Here in the US, today is Thanksgiving. A day to give thanks.
Scenes like this help affirm to Goddess and I that we should give thanks every day. And we do.
These two scenes are from yesterday morning, Thanksgiving Eve if you will.
We had hiked out the afternoon prior with the intent to camp out and test some equipment in the cool. It wasn’t cold, but cool. The morning low temperature was right around freezing. Not too bad, especially considering that we were at 6,500′ and it is late November.
Not a bad way to crawl out of the sack.
Although it was much, much better less than 30 minutes later.
We have plenty of reasons to be thankful. Most of all for the opportunities that have led us to where we are and the opportunities yet to come, including a long walk next year that will keep that mountain, Mount Shasta, within view several times during approximately 300 miles of hiking.
It was good 10 minutes prior, underwhelming 5 minutes prior, then completely underwhelming 5 minutes later at sunrise.
This was the best it got.
Still not shabby.
A completely different view of the sunrise at Crater Lake than I’ve ever taken in. I’ve always been on the opposite rim, northeast to southeast. The goal has always been to get the sunlight on the rim walls, which makes it magical. I had a hunch about this sunrise, taken from this angle, hoping that I’d get a good red glow under the clouds of the storm moving in from the west.
Well, a hunch and the reality of a time crunch, since I had to meet people down off the rim just 39 minutes after sunrise.
Hints. Teases. But that’s all.
Still not shabby.
Then just 45 minutes later, I was meeting a film crew. After that we spent the next five hours filming what will probably be a total of 7 minutes of screen time on an upcoming TV show for the Travel Channel.
They were interested in seeing how we used century old 2-person crosscut saws to clear fallen trees from trails, with Crater Lake as a backdrop. I was interested in seeing how they used their Epic RED cameras and kit to create shows.
A fair trade.
And all parties agreed, a day with this as our office is a great day indeed.
Just 24 hours later, this view would have been completely shrouded in the clouds that the storm brought in. Based on the webcam views just off and a bit below the rim to the south, this view would have been completely covered in several inches of snow. The first of the year, a promise of a good winter.
Just for fun and spatial awareness, this viewpoint is exactly between the two peaks that the moon set between during last week’s lunar eclipse. From this angle, Watchman Peak is to my right (south), while Hillman Peak is to my left (north). The spot where I took the image of that moonset is directly across the lake, at frame center, below the summit of Mount Scott.
Hopefully the early mornings have been as good to you.
You all have likely been flooded with interesting interpretations of this week’s lunar eclipse, popularly heralded as a “blood moon”.
I know I have.
Like many others, I was awake all night to shoot it. I was in the perfect spot for it and had a fantastic view of the entire process. The difficult part is that the path of the moon was separate from anything of interest – the Milky Way, ground objects, etc.
Based on the images that I have run across since then, plus watching a neighboring photographer, I should have set up multiple cameras with different lenses, then created a composite image of preternatural proportions.
Not my thing.
So I stayed in place, waiting for an event that I knew would work out as I planned it – the sunrise/moonset a couple of hours after the eclipse.
While orbital mechanics did their thing and the moon set where I expected, there were a couple of surprises. Specifically, how the new sunlight illuminated the northwestern rim of Crater Lake, focusing attention on Hillman Peak*, while its shadow swoops into a gentle curve below the full moon. Later, while not visible in this image, the shadow of Mount Scott, some two miles behind me, shrank down the rim wall, almost perfectly mimicking the slopes of Wizard Island.
I suspect I’ll share that one next.
But I must say that the colors were not a surprise. Seriously. The colors are absolutely astounding at Crater Lake, regardless of the time of day, regardless of the season.
It was a cold night, as the gentle westerly breeze across the lake was funneled up the rim wall and right into our faces. It was so strong that in order to get reasonably sharp images, we had to take to extraordinary measures to stabilize our tripods and cameras. I wish I had taken a picture of the setup, as words can’t describe it.
Just as words can’t describe the entire experience.
That’s why I take pictures.
*Hillman Peak is at 8,159 feet (2,487 m), while the lake level is at 6,200 feet (1,890m). It is the highest point along the rim. So for those of you that are about to break out the calculator, that’s just under 2,000 feet (700m) of rock face that you are faced with, some 6.2 miles (10km) distant.
About an hour and 15 minutes prior to the image that I posted last, the hints of dawn were already visible.
After an hour of trying to get star images through the moving clouds, the first hints of light started at astronomical twilight. This image unfolded half an hour later, just a few minutes before nautical twilight, as the sky really started to brighten directly behind Mount Thielsen.
The rapidly changing light was quite a treat, but nowhere near the treat as watching Jupiter (just left of frame center) rise in the eastern sky, visible well after sunrise.
The surprise in this image was the airplane directly over the peak. I don’t recall seeing it when I took the picture, but there were quite a few out that morning. Their low rumble was the only man-made sound I heard for a few hours.
That alone made getting up to watch this worthwhile.
The first sunrise of Autumn (northern hemisphere) 2014.
Mount Thielsen (aka “the lightning rod of the Cascades”), reflected in the waters of Diamond Lake, Oregon, just a short distance from Crater Lake.
We were hoping for similar skies at sunset over at Crater Lake the night before. It didn’t work out that way, since the clouds were too dense for the sun to stream through and give us the color we wanted. A few glimmers of hope, but nothing worthwhile. Other than the fact that it was still a sunset at Crater Lake. There isn’t a bad one to be had.
Quite a crazy couple of weeks coming up. Having this view to myself was a nice way to get myself ready. I would have loved to have shared it with Goddess in person, but she was snug in her sleeping bag in the tent some 100′ behind me.
Although this isn’t the last of the “flashback” landscapes, today is the last day of my summer sale on prints (see details below).
Ten years on, this is still one of my favorite images. Whenever I’m in a funk or just need to refocus my energies, I like to pull up the raw image and work it. Sometimes I improve upon earlier versions, sometimes not. Regardless, the moment makes me smile.
Sunrise, Lake Tanuki, Fujinoyima, Japan; December 2, 2004.
LAST DAY for 15% off!!!!!
It’s simple -> Enter “Summer14” when you check out and receive 15% off pre-shipping costs.
Sunrise is always much more enjoyable than sunset.
The same colors.
Did I mention it’s less crowded?
This was just a few days ago. I’m glad we bagged it, as it’s been snowing like crazy all day yesterday and into this morning. I’m sure that’s beautiful too, but it doesn’t look like the Park Service is maintaining the road up to this viewpoint too well right now. But I suspect that’s normal.
Winter appears to be here. Not only was it snowing like crazy up at Crater Lake, but also in the mountains around town. And with the next several days below freezing even down here on the valley floor, the snow on the slopes will stick. A perfect start to the base for the ski runs.
While many were standing in line at god-awful early times to get some post-Thanksgiving shopping done, we were driving by so that we could watch sunrise.
We chose well.
It was a great Thanksgiving weekend, spent with friends of many years, people who love to spend the entire day out looking for scenes to capture. I was able to introduce them to new places and see their different views on what has become familiar to me.
Plus, it’s a bit fun to catch each other in action. Sometimes funny, sometimes interesting. Mostly funny.
Like the time I should have taken the path on the other side of the tree, a path that didn’t require any steps over long drops.
But life is an adventure. An adventure best experienced with friends.
The last post was the video of the moon setting over Crater Lake from our Canon G12, but here is an image from the primary camera (not a screen grab from the video).
Watching the moon set with this view was quite an experience, the scene that Goddess and I had planned to capture for a few weeks, putting all of the wheels in motion some 24 hours prior.
Even though this view is only two hours away.
Thanks to The Photographer’s Ephemeris, I knew weeks in advance where I needed to be standing in order to position the setting moon over the peak of Wizard Island.
That meant that after the 90 minutes of images that comprised Charioteer, I could hop back in the car and drive Goddess and Skinny to the opposite side of the lake, get in position and take a nap for a couple of hours before I needed to set up the cameras and start capturing the scene.
It is a great thing to be able to plan those moments out.
And for those wondering where the reflection of the moon is, please keep in mind that from the summit of Wizard Island to the crater wall in the background is 1.25 miles (2km). The angle just does not allow for a reflection.
And just as a reminder, today (Friday, August 2, 2013) is the last day of voting for the Medford Mail-Tribune photography people’s choice award, where Charioteer is consistently bouncing between first and second place. If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, please read here.
Another from Monday’s overnight and sunrise session at Crater Lake.
Here is the Phantom Ship, a rock island in Crater Lake, remnants of the old lava flows from Mount Mazama, the volcano that exploded and collapsed, filling with rainwater and snowmelt to give us Crater Lake.
What’s with the odd color combinations, you ask?
This image was captured about 30 minutes after sunrise from an overlook on the eastern side of Crater Lake. The Phantom Ship is tucked close to the southeastern side of the lake, so it was still in the shadow of the crater walls. Hence the cold, blue colors, since the only light on the rock face was from the blue sky above and reflected off the deep blue water below. The golden hue is the reflection of the south wall of the crater, which was in direct sunlight.
And for a bit of scale, the tallest spire on the island is 170′ (52 meters)., while the island is some 500′ (152 meters) long.
For those of you who have enjoyed the images, you may not realize that I do offer my prints for sale.
Each image is a click-through, meaning if you click on it, it will take you to another site. For those I think enough of to offer as a print, which are not all of them, it will take you to my web site where you can purchase them and have them delivered directly to you. Without watermarks.
Since I have not done a very good job of making this known, I’m offering two coupons valid for the rest of July, 2013. You just have to browse over to my online gallery.
For purchases up to $300 (before shipping), the discount is 15%. Just use the code 13Summer when checking out.
For purchases above $300 (before shipping), the discount is 20%. Just use the code 13Summer20 when checking out.
Unfortunately, only one coupon is valid per order.
If you are considering prints (e.g., not canvas or framed images) I cannot recommend the metallic finish enough. Seriously. It adds a dimension to the images that cannot be matched in any other finish. Almost three-dimensional, especially when it comes to portraits and landscape. It is my go-to finish for any prints I order, especially for my family portraits.
While I mainly post landscape images here, I do have several other genres that I enjoy capturing: Travel, Architecture, Nature, Street and Autos. Each genre is available directly from my main page.
Thank you for your consideration. And for stopping by to read my rambles.