Friday. September 1, Labor Day Weekend. 3:30am. The alarm goes off and I climb out of my sleeping bag and SUV. I hoist the camera backpack onto my back and grab the tripod. The headlamp is on and provides the only light as I hike the short walk to the south edge of Upper Tipsoo Lake. I’ve been here before so I have an idea of where I want to compose my shot. I set up the tripod and camera. The 14mm lens is now attached and set to manual focus. In the darkness and standing under a billion stars I realize it’s quiet. There is no wind. The surface of Tipsoo Lake is like glass. Not a peep from the crickets or frogs. Silence is everywhere. The Milky Way is high above Mt Rainier and I keep firing off 30 second exposures. It’s long enough to capture the mountain, headlamps of mountain climbers, but not long enough for the stars to streak. Suddenly, I hear an animal running close by. It’s moving fast and it sounds big. I look towards the sound and only see darkness. I figure it has to be an elk. Soon it revealed itself, in the safety of the timber and up on a ridge, I heard a lone bull elk calling out. He’s bugling. He’s vying for the attention of female elk. I’m not alone. Our routine is consistent. His frequent calls fill the air and I keep shooting the stars until their brightness becomes dim in the predawn light. I gather my gear, and walk back the SUV. I fire up the Jet Fuel camp stove and boil water for my instant Starbucks coffee. I’m waiting for a little more light to appear before I hike up the hillside above Tipsoo Lake. My goal is to capture both the mountain and the lake in the same shot as the sun rises and paints its warm rays on the snow covered glaciers.
Mt Rainier – Tipsoo Lake
By rwharr | Published
This entry was posted in Landscape.