Saturday, February 5, 2011

Winter Majestic

Winter Majestic - Mt Hood from White River
Nikon D7000, Nikkor 12-24 dx lens, polarizer
0.8 sec at f/16, ISO 100, single exposure
click image to see larger

In mid January I made it up to White River Sno-Park to photograph the sunrise and Mt Hood. White River is located on the southeast side of Mt Hood and is about a 90 minute drive from Portland.

I've had the idea for this image in my head for a while now and the conditions finally came together to make it a reality. The elements I was seeking for this image were; 1) clear skies, 2) sunrise alpenglow on Mt Hood, 3) fresh snowfall, 4) a good amount of water flowing in White River.

White River is a place I've visited several times over the past few years and these previous visits allowed me to scout the area and find the best compositions. Knowing the area well is very important, since to photograph the sunrise here you must start snowshoeing while it is still dark. The morning I went up to the mountain, I got up at 4AM to drive to the Sno-Park, snowshoe ~1 mile in the dark and get the camera set up in an area with a good composition.

From a composition standpoint it is somewhat difficult to make good images of Mt Hood from White River. The main challenge is the closer you get to Mt Hood, the less of the mountain you see. As you snowshoe up the canyon, the view of the mountain becomes obstructed by the ridge on the right hand side. Another challenge is finding a stretch of the river which compliments the composition. The river is in a constant state of change and the path of the river will usually change after a warm winter rains flood the river. Basically your favorite section of the river might not be the same next year, over even next month.

I processed this image using Lightroom 3 and Photoshop CS4. While processing the photo I opted to keep the blue color cast to make the image feel "colder". I'm happy with the result and I really like the contrast between the warm glow on Mt Hood and the cool tones in the foreground.

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Take care,