July 29, 2009 – Harts Pass, PCT

Pacific Crest Trail near Harts Pass

Pacific Crest Trail near Harts Pass

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

http://www.davefry.net/rate/index.php?viewimage=950

Before I get to today’s picture, I’ve got some news for everyone: yesterday I decided to go ahead and start buying Facebook ads for my page! I’m not sure what led me to decide to do that, but it’s probably some combination of boredom and the heat getting to my brain. BUT – they actually worked, and I got a whole *army* (well, a small one) of new fans! Woooo! (With Mr. Feker Belay leading the charge and being the first one to click on my ad) Welcome everyone!! It didn’t last too long though – it only took about an hour to max out my daily budget, which is a whopping buck fifty.

Right, so, the picture.

This was taken along the Pacific Crest Trail near Harts Pass. Harts Pass is at the end of a 25-ish mile forest road that basically parallels Highway 20 in Washington State (the highway that takes you through North Cascades National Park), but runs just north of the park boundary. It’s notable because you can drive up to 6200 feet, which is pretty rare in Washington, it’s right up there near treeline, way up in the alpine, and there are great views of some of the rocky, craggy peaks inside the park.

The PCT runs right through there, so it’s a great place for scrubs like me to see it. (While I was on the trail that day, I came across three people who were doing Canada-to-Mexico!) Harts Pass is basically the first real landmark along the trail (if you’re starting from Canada), so all of the thru-hikers I met were only on day 3 of their cross-continental trip. Anyway, it’s really pretty up there, definitely worth checking out.

This picture was right near the beginning of my hike, probably about half a mile from the trailhead. I had slept in the car the night before, so I got a really early start (7 am or so – really early for me, anyway), which worked out really well. As I’ve mentioned several times, the light during the middle of the day can really suck (today was no exception), so the early morning sunshine put a nice warm glow on everything.

The frustrating part of the hike was that my go-to lens, my 28-300 mm do-everything lens with image-stabilization, STOPPED FREAKIN’ FOCUSING RIGHT! It would THINK it was focusing (it would beep and tell me “Yeah, I’m focused, right on that spot over there”, but it would just plain be WAY off.) When you’re as obsessed as I am with taking pictures (that’s honestly the only reason I was up there), it’s truly heartbreaking when your equipment malfunctions. The day turned out to not be a total loss, as I was able to revert to manual focusing, with mixed results. Usually, you should avoid manual focus at all costs if possible, because if you’re even slightly off, you probably won’t realize it until you get home and look at it on the big screen (which is obviously too late to do anything about it). But since focusing is essentially logarithmic (the difference between focusing 5 and 10 feet away is huge, but the difference between focusing 5 and 10 MILES away is basically nothing), as long as I kept my subjects pretty far away, I could mostly get away with it. Also, I bumped up my ISO for most of the day, letting me use smaller apertures, which meant my depth of field was pretty big. So even if my focus point wasn’t exactly on my subject, it was generally close enough. Thus, this picture.

I’ll go ahead and stop here before I take up TOO much room in your news feed, I don’t want to scare away all of these new fans that I literally paid for out of my own pocket. 😉 Once again, welcome! (And, as long as I’m going to call out Feker for being the first, I may as well round out the rest of the top 5: Drew Mortvedt, Ryan Rizzuti, Monika Alvarez, and Terina Wahab. Thanks for signing up! That goes for the rest of you too, btw.)

Map: http://bit.ly/1WuypV

Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Tamron 28-300 mm VC lens. 1/160s, f/7.1, ISO 200. Focal length: 109 mm.

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One Comment

  1. avatar
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    Nancy July 30, 2009

    Hi Dave:
    I loved the Hart’s Pass photo…I guess hand focusing is not a dead art yet! I’m with the Cascade Loop Scenic Highway. I would love to use a couple of your photos in our annual travel guide. We’re small but produce a great guide we mail out free of charge to those who request it. Please let me know if you’re interested in sharing your photos. We’re a small non-profit so we don’t really have a photo budget but we can give you photo credits and get your photos out there. Best,

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