View Full Version : Whidby Island visit

Robert Tilden
19-Mar-2018, 06:40
I'll be visiting Whidby Island, Washington towards the end of March for a couple of days. I've never been in that particular part of the country before. What are the photographic possibilities in the area? I've done some online research, so I'm not totally in the dark (just a little dim :-). I've seen a variety of interesting images of the beaches, bridge(s), and lighthouse(s). Thanks!

19-Mar-2018, 08:09
If you have the time consider taking the ferry to Port Townsend, just across the water from Whidbey. There you will find a pictureseque downtown with Victorian-era buildings, and Fort Worden State Park which has great water vistas and a creepy abandoned fort (if your into that sort of thing). I'm sure Whidbey has some good photo destinations as well but my experience in that area is limited.

Have fun!

John Olsen
19-Mar-2018, 08:10
Welcome to Whidbey! If you check out my website (www.johnolsenphoto.com) under "landscapes/scenes of Whidbey" you'll find scads of examples. I've noted which are in Large Format in the captions.

These are all from the northern half of the island (bridge, old barns, ferry house, etc.). The more rugged coastal shots are from the neighboring island across the bridge to the north - Fidalgo island. You might consider that also. The bridge and coastal spots are all afternoon shots, so you may want to plan on historic buildings in the mornings. A particular favorite for me is the Ebey's Ferry House - the apple tree may be in bloom then too.

You can use my darkroom for film loading/unloading if that helps.

Good Luck

John Olsen
19-Mar-2018, 08:21
Domaz is right about Port Townsend. It has interesting 1890's brick buildings within an easy walk from the ferry terminal. However, I'm proud to say that our Forts, Casey and Ebey, are at least as creepy as Worden. If you want old wooden structures in various stages of disrepair, come to Whidbey. If you want classic Victorian brick, then Port Townsend is better.

I should mention too that Port Townsend has a shipyard where many fishing boats and yachts are out of the water and under repair. Nautical images might be nice, and it's hospitable to visiting photographers.

Many options available either way.

Keith Fleming
19-Mar-2018, 19:47
John and Domaz provided good scoop on Port Townsend. There are, however, a couple of things to take into consideration. If taking a car on the ferry to Port Townsend from the Coupeville ferry terminal, do go online to the Washington State Ferries website and check out how to make ferry reservations on the PT-Coupeville run. During weekends you really need a reservation, for the reserved spots quickly fill up. This issue is relatively new for this time of the year--but the booming economy means lots of visitors to Whidbey and PT.
You can park on the side of the road outside the Coupeville terminal, and walk on the ferry for free--but you have to pay when leaving PT. This will essentially restrict you to the downtown waterfront and the houses up on the bluff (called "Uptown"). And you would have to follow the shoreline to Fort Worden State Park if you wanted to go there.

The biggest issue is a major construction project "Downtown" (the area beside the water) that affects half the business district this year--the other half in following years. The project runs through June, and it involves redoing sidewalks, Water Street, and the removal of overhead power lines. The stores and restaurants are open, but the project has closed half the parking spaces downtown, and there are flagmen controlling stop-and-go traffic around the heavy machinery. It is a pain right now, but when both halves of the project are completed Downtown will be much more photogenic. Also, I should point out that Downtown PT is not all that large, and a 10-minute easy walk will get you from the ferry terminal to the north end of Water Street.

I wish I could be more hospitable, but I am packing for a move to another house here in town. I do hope you will enjoy your trip to our region.


Robert Tilden
20-Mar-2018, 11:06
Thank you all so much for the information and advice. I'll be taking my 'tiny' camera- the logistics involved with taking my 4x5 are intimidating... Port Townsend on foot is a possibility, as well as some of the beaches, 'The Bridge', forts, and general walking around.