OP – The Blog

November 30th, 2010

Mt Fairweather Lenticular Aerial 1

Posted By Jon Cornforth

Mt Fairweather Lenticular Aerial 1, Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska

BLECH! That is exactly what I felt like doing during my recent aerial shoot of Mt Fairweather. My pilot gave me ample opportunities to back out of the flight. He told me that even though the weather was clear in Haines that it was going to be a bumpy ride over Glacier Bay National Park to the outer coast. I repeatedly assured him that I was an experienced photographer who was not afraid of anything. I was wrong.

While the initial flight went smoothly, the enormous lenticular cloud over the summit of Mt Fairweather in the distance was indication that it was going to get a lot more interesting. I was disappointed that I was not going to photograph the summit, but my compensation was this dramatic multi-layered cloud. I also anticipated that my earlier photos were going to have the best light since the sunset was going to be prematurely blocked by marine clouds on the horizon. As promised, the flight eventually became much rougher as we flew over the highest mountains en route to the outer coast. As we worked the small plane into position to start taking pictures, I looked down 14,000 feet to Lituya Bay and reminisced about the week that I spent there photographing wildflowers in June 2009. I opened the window every few minutes, but the combination of cold air rushing in and turbulence made me regret not having taken a Dramamine earlier. The prominent ridges and shadows beneath the mountain appealed to my vision of how I wanted to photograph the mountain. I had to concentrate like never before in order to open the window and use my camera through the hard-banking and bumps. Physically, this was one of the most challenging photos that I have created, but I am pleased with the results.

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Please leave a comment

  1. Sunny Says:

    I like the clouds and lighting on Mt. Fairweather! Nice shadow and beautiful sky.
    My version of Mt. Fairweather from sky is at: http://spiritofnaturephoto.blogspot.com/

  2. Jon Cornforth Says:

    Awesome, Sunny! Great minds think alike. You have some beautiful photos. Do you know Norio Matsumoto? I’ve bumped into him a few times and we have mutual friends.

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