The new issue of Backpacker is out, and I am pleased to announce that I have the cover image! One funny note, though, after they chose this image for the cover they asked me if they could change the yellow fall colored larch trees back to green since this would be a summer issue. If a publisher is going to pay me, I really do not mind what they need to do to my photos to make it work. Next time I might offer to make the color change for them, as I think they just grabbed the Yellow Saturation slider and moved the overall Hue towards Green. How does it compare to my original image to you?
I just found out that I will have the June cover of Backpacker! The image is of Prusik Peak reflected in Gnome Tarn during the fall when the larches turn a golden yellow. I created this image in September 2005, after my 3rd hike up into the Enchantments to capture the reflection. It is not an easy hike to get up there, but when I have gone I prefer the “shorter” route over Asgard Pass from Colchuck Lake. I don’t mind the elevation gain as much as I do the elevation loss hiking back down the Snow Creek trail. Ouch on my knees! I used my Pentax 67II, 55mm lens, Singh-Ray 3-stop Soft GND filter, Fuji Velvia 50 film, and a tripod.
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.
I just took a repeat client on a week long backpacking photography workshop into the North Cascades. Nick really wanted to do a long backpacking trip with a spectacular photography location at the end. I decided to take him to Tapto Lakes above Whatcom Pass deep in the North Cascades. It is almost 20 miles one-way in to the lakes. We took a few days to hike in with incredibly large packs including 2 cameras each and a weeks supply of food. Last Sunday, we got a break in the weather and the wind stopped blowing long enough to shoot a pretty nice reflection image of Whatcom Peak in the late afternoon light. The next day, we decided to try and do the entire hike out in 1 day. We succeeded in doing all 19 miles in just over 11 hours, but we were exhausted and unable to walk the next day! My future backpacking photography workshops will not involve quite as much hiking. Please visit more of my North Cascades National Park Photography.
I got out hiking and camping a bit the last few weeks now that the summer is coming to an end and I am no longer flying up to Alaska to get rained on and not take any pictures while spending a lot of money. Yes, summer in Southeast was tough this year. Also, my last trip to use my boat got interrupted by a house fire back home! My girls were out of the house and safe when it happened and my slides and hard drives were not destroyed, but we had to move and re-buy all of our second floor bedroom furniture and clothes. My daughters started back to school last week. We are doing fine, but what a pain. Anyway, I went down to Mt Rainier 2 weekends in a row to try and photograph the summer wildflowers. Spray Park is one of my favorite locations in the park, so I always enjoy the hike. I do it int the afternoon, shoot the sunset, and then hike back to the car in the dark. The flowers were very late this year, but they were pretty good. Please visit more of my Mount Rainier National Park Photography.
I spent an afternoon at Wallace Falls last week. It is a nice hike, that is best done during the week when nobody else is there. This is the time of year to start looking for those beautiful mossy green rainforest images on a cloudy day. This is the image that I got for my effort. Also, if you are a regular visitor to my site, you might have noticed that I have been updating it and adding some new pages. I hope that you enjoy the new work. Please visit my Central Cascades Photography page to see more of my images from Washington’s Cascade mountain range.