I made this photograph of Pyramid Peak in the North Cascade Mountains just before the storm clouds rolled over top towards my vantage point on the Diablo Lake Overlook. As is common in the mountains, I had anticipated a mostly clear day but nature had other plans. I find the color version of this photograph appealing, but I do think the black and white one above has better impact. What do you think? Do you prefer color or black and white version for this photograph?
Mount Redoubt and Nodoubt Peak in North Cascades National Park in Washington State (photographed from British Columbia’s Chilliwack Lake Provincial Park).
Mount Redoubt and Nodoubt Peak in the North Cascades (Purchase)
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In early December I was at Chilliwack Lake Provincial Park looking for some good sunset light on Mount Redoubt. The colour materialized, but not for a long period of time and in a different way than I was expecting. I had previously photographed this mountain in January and February, and at a time when the good light would simultaneously hit Mount Redoubt and Nodoubt Peak (the peak on the right). This being December, I suspect the difference in the sun’s position is the reason the light was not on Nodoubt Peak at the same time as the main peak of Redoubt. I made some panorama exposures before sunset and thought this would be a good opportunity to convert some of my photographs to black and white.
The first image above (best viewed large) was made almost 20 minutes before the one below. I did not include Nodoubt Peak in the lower photograph as all the light had gone, and it just doesn’t have the same impact that way. This second photo is one that works in colour too I think, as there was nice light on the main peak of Mount Redoubt (click the link for the colour version). The first image has light on both peaks, but it was without the colours you see in the photo linked above.
Mount Redoubt in North Cascades National Park (Purchase)
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I think my favourite feature of the top photograph, and to a lesser extent the lower one, is the snow blowing off of the peaks. This is called spindrift which was a new term to me.
The base of Narada Falls at Mount Rainier National Park in Washington State, USA
Narada Falls in Mount Rainier National Park
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During the summer of 2012 I was in Mount Rainier National Park on a photography trip. As with many days at Mount Rainier – the clouds rolled in and you couldn’t see the mountain – not even the Tatoosh Range. On my first trip there in 2009 I remember explaining to some German tourists (who were excited to see Mount Rainier) while standing in the Paradise parking lot that actually the mountain IS right there… you just can’t see it. I suggested some of the waterfalls but they weren’t interested – they must not have been photographers! So with similar conditions presented in 2012 I photographed Narada Falls instead. There are only so many points where you can see the falls, so doing all that much creative with wider angles is not easy. For this photograph I pulled out the 70-200mm lens to find some details I liked. I have a number of photographs of some other details of Narada Falls but I think my favourite is this photo of the water hitting the rocks at the base..
I also chose this photograph to again play around with some black and white conversions. This was my favourite iteration of Narada Falls in black and white from my experimentation. Does this monochrome version work for you?
A few weeks ago when I headed out into the Fraser Valley to photograph Harrison lake and Mount Cheam I first stopped at Kilby Provincial Park. Located along the Harrison River and Harrison Bay, I was hoping to find a few new angles to photograph Mt. Cheam and to possibly spot some wildlife. What I found was a dry, windswept dustbowl that was not at all hospitable. The wind nearly knocked me over a few times, and while I found a new angle on Mount Cheam I did not photograph it. The amount of dust blowing around meant I was not going to dare change lenses and I am glad that I didn’t. I had enough dust in my eyes and ears for a few days I really didn’t want that kind of mess in my camera or lenses. I actually covered it in a plastic bag like I would when it is raining!
I tried to show here what the conditions were like, though the windchill (about -10°C) is tough to convey. Normally one would have a clear view towards Deroche Mountain across the Bay (a distance of 4km/2.8 miles), but in this photograph you can just make out some of the trees through all the dust and dirt in the air. As the colour version of this photograph had very little color, I converted this photograph to black and white.
Fresh snow on Mount Webb in Chilliwack Lake Provincial Park, Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada
Fresh snow on Mount Webb at Chilliwack Lake in Chilliwack Lake Provincial Park
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I mostly make my photographs in colour. I think that is just the way I am better able to see most landscape scenes. I am trying to see a bit better in black and white, and recognize which scenes and light may be appropriate for that type of conversion. Sometimes colour just isn’t the best option. During my trip to Chilliwack Lake Provincial Park back in October, I made this photograph of Mount Webb with black and white conversion in mind. The sun, if it showed up, was going to set behind this mountain, and from this angle I was not going to see any sort of nice alpenglow or sunset light anyway. I was early for any potential sunset display, so I photographed this mountain when I arrived as the light I had at that point was appropriate for my intentions.
The reason I decided this scene would be better in black and white was due to the light at the time, and the textures on the mountain. I still tried to process it in colour, but the results were not satisfying. I like the textures in this photograph from the rocks and the fresh snow, and even the small glacier at the bottom of the rock face that I had never noticed before on previous trips to Chilliwack Lake. The textures just didn’t show themselves in colour as well as they did with black and white.