Mount Rainier –National Park In The Rain And Snow
My wife and I were planning a road trip from our home in Los Angeles to Seattle, Washington to spend a few days visiting our daughter. On my itinerary was a day photographing in Mount Rainier National Park with the goal of visiting Paradise high up the slope of the mountain.
The day for our trip arrived with some rain and what I hoped might be some snow at Mount Rainer. I set out early in the morning with Dan, who had signed on for an all day Personal Workshop to learn more about his DSLR camera. During the two and a half hour drive from Seattle to Mount Rainer we talked about the fundamentals of exposure:
- Aperture - The amount of light to hit the camera sensor. Its like adjusting the blinds of a window.
- Shutter Speed - The length of time the shutter is open allowing light to hit the sensor.
- ISO - The sensitivity of the sensor. Sensors have improved greatly over the past few years and the problem of noise at high ISO setting has been greatly reduced, making ISO much more useful.
- Depth-Of-Field - Using the Aperture to control the sharpness in front of the behind the area of focus.
As we entered the park, we found ourselves in a lush forest of moss covered pine trees and a scattering of other trees showing off their fall colors.
We slowly drove up a valley looking for interesting areas, we must have stopped at every turn-out because of something fun to explore, like the photographs above and below.
With the temperature in the low thirties, we would jump out the car, grab the cameras, rain gear, run into the forest, photograph for a while, and then get back to the warmth of the car.
As we drove further up the mountain the light rain gave way to welcome snow, making it much easier to photograph as the snow can be brushed off the camera before it melts.
Higher up the mountain we encountered this large field of snow covered rocks that I thought made an interesting abstract image of positive and negative space.
One of the most popular places in Mount Rainier National Park is Christine Falls, named after the daughter of P. B. Van Trump who made the first documented ascent of Mount Rainier in 1870. Years later, in 1888, he guided John Muir to the summit.
A little farther up the road, Dan spotted a lone maple tree in the midst of snow covered pines seen in the photo at the top of the post. We spent quite a while taking in the surreal scene before we headed up the mountain toward Paradise. During the summer, the Paradise lodge and visitor center are teeming with people there to take in the beautiful alpine meadows and cool mountain air. With the snow falling, the parking lot was near empty and the lodge was closed for the season, but it was still a gorgeous place to be.
Photographing in the rain and wet snow can be challenging because one usually needs a extra hand to hold an umbrella over the camera. A solution is the AquaTech Sport Shield. It fully covers the camera and lens and has small windows so you can see the lcd window and other key controls. There is also an sleeve for your right hand to operate the camera while keeping everything dry, even in pouring rain.