5 Photographers Explain What’s Best About the PNW


The Pacific Northwest is well known for its natural beauty. From dense forests to rugged coastline to impressive mountains, the region seemingly offers it all. But what’s the best thing about it? Livestock asked 5 Portland-based photographers what they like most about shooting in the PNW.

Variety. Vast variety. Cracked desert grounds. Long, straight roads as far as the eye can see. Rugged, rugged mountains. Deep craters. Trees reaching up into the sky. And the mighty sea. If you drive an hour in one direction [from Portland], you are bound to see diversity in the landscape. It’s an endless palette for photographers. – Tally Gunstone

I don’t think it’s possible to pick a single favorite aspect, which I guess in some capacity indirectly answers the question. I would have to say the variety of amazing places is what makes the Pacific Northwest such a special place. You have everything just within arms reach: Mountains, old growth forests, waterfalls galore, coastal ranges, lakes and so much more. As both an adventurer and photographer, the biggest challenge for me is deciding where to go next. – Nick Greener

I grew up in the Pacific Northwest and the natural landscape has become a part of who I am.  I honestly had no idea how much I loved it until I moved away for 7 years.  In 2006, I moved to Tucson to pursue a Masters Degree in Landscape Architecture.  While living in the desert, I missed hiking in Oregon and finally decided to move back a couple of years ago.  I find that this perspective has given me a great enthusiasm for the forests, waterways and the Ocean.  So, to answer the question, I love the huge diversity of landscapes.  I am particularly drawn to the hikes in the Columbia River Gorge and the rugged coastline. – Roby Babcock

I grew up in Boulder, Colorado which is an incredible place known for its natural beauty. After years of living in central USA, I wanted something other than the high-desert landscape I was familiar with. I had always been partial to the PNW and its innumerable waterfalls, Douglas Fir-filled mountains, heavy-misted mornings, the list goes on. There’s so much to appreciate here- it’s honestly just soaked in majesty and primed for photography. – Greg Maguire

I love all the different terrain the Northwest has to offer: the coast, the mountains, the waterfalls, the deserts, etc. However, my favorite place to shoot is definitely in a forest. Forests are where I feel most at home and there is nothing like walking through a forest on a cool, foggy morning. I can spend a whole day meandering through a forest and taking photos. The Northwest is exceptionally beautiful and photogenic so I feel lucky it is my home. – Jessica Selig