Tipsoo Lake, Mount Rainier National Park

Tipsoo Lake, Mount Rainier National Park

Last Saturday evening, after shooting in and around the Sunrise area of Mount Rainier National Park, I left for Lake Tipsoo to investigate it for its suitability as a place to shoot the next morning's sunrise. I left from the nearby parking area with my camera in-hand, but all other accessories, lenses, etc, back at the car. I had no real intentions of shooting since it was quite foggy and it was supposed to be a reconnaissance trip only.

However, it surprised me in that it was an absolutely beautiful lake, the shores of which were covered in the greatest display of wildflowers I've ever seen. The error of my poor planning became evident very quickly, as my memory card turned to be full, and the light low enough that I really needed my tripod.

In the end I settled on this spot, as there was a nice small collection of varied wildflowers between the boardwalk at the waters edge. Also, while looking in this direction, northwest, there was a small patch of sky visible.

The photo was rather awkward to take - I wanted the flowers in the bottom left near the corner of the frame, while still capturing the sky above the trees - a framing that required something half way between squatting and standing and an optimum posture to create a shaky shot. To keep everything between the close foreground and distant trees sharp I had to stop down, which further complicated things, and ultimately led to choosing a much higher ISO to keep the shutter speed fast.

In the end though I'm fairly happy with the photo. I settled on a 5x4 crop, rather than the camera's native 6x4 as the elements to the right were simply distracting.

I ended up not returning for the sunrise the next morning because I couldn't see Rainier through the clouds on this reconnaissance trip, but I have since learned it has a beautiful view of rainier in the distance - somewhere to shoot from next time.

Nikon D90 | Nikon 18-200VR@18mm | f/11 | 1/320s | ISO800 | Handheld

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