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Nooksack River and Mount Shuksan

Mount Shuksan and the Nooksack River in the North Cascades, Washington State, USA

mount shuksan and nooksack river washington

Mount Shuksan and the Nooksack River (Purchase)

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   One of the downsides of having a lot of backlog in my photo editing is that I tend to forget what I have. I purposefully wait a while in order to process my images, just so that I am somewhat subjective in terms of images that deserve scrutiny and those that don’t. I often have initial expectations that were not met when I review the images too soon, and sometimes that clouds what is really there. At least for me. I do occasionally go back over images that did not leap out at me during a first pass – sometimes I find something I really like. Sometimes this is due to my perception of the image changing and sometimes I have learned some new post processing skills that open the photo to new potential.

   This photo is another example of this phenomenon. I initially passed over it but this weekend viewed it again, and knew how I wanted to process it. I have many photos of Mount Shuksan, but this one is a bit different. This was not taken from Picture Lake, Artist Point or any of my usual places. This is along the North Fork of the Nooksack River (which later flows over Nooksack Falls) at the bottom of the hill near the Shuksan Campground.

The Capilano River

photo of the capilano river in north vancouver
The Capilano River
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   I made this photograph back in October at the Capilano River in North Vancouver, British Columbia. I like how the water flows slowly around these rocks while the river rushes by in the foreground. You may remember one of the earlier photos of a Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) that I posted from this location a few weeks ago. The Heron photo showed how a small tweak in shutter speed can make a huge difference in the photographic result. In this case, a shutter speed of 1/3 of a second gave me just the amount of water blur that I was looking for. Enough to show the water “in motion” but not so much as to blur it to the point of abstraction.

   With my Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM zoom lens I was able to isolate this part of the river for the photograph. Another example of why I often use long lenses for landscape photography!

Mosquitopalooza at the Pitt River

sunset at the pitt river/addington marsh
Pitt River Sunset
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   Even though it is nearing the end of July, Summer has not yet reached Southwestern British Columbia. Normally we have had a warmer July than this, and we are just starting at least about 3 weeks with no rain and warm temperatures. Not this year. As I generally do not like hot weather anyway, I have not been too disappointed with this. No sunburns, no “heat domes”, no drought. The other side of this coin is we had a much cooler, wetter spring/early summer than usual. While that is nice weather for being outside a lot of the time, it can also mean mosquitoes.

   I have never purchased bug spray. I used it once, but it gave me a rash so I’ve just put it out of my mind for the last few years. With the exception of one evening up at Artist Point near Mount Baker, I have had very few run ins with mosquitoes. At worst an evening in the bush or near a lake meant a bite or two at the very worst. Returning last week to the Pitt-Addington Marsh I was in for a very different experience. Luckily, the light ultimately did turn some of the clouds a nice pink color, so I got the sort of shot I was looking for. What I was not looking for were the 45 mosquito bites I suffered while making this and other photographs of the area. The back of my neck was like bubble wrap the next morning, but the majority of the bites were actually through my shirt on my back. I will be buying bug spray soon!

   I have learned from previous experience that “stay until all the light is gone” is wise advice. I made this photograph after I had completely packed up my equipment having had decent but not awesome colour in the sky. I stayed in the location though, and the image above shows what ultimately showed up in the sky. I quickly setup my tripod again, got out the GND filters, and tried to take advantage of this light. From start to finish I had 4.5 minutes before it was completely gone, for good this time.

I made this image with my Canon 7D, EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS lens, B+W Polarizing filter, and my Sing-Ray 2-stop graduated neutral density filter.