Mazama Ridge Lupine Sunrise 1

Mazama Ridge Lupine Sunrise 1, Mount Rainier National Park, Washington

This past Friday, the second in a row, I woke up at 2:30am and drove down to Mount Rainier National Park to photograph wildflowers at sunrise.  I have sold a lot of images of Mount Rainier over the years, so it is worth taking the time out of my busy travel schedule to do the quick round trip for just 1 hour of shooting.  I parked my car at 5:15am and ran up the trail in about 20 minutes to my favorite flower meadows on Mazama Ridge.  I’m always surprised that I never encounter any other photographers up there at sunrise, but I also only visit during the week to avoid the weekend crowds.  For anyone still planning a trip to Rainier, the wildflowers are at their peak, however, I would not describe this year’s bloom as more than ordinary.  I did not encounter any diverse fields of wildflowers and the clouds from the day before had vanished, but I still hoped to create a new unique image.  All of my previous well-known photos of wildflowers at Mount Rainier were created using medium and large format film cameras.  What a pain in the ass that was.  With my large format camera in particular, I had to compose the image using a dark cloth, focusing loupe, and dark ground glass where the image was upside down and reversed, spot meter the scene, stop down to f32, place a Singh-Ray non-LB Warming Polarizer on the lens, position the grad filter correctly, and hope that the wind stopped blowing for a 10-30 second exposure because I was using Fuji Velvia 50 film rated at ISO 25 due to reciprocity failure.  Still with me?  Let me just state unequivocally that creating this image with my dSLR was a lot easier.  I like this picture because of the soft warm light illuminating the lupine in the foreground.

Click here to purchase a print of this image.