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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Contender Kevin Russell

2014 Vista Contest Contender Kevin Russell intended to capture a Mount St. Helens sunrise, but instead found himself treated to starry rolling fog

Photographer: Kevin Russell

Location: Windy Ridge, Mount St. Helens, WA.

Date: July 3, 2014.

Equipment: Nikon D7000, Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 EX DC HSM lens, Manfrotto tripod, remote shutter.

The story behind the shot:
A couple friends and I planned a trip to Mount St. Helens to shoot stars and catch the sunrise. On the way there we saw the fog rolling and began to have doubts. We caught glimpse of the mountain and then shortly after we could not see far through the fog. As we neared the mountain we finally broke into a clearing so we stopped and set up. The fog had just started to blow across the ridge under the mountain and was going straight down in to the valley like a waterfall. Slowly the valley filled with fog as it blew through, but we were treated to amazing views all night long. About an hour before sunrise we were engulfed by fog. Needless to say there were no shots of sunrise that day, but we all walked away with some good images and had a great time with lots of laughs.

Special Techniques:
For processing, I was not getting the image I wanted with a single shot at a high ISO. I had also shot this same composition for star trails on a 30 minute exposure and I preferred how the mountain, fog and foreground looked in that image, so I used a layers mask and combined the two using the half hour exposure for the mountain and foreground, and the 30 second, high ISO exposure for the sky only. It was the same composition, but a mix of the two shutter speeds worked out for a better image.

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