OP – The Blog

September 8th, 2010

Mt. Rainier Wildflowers

Posted By Ian Plant

I recently spent two weeks in Mt. Rainier National Park to photograph wildflowers and mountain landscapes. The summer bloom came considerably late this year, and the flowers probably weren’t as good as they could have been, but hey, you can’t go wrong with fields of lupine below one of the Pacific Northwest’s most iconic mountains, even in an off year. I guess it’s kinda like pizza—there’s really no such thing as truly bad pizza, even the worst stuff is still pretty darn tasty! So, even though the flowers were merely “ordinary” this year (in the words of  fellow OP blogger Jon Cornforth), they were still a truly amazing sight to behold.

Whether the flowers are good, bad, or ugly, however, the challenge to photographing a place like Rainier is that it is so often photographed. One has to work hard to come up with something even marginally original or unique. What it takes, I think, is a willingness to look past the iconic shots, and to strive instead to find something personal. And it takes patience, to wait for the majesty of nature to guide one’s work, hoping for that rare moment when something magical happens.

"Light is Life" - Mt. Rainier Wildflowers

"Light is Life" - Wildflowers adorn the slopes of Mt. Rainier

I’ve recently posted a series of photos from Mt. Rainier on my personal photoblog. I can’t say for sure whether the images I came up with during my two weeks there are original or unique, or for that matter even good—I leave that judgment up to you, the reader—but I can say that each one of them is very personal. Something about each inspired me to shoot, which is in my opinion the best way to make photographs. Shoot what moves you, and the rest will follow. You can access each photo and its “behind the scenes” story by clicking on the image above or the thumbnails below.

                 

I’ll be posting more Mt. Rainier photos on my photoblog over the coming weeks, so please feel free to stop by from time to time. As always, I appreciate comments and feedback, so feel welcome to chime in, say hi, or share your own experiences and stories.

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Please leave a comment

  1. Kevin Schafer Says:

    Ian – Love your “Life as Light” image – a very risky, unexpected view, and maybe one of the best uses of flare ever. Very nice.

  2. Kevin Schafer Says:

    Before I forget, Ian, I also wanted to applaud you for the “steroids” analogy you used on your photoblog post on Mt. Rainier. I have been looking for the right analogy to describe the creeping levels of exaggeration in photography, and I think this just about says it right.

  3. Ian Plant Says:

    Thanks Kevin for both comments!

  4. pthompson Says:

    Ian, you’re making me homesick for Washington! I love Los Angeles, and having grown up in Southern California, I can’t imagine being elsewhere now. Still, the 12 years I spent in the Pacific Northwest (40 miles from Rainier) were very special times. I love all the above photos, but that leading image looks like a little slice of heaven. I’ve seen that mountain look eerie, mysterious and majestic. However, that shot is straight out of a fairy world. Gorgeous!

  5. Ian Plant Says:

    thanks for the very kind words!

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