Snow Lake

This summer certainly hasn’t been as exciting as I would have wanted, but we haven’t been locked in the house throughout the sunniest days of the month.  Nope, we have ventured out to Mt. Rainier twice in the last two weeks, though we’ve tried to avoid popular locations.  Our first outing was to Snow Lake on the south-eastern side of Mt. Rainier, giving us a different look at the mountain than we get from home.

Although flowers weren’t as abundant as I imagine they were at Paradise, they were still lots of flowers.  I stopped to photograph this flower that none of us could identify on our way up to the lake. 

I’m glad I did or I would never have noticed this grouse family, which was foraging right behind me.  Leslie and Paul who were just ahead of me never even noticed them, though they couldn’t. have been more than two feet from the trail.

We were rewarded at the end of the trail by a small, but beautiful Snow Lake.  

The trek back to the parking lot was made easier by the abundant flowers,

especially since taking shots of them gave me an excuse to take a short break.

It was a surprisingly beautiful hike, but it came at a price: the entire two miles were up and down, with hardly a level spot on the entire trip. 

Once we reached the parking lot it seemed like a small price to pay for such beauty.  

Almost Real

The more you work with photographs, particularly with electronic equipment, the more you realize that there is no such thing as “realistic.” Modern cameras have multiple settings that determine how “realistic” your photos will be. Photoshop and an amazing number of plugins allow you to manipulate “reality” in remarkable ways.

These two immature swallows were too far apart to capture in a single shot, but Photoshop made it easy to join the shots and then move them closer together.

These two were sitting right next to each other, but I wanted a different effect than the original shot so I played around with it in Photoshop to make it look more like a drawing or watercolor.

Now, more than ever, photography has become its own art form, but it’s still the artist’s mind that that really decides what the viewer sees. It’s always been that way, of course, but some would have you believe otherwise.

A Favorite Subject

The Belted Kingfisher is one of my favorite birds, probably because it is so damn hard to photograph and seems to delight in laughing at you when you miss the perfect shot because it suddenly spots you and flies away.

So, when I do capture a decent shot, I am apt to obsess on making the shot look as good as possible. Here’s my latest attempt with three different versions of the same bird. This one is pretty much straight out of the camera on rather foggy/cloudy morning.

This one was my first attempt to make the background less boring.

This one was a different shot with a different set of Photoshop adjustments.

Have a preference?