July 20, 2009 – Mt. Rainier National Park

Mt. Rainier from Chinook Pass

Mt. Rainier from Chinook Pass

Monday, July 20, 2009.


This was taken last summer, when Julie and I took advantage of a sunny Saturday to go on a drive around the state. This was at the end of June, so I was surprised that there was still that much snow up there. (The original plan was to have a picnic next to the little alpine pond that would otherwise be right at the bottom of the frame.) We had driven east over White Pass (Highway 12) out to Yakima, then back west over Chinook Pass, which takes you through Mt. Rainier National Park. The ideas for 1) a drive and 2) a picnic in the high country came about because of the ridiculously HOT weather. (It topped out at 102 near White Pass – unheard of for western Washington!!). This way, we would be nice and cool in the air conditioned car, and when we DID get out, we’d be so high up that it’d be a lot cooler.

I was just going through these pictures last night (for the photojournal), so I figured I’d go ahead and post one, even though they didn’t turn out quite like I had hoped. But, this one serves as a decent example of how the haze introduced by looking towards the sun can have a nice (instead of detrimental) effect on a picture. If the haze wasn’t there, you wouldn’t be able to see the edges between the dark trees in front, and the ridgeline in the mid-distance. Plus I felt that the increasing haziness did a good job of providing the depth between each of the three main layers. I’ll be honest, I don’t really like how on the right edge of the frame, I cut off the peak on an up-slope. For me, it makes it feel incomplete, like part of the story is missing. As in, if it was cut off on a downslope, it’d be like “Okay, there’s the peak, that’s what I’m looking at”. As it is, it’s like “Okay, there’s one peak, I wonder what’s just to the right there…” A very nitpicky feeling, but that’s the way I am with my pictures. (And when I tell people to “figure out exactly what it is you like and don’t like about the picture so you can keep that in mind next time”, that’s exactly the kind of thing I’m talking about. And, now I’ve got everyone thinking negatively about this picture and focused on its weakest point. Lovely. What a crappy picture. :)

Map: http://bit.ly/l8nmd

Notes: Canon EOS Rebel XT, Tamron 28-300 mm lens. 1/800s, f/7.1, ISO 200. Focal length: 100mm.

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