Mt. Hood from White River West Sno-Park · Mt. Hood National Wilderness · Government Camp · Oregon · USA
I hadn’t realized that this snow park was the subject of a lot of pros' photographs until we stopped here just before sunset, topping off a fun jaunt over packed snow to Tamanawas Falls with a whimsical (and a bit haphazard) pursuit to capture the sun’s warm fading light upon Mt. Hood. After realizing we wouldn’t have time to snowshoe to the opposite side of Frog Lake from which the mountain would be in view, we doubled back to the White River West Sno-Park and risked a fine for not having a parking permit. Fortunately it was just a short walk from the parking lot to this spot along the river, and although I was chagrined not to find an unsullied snow field and didn’t have time to seek more pristine conditions upriver, I was happy to integrate a predecessor’s footprints into the composition.
It’s no secret I have quite the love affair going on with Madame Hood, but recent headlines serve as a sobering reminder that her beauty is not as benign as it may seem as when appreciated from afar. She and many of her volcanic brethren around the world are like terrestrial sirens, inviting intrepid recreationists to play amidst their shadows and atop their slopes…and luring the unfortunate few—like this skilled climber and father of two http://www.oregonlive.com/clackamascounty/index.ssf/2012/02/tigard_computer_engineer_who_l.html)—to their untimely deaths. My heart broke upon reading this, on the one hand happy that he died doing something he loved, but of course overwhelmingly saddened by the thought of the loved ones he left behind far, far too soon.
On a technical side note, I took advantage of some time ‘away’ to learn some post-processing tips from the pros, namely the incredible tandem of Zack Schnepf http://www.zschnepf.com/) and Tony Kuyper http://goodlight.us/). This is my first production in which I employed luminosity masks to help fine-tune the exposure and tonality, in addition to the color range selection and selective masking with which I was already familiar. By no means have I mastered the laborious technique nor do I anticipate doing so for years to come, but I’m hoping this is a decent start.