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Good Weather For Shooting Mountains &  Stars
Good Weather For Shooting Mountains & Stars

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Good II (Advanced Editing VII)
Camera: Nikon D800
Lens: Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8G ED
Location: Sunrise, Mt. Rainier, Washington (USA)
Date: Jul 25, 2014
Aperture: f/2.8
ISO: 4000
Shutter: 20 Seconds
Date Uploaded: Jul 27, 2014

Photographer’s Notes
A year ago, almost, I drove to Sunrise on the Northeast shoulder of Mt. Rainier and took photos including the one that would win the blue ribbon in the Best of 2013 challenge.

Last Friday, I returned to attempt a time-lapse from more or less the same place. I arrived at about 7:00 PM and with 2 hours until sunset, scouted shooting locations. About 9:30, I returned to my shooting location with plenty of light to hike without a light.

My kit included my camera bag (30 pounds including camera and lenses), my sturdiest tripod (8 pounds), a REI headlamp plus two backup LED flashlights, and a light REI folding camp chair (takes a long time to shoot time-lapse of stars). It was about 52 degrees but forecast to drop to about 40 so I wore warm pants, hiking boots, three shirts, a waterproof jacket, two pair of gloves and a knit hat.

When I arrived, I took a number of test/calibration shots to dial in aperture (f/2.8), ISO (4,000) and shutter speed (15 seconds during the time-lapse) and set up my interval timer. As astronomical twilight ended (about 11:16) I began the time-lapse shooting. As it got colder, moisture began to condense on the front of the lens and I had to dry it between shots.

My fingers were the first to go as the night cooled. Then the cold seeped into my jacket, past three shirts and I began to shiver. My feet went next. Just before 2:00 AM I called it quits. I packed up my kit, and with headlamp set to red, hiked back down the mountain to where I parked. I warmed up, and shot some one-offs with my 16mm fisheye and headed home about 2:45 AM and was asleep in my bed by 5:00 AM. It was a long day – but worth it. I’ll do it again next time we have good weather and no moon.

Oh, I almost forgot, this is one of the calibration shots I took before getting started.

At 7200 x 4800 pixels, these shots are magnificent. 800 pixels is a crime against nature!

Post Processing
• Convert from RAW (PSCC Camera Raw)
• Contrast & Sharpen (OnOne Perfect Effects)
• Dodge and Burn (PSCC Overlay Layer)
• Resize (OnOne Perfect Resize)
• Save for Web (PSCC)

Camera Data
Date: 2014.07.25
Camera: Nion D800E
Lens: Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8G ED
ISO: 4000
Aperture: f/2.8
Shutter: 20 seconds

Place: 8 out of 49
Avg (all users): 6.3735
Avg (commenters): 7.6000
Avg (participants): 5.8800
Avg (non-participants): 6.5862
Views since voting: 532
Views during voting: 155
Votes: 83
Comments: 8
Favorites: 0

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08/26/2014 07:48:44 AM
critique club:

this is great. perfect tones and colors, i'd like to maybe see and bit more sky but i can't really find anything not to like here.
08/06/2014 12:49:39 AM
Let's go up again, with out the hiking of cours
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/06/2014 12:34:49 AM
Wooh, congrats on top ten, Doc!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
08/05/2014 01:52:38 PM
Beautifully cold tone throughout. I love the addition of the stars.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/04/2014 02:24:26 AM
Pretty image, but seems to me to be a shoe-horn for the challenge. Just my two cents.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/02/2014 10:46:00 PM
Lovely shot!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/02/2014 03:42:26 PM
What a sight! I'd love to see a little more treatment on this to bring out the details and contrast.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/30/2014 11:37:09 AM
Top 3
  Photographer found comment helpful.

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