I had the distinct pleasure of taking time this past Saturday to head down to Mount Rainier with fellow Seattle photographer Mike Hornblade. Our destination was Spray Park in the northwest end of the park - a reasonable place to make a day-trip from Seattle. If I had been on my own, I surely would have turned back earlier, and likely not reached Spray Park at all. The conditions were not looking very favorable, with heavy cloud and sporadic fog blocking Rainier from view, as well as the miles of hiking back to the car in the dark (plus the cold temperatures and unrelenting switchbacks up the trail). But we stuck it out and sure enough, just around the time we expected to be missing the sunset, the clouds began to clear up and Rainier emerged in plain view, lit up in warm sunset light.
I had spent some time at this particular tarn, and once Rainier appeared I focused on capturing the reflected image in the water. Mike quickly returned to a dense patch of wildflowers and produced this outstanding image. I struggled in processing this image to give the foreground some light and warmth, but it was largely in shadow and the rich colors of the abundant wildflowers (particularly back behind the larger boulders) still appear muted to me. While it may not match the ideal image in my mind, the resultant image feels fairly accurate for the reality of the situation.
We finished shooting after sunset and hiked back in the dark. After a midnight Denny's stop for dinner on the way back I finally made it home around 1:30AM. A late night, but well worth it. My thanks again to Mike for making the trip down there - I encourage others to take a look at his great work too.
Nikon D90 | Nikon 18-200VR@18mm | f/9 | 1/30s | ISO200 | Tripod
See more related images in my Mount Rainier National Park Gallery.
All text and images © Tyler Westcott, All rights reserved, Unless otherwise noted.