Monday, February 27, 2012

Archive photos of the day: The Nisqually Vista Trail

In honor of a rare, beautiful winter day here on Mount Rainier, here are a set a photos from another rare, beautiful winter day back in December of 2003. This was Winter Operations Training day for that season, which involved learning how to drive the park road safely, use park radios, operate avalanche beacons, and deal with hypothermia, among other things. We ended the day with a snowshoe hike out to Nisqually Vista.

Rainier vista

There's nothing more beautiful than the wilderness in fresh snow, especially with a great white mountain looming over it. Of course, with all that white, exposure can be challenging. The internal light meter of a camera can misinterpret the white as overexposure and compensate by underexposing the image, turning it dark and gray. Many point-and-shoot cameras avoid this by having a "snow" setting, which basically reassures the internal light meter that all that white is, in fact, normal in this case. I'm not sure whether I was using such a setting on my Olympus C4100 back in 2003, but whatever I was using, it worked quite well. It's a reminder that regardless of how fancy your camera is (or is not), you can still take great photos.

(10) The Nisqually Glacier

The top image in this series, in fact, was so good that it was used as the masthead for the Winter edition of Mount Rainier National Park's visitor guide, "The Tahoma News," from January-April 2011. My good friend Lloyd, who was learning the ropes as a volunteer, ended up cropped out of the long, narrow banner version of the photo.

(50) Winter vista

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