Field Trip: Exploring the West Coast with Jake Martin

Field Trip: Exploring the West Coast with Jake Martin

All photos from this sponsored Field Trip are courtesy of Jake Martin. All photos were edited with the Flint & Steel presets.


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My name is Jake Martin, and I am a Photographer/Videographer from Grand Rapids, Michigan. I have always liked taking photos, but never really took the time to learn the art until last year when I picked up my first camera.

I now shoot a Canon 5d Mark IV with the Canon 24mm 1.4 and the 50mm 1.2.  I also shoot a DJI Phantom 4 Pro. I edited my field trip images with the awesome Flint and Steel presets. I really love how these affect the natural colours by enhancing them and giving them an adventurous vibe.

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Over the course of the past year I have really pushed myself to get out of my comfort zone and to put myself out there as a photographer. When I originally applied for my field trip, I thought there was no chance I'd be chose-- I'm a newbie!  But a couple days later, I was booking flights and prepping for my trip.

I first flew into Vancouver and headed up the coast. My first stop in Canada was the beautiful Lighthouse Park. Walking through the thick trees, made my heart start to race with excitement for the coming week. I love the West Coast-- the forest, the ocean breeze, and the rocky coastline always make me want to move out there and live out of a van. After walking through the ginormous trees, I walked out to the point to find the rocky coast with a white lighthouse; it almost seemed too good to be real.

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Due to the time difference from the east to west coast, I woke up super early and eager the next day, only to find that the parks didn't open until 9 a.m.  I retreated back to a coffee shop in town called Revolver which was amazing.

9 a.m. rolled around and I headed to the Capilano Bridge. I have seen this place in so many of my favourite photographers' photos, so I had pretty high expectations. The Suspension Bridge part filled up super quick with random tourists, but my real favourite part was the tree bridge walk. It seemed so magical to me, like I was in Neverland with Peter Pan and the Lost Boys. I spent about an hour just taking it all in, while it took most people only two minutes. Afterwards, I spent the rest of my day doing some other hikes in the area and sightseeing.

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The next afternoon I picniced in Cleveland Park, which overlooks the Capilano Lake that is surrounded by massive mountains. While I was enjoying my lettuce wrap and kombucha and listening to the birds, I heard the sound of rushing water and soon found out there was huge dam.  It almost looked like a waterslide, so I took a picture with my feet dangling over the edge. I sent it to my grandmother to make sure she knew I was doing fine (and with the intent to possibly to freak her out a little bit)!

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The following day, I began traveling down the coast, then stopped in the Olympic National Park. Unfortunately, I ran into an issue at the ferry because I didn't reserve a spot, so I ended up having to spend all the time I was going to use adventuring around the Olympic National Park in the ferry boat parking lot -- just my luck.

When I finally got to where I was staying, the sun began to set over a mountain peak just over the lake I was staying on. I sat down, turned on the Lumineers, and said goodnight to the sun. This picture probably goes down as one of my top favourites because of the different colours in the mountains and the different layers of mountain peaks.

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My alarm went off the next morning at a brutal 7:30 a.m. and I hit the road as soon as possible. Down the coast again, I headed to Cannon Beach. If you have ever driven the west coast, you probably know how distracting it is!  Basically, I stopped every 20-25 min due to some rad rock formations peering out of the water.

While swerving back and forth down the coastline, I came across a sign that said "Cape Disappointment". I thought of how odd of a name that was and decided that I had to see it. Cape Disappointment was definitely not a disappointment; it was beautiful, mysterious and full of life. The cape features a little coastal inlet with a small private beach filled with dead wood logs. I have always wondered why there is always so many logs on the west coast washed up on the shoreline.

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As soon as my feet hit the amazing tan beach, with the sand between my toes, my breath was taken away. Cannon Beach is my absolute favourite beach, not only does it make me feel nostalgic from my childhood watching the Goonies, but it makes me feel like I'm in a movie of my own.

I originally had plans to go surfing down the coast for a little while, but the surf wasn't great, and with how cold the water was, I didn't think it was worth even trying. However, it was well-worth sleeping in the backseat of my little Honda rental car in the Walmart parking lot to see Cannon Beach. Man, do I love that place.

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I'm from Michigan, so we see a lot of snow, but the amount of snow that was in the mountains near Mount Rainier was insane. It was over my head on both side of the roads, and people were putting chains on their tires. Even though I didn't have chains, I was determined to make it to the lookout to see the peak of Mount Rainier.

I'd say my Michigan driving skills were what got me there, no doubt. Driving down the mountain, I pulled over on the road to see the Paradise river lined with tall pines.  Most of the river was covered with snow.

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By Day 6 of this whole field trip, I was feeling very indecisive if I wanted to go home or not. I loved the sights and the memories that were being created, but I was definitely having a hard time with the driving 5-6 hours a day.

My last day in Seattle, I spent it "touristing" around the large city. Stopping at Pike's Place, The Market Theater Gum Wall, West Seattle, and an amazing taco place: Tacos Chukis. It was a great way to end the trip. This awesome experience definitely will be a trip to remember.


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