Postcard: Mt. Rainier National Park

Posted by on April 29th, 2013

Mt Rainier National Park Christine Falls

Last week was National Park Week and that meant free admission to some of the most beautiful and photogenic natural wonders around. I decided to celebrate my National Park Week by heading out to Mt. Rainier National Park here in Washington. 

The snowpack is still pretty heavy and we couldn’t get further than the Paradise viewpoint before a 20ft wall of snow blocked the road. In fact, most of the buildings, including the lodge at Paradise, were at least partially buried in deep snow drifts. To get into the park bathrooms, you had to walk through what amounted to an ice cave framed by plywood. I thought spelunking to the toilet was great fun — my wife disagreed.

Mt Rainier paradise guide services

You’ll notice that there aren’t any photos of the park’s namesake mountain in my collection. The truth is, I didn’t really get any shots of Rainier that I was proud of. Because it was a day trip, I couldn’t be there for the golden hours of sunrise and sunset, and the blinding snow in midday sun didn’t give me the kind of shots I was looking for. Sometimes, that’s just the way it goes.

Mt Rainier old growth forest

You may also notice that these photos look different from my usual work. I’m trying some new post processing techniques with the goal of creating something with the feel of film. A lot of my tweaking has involved contorting curves to give me crunchy blacks, flat mids, and creamy whites. I’m not sure I’m in love with this process or look just yet, but I wanted to post at least a few pictures in this style.

I’m thinking of developing a longer tutorial on emulating film or maybe putting out some presets for Lightroom. If you’re into that kind of thing, keep an eye out in the next few weeks. Anyway, I hope at least some of you got to enjoy the national parks this week. If you got any great shots, feel free to post a link in the comments. I’d love to see your work.


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