Sunrise Sunrise, Mount Rainier National Park

Sunrise Sunrise, Mount Rainier National Park

Back on my last photo outing (sadly a couple months ago) I made the effort to crawl out of my tent shortly after 4AM to make the drive into the park in time to be there for the sunrise. I'm not a morning person, but I think my early morning efforts have a much higher rate of yielding good results that an easy sunset, and this day was no exception.

I took this high up on the road into the Sunrise area of the park (hence the title, Sunrise Sunrise). It was my first time in the eastern side of the park, and I didn't quite know what to expect, or where to setup to shoot. Just shy of the Sunrise Visitor's Center I found the views to be very rewarding and I parked at the nearest pullout and hiked back to this spot.

This is a film shot, using my large format Tachihara 4x5 camera, shooting Fuji Velvia film. Velvia's dynamic range is notoriously narrow (any relatively modern digital camera is likely more forgiving) so I was very careful to meter this so as not to blow out the snow-capped mountain. In the end I was able to capture the warm pink hues of the first light, but still retain contrast throughout the snow.

If you look at the larger sized image you can see some interesting details, such as the bare tree trunks in the bottom left - as they caught that bright first light they really glowed in contrast to the dark greens surrounding them. Also towards the bottom of the frame there's a stark contrast in the apparent color in the snow in direct light and in shadow, where the shadows are blue compared to the pinks just above them. On a white subject and at this time of day this phenomenon seems more pronounced than usual.

After I'd shot this view I turned about 90 degrees to my left to shoot south towards the Cowlitz Chimneys, which can be seen here.

I hope to post more soon.

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