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
Shutter: 20 seconds
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