Driving up the Washington State Route 542 and looking out the windshield, I swore at the clouds condensing in the eastern sky. It’s been clear for days… Now, some much needed moisture comes, but it was looking like my chances of photographing the mountain were getting slimmer. Mt. Shuksan and Picture Lake is a heavily photographed area, and although it is always assuredly beautiful, there is a particular ratio of conditions that I was looking for. Luckily, the condensing clouds that could hide the mountain, may also bring dramatic tones and colors to the scenery. On this particular day, I was look for the “variability” that clouds offer to a landscape in terms of lighting. As I arrived, a clear view of the peak and fast moving clouds under-lit by the setting sun presented themselves.
Over this last season I’ve been consistently going back to a few places to photograph, one of them is Mt. Shuksan. It’s a practice that helps me not only settle in and learn about this complex area but, also allows me to experience a long-known yet under appreciated phenomena. That is, rarely is the light ever the same at the same place throughout the year or season. Some may consider it boring to go back to an area more than once to take pictures, but I have found doing this throughout the year increases the depth of understanding for a place.
As an example, browse the images of Mt. Shuksan taken throughout the year below and notice how the same area can take on so many different colors. This can also be seen in the sunset time-lapse above. Although these photos are treated and balanced in Adobe Light-room, the colors that you see were present when captured. As you can see the conditions and time of day and year heavily influence the colors presented in each photo. As a photographer its my goal to be there and observe these colors and then interpret them through the camera. What colors stand out to you in each photo?