunset, twilight and nighttime light levels are too low to photograph properly without a sturdy tripod. A lightweight carbon fiber tripod with a ball head is recommended.
  • Lots of Memory Card Storage – We use fast 64GB cards, good for stills & video.
  • Camera Battery Charger and Extra Batteries.
  • Sensor Cleaning Tools
  • Polarizing filter(s) to fit each of your lenses.
  • Neutral Density Filters, Graduated Neutral Density Filters
  • Shutter Release – You can use a locking cable release, a wireless remote, or the camera’s self-timer (except in BULB).
  • Rain Cover – For camera and lens protection.
  • Laptop Computer – for downloading, processing and viewing your images.
  • Image Processing Software – Good choices include Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop, or Elements.
  • Back-up device – Such as an external hard drive.
  • Flash Drive – For sharing images.


  • Knee high waterproof boots in case you want to wander into the ocean and get closer to the surf. The NEOS Adventurer Overshoes are lightweight, easy to pack, and slip over your shoes/boots. There are a couple of beach streams we may need to cross. These overshoes make that easy.
  • Spiked feet for your tripod (for use when photographing in the surf).
  • Flashlight &/or Headlamp – preferably with a red light, or cover with a red filter, to limit distracting others during any night photography sessions.
  • Battery-powered Alarm Clock/Watch – In case cell phone service isn’t available. It’s better to bring your own alarm than miss a morning shoot!
  • Cell Phone
  • Water bottle.
  • Energy bars or other snacks

Hiking poles if you need the help with balance


We will be based in Forks, WA during this regional event. Forks is a small town, but it has all you should need. There’s a good-sized grocery store, outdoor store, convenience stores, and several coffee/espresso stands.

There are a few restaurants including a Pizza place (next to the grocery store), a Subway, a good burger place (Sully’s), The In Place (next to the Pacific Inn, and one or two others.

Please keep in mind that this NANPA Regional Event is designed to be a photo tour, not workshop. That said, don’t be shy about asking Rod for help if you need it. This tour is open for 10 participants to give each plenty of time with the leader and to retain flexibility based on weather and the best opportunities.

This event is designed for all levels of photographers – amateur, intermediate, advanced, and professional – interested in improving their photography skills or looking for location guidance to capture images of this magical park.  If you are new to photography, Rod will be available to answer questions, teach new techniques and help you improve your photographic skills.  If you already have plenty of photography experience, Rod will ensure that you’re in the best locations at the best times for those perfect shots. Other participants are also great about sharing techniques, tips, and ideas. Please know your camera before you arrive and bring your manual just in case, we need to look up something.

Attendance and participation at NANPA Regional Events is limited to registered attendees only.  Anyone wishing to participate in any portion of, or travel with a registered attendee during the group event must contact the NANPA office and pay the full registration fee.

Mossy tree brance and ferns along the Spruce Nature Trail in the Hoh rain forest. Olympic National Park, WA. ©Rod Barbee

Preliminary itinerary

Please note schedules provided in advance are always preliminary, the final schedule may be different due to weather / light conditions, and other variables.

After early morning shoots there will be time for a late breakfast or early lunch and a break. If the weather conditions are such that mid-day forest photography is possible, we may extend the morning shoot to take advantage of the light. Therefore, be sure to bring snacks. Since sunset is so late, dinner before leaving for the evening/sunset shoot is recommended.

Thursday, May 30, 2024

  • Arrival and check into hotel.
  • Meet and greet 5 p.m.
  • Introductions
  • Overview of locations/ short presentation: Photographing in the forest and on the coast
  • Possible sunset shoot

Friday, May 31, 2024

Sunrise 5:30 am, Sunset 9:00 p.m.

  • Morning shoot (may leave as early as 4:15 a.m.)
  • Breakfast
  • Midday shoot and/or rest time
  • Dinner
  • Evening shoot

Saturday, June 1 2024

  • Morning shoot (may leave as early as 4:15 a.m.)
  • Breakfast
  • Midday shoot and/or rest time
  • Dinner
  • Evening shoot

Sunday, June 2, 2024

  • Morning shoot
  • Brunch with the Group (included in the fee).

The event wraps up after brunch at approximately noon.

Regional Event Cancellation and No Refund Policy:  

NANPA will not offer any refunds for registrations for this event regardless of when the cancellation is made or the reason for the cancellation. NANPA reserves the right to cancel any event or activity due to insufficient registration or any unforeseen circumstances. NANPA will offer refunds if NANPA has to cancel the event. It also has the right to substitute presenters if those originally scheduled cannot attend. Registrants may purchase event insurance as part of the registration process through NANPA’s partner, Allianz. More information on this option will be shown during the checkout process for the event registration.

NOTE:  If you do not purchase event insurance at the time that you pay for your registration, you will NOT be able to go back and purchase it with Allianz later.

If you choose to purchase travel insurance separately, you can do so with your own insurance carrier, or NANPA members can receive a special travel insurance rate through USI Affinity/Travel Insurance Services.



May 30
June 2
Event Category:


USA States/Territories
New Mexico, Washington
Type of event
On Location
Cost range


Olympic National Park
3002 Mount Angeles Road
Port Angeles, WA 98362 United States
+ Google Map
(360) 565-3130
View Venue Website