The Way I See It

Posts Tagged ‘Mount Rainier

Sunrise in the City

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Kerry Park, 20120205

Kerry Park, 20120205

It’s been a sunny, warm, weekend. I have some gear that I’ve been testing so I got up early yesterday (Saturday) and went over to Kerry Park on Queen Anne Hill, to the quintessential “sunrise over Seattle” viewpoint. Got there with plenty of time to spare, picked my spot, and set things up. “Uh-oh,” I thought to myself as the sky began to lighten. On the horizon hung a thin band of thick clouds. They lessened as one glanced upwards and finally petered out at 30-35 degrees from horizontal. Clear blue sky overhead at Kerry Park and over most of Seattle but where it mattered most, the vital first rays of the new day would likely be completely obscured. I hung around nonetheless, hoping that a break would form. 7:08 a.m. came and went. Still only dull grays and blues. Oh well. At least I got in a nice chat with a gentleman named Craig, who was visiting from Oregon. “I’ll probably be here again tomorrow” said he. “So will I, most likely” I replied.

This morning rolled around. I’d gotten up a bit late and hurried over there. “Morning” said he. “Good morning.” He pointed towards the horizon with his chin. “Doesn’t look good.” I concurred. Again we hung out, chatting about photography and life, hoping but not uttering the hope that somehow, good fortune would intercede. Not on this morning. We bid our adieus. As I drove home, I thought about how fortunate I was to be a sunset photographer. Before deciding to head out, I have the luxury of seeing the Western sky (from whence most Seattle weather originates) out my front window. From the city, there is a live webcam that I also check. Finally, there are the doppler radar readings. Sunrise photographers have almost none of these luxuries. They have to be ready before the first light hits the skies. They are essentially at the mercy of whatever that light reveals. I wondered if I could ever make sunrise photo shoots a regular habit.

And what of the image? It is from a more fortuitous outing not long ago. That’s the Space Needle and downtown Seattle in the foreground. In the back rises a snow-clad Mount Rainier.

I rationalize these past two mornings as putting in my time, as payback for the numerous 1-for-1 mornings with which I have been blessed. Or perhaps they are a deposit paid on some future jaw-dropping sunrise. 😉

Photo Notes
f/8, 1/15 second at ISO 200. For this image, I decided to expose for the liveliness in the sky, while leaving the structured forms of the buildings in near-silhouette. This image is very much what came out of the camera…I only applied a bit of tone mapping to accurately reflect the variety of colors that I witnessed that morning.


Written by xinapray

March 25, 2012 at 6:54 pm

Contemplating Rainier

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Contemplating the Mountain

Mountain View

She stepped into the frame, not noticing that there was someone several feet away. Click. “Oh, Pardon Me! Am I in your way?” “No, no!” I replied, “You’re fine.” “Okay, just checking, thank you.” She went back to her silent contemplation. I backed up a couple of steps. Click. Click-click. Her unexpected appearance in the frame was fortuitous, for it allowed me to add a bit of context into what would otherwise have turned out to be another tourist snap. We were at Sunrise Point, the you’re-almost-there just-above-the-treeline hairpin turn that gives visitors their first jaw-dropping view of the mountain and another 270-degrees of alpine panorama. Today, the sky is clear as can be with just a few odd fishtail-shaped clouds that accent the brilliant blue. Click. Click. Click.

And the mountain? Rainier, a dormant 13,211 foot (4,027 m) volcano about 50 miles southeast of Seattle. It’s massive white outline dominates the landscape for miles around and on a clear day, it can be seen from places as far away as Portland, Oregon and Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Saturday was a pleasant, clear summer day so we decided to make the drive to Sunrise, on the eastern slope. I’d made this trip many times before. Yet the clean mountain air, the intoxicating fragrance of the pines,  the pristine alpine fauna and the jaw-dropping views did not fail to disappoint. It felt like my first pilgrimage all over again. Just like all the times before.

Sunrise Road

Sunrise Road

Written by xinapray

July 25, 2011 at 12:58 pm

The View from Sunrise

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Y’s parents are spending the summer in Seattle. Yesterday, we made a trip up the mountain. It was a gorgeous day.

Sunrise, Mount Rainier National Park, Washington, U.S.A.

Written by xinapray

July 11, 2010 at 8:37 pm

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