Spray Park Wildflowers 1

My Top 10 Favorite Photos of 2008, #3

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Last year was not one of my most productive years for landscape photography. The weather in Southeast Alaska during the summer gave me very few photo opportunities and overall I focused more on shooting wildlife. I still prefer the results of my medium format film cameras for shooting landscape images, but admit that it is becoming much more difficult for me to spend the money on film when I own 2 digital SLRs. I have become very selective about pushing the button when it costs me over $1 per image. Fortunately, I still find a scene once in awhile that justifies the investment.

In late August, I took advantage of the late season wildflower bloom at Mount Rainier National Park to create this image, “Spray Park Wildflowers”. I have hiked up to Spray Park at least once per summer for the last 8 years. I have had mixed results creating the photograph that I have envisioned, so I keep going back hoping for something more dramatic. It is only a 6 mile round-trip hike, so I can leave Seattle in the afternoon and be up in the meadows in time to photograph the sunset. After the shoot is over, I hike back down to my truck with a headlamp in the dark. On this attempt, the lupine and paintbrush were the best that I had seen in the last 5 years and there were some nice clouds up in the sky. I created this image using my Pentax 67II, 45mm lens, Singh-Ray LB Polarizer, Singh-Ray 2-stop Hard GND filter, Gitzo Basalt tripod, Acratech Ultimate ballhead, Fuji Velvia 50 film at f22 and 2 seconds.

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