Early evening shot of Mt. St. Helens in July
This photo was taken near the Windy Ridge viewpoint on the north side of the volcano. There is a large parking lot and an easy trail that takes you to a great vantage point. You can see Spirit lake directly below you as well as Mt. Rainier in the distance. You can also see Mt. Adams to the east and Mt. Hood looming in the distance to the south. Mt. St. Helens is so close that you can almost reach out and touch it. This photo was taken at the viewpoint. I took this photo on 7/14/10 at around 6:10pm so the winds had picked up and the sun was pretty intense in the horizon. My CIR-PL and warming filter helped soften the glare from the sun and mountain as well as bring out the shadows along the volcano. I set the ISO to 100 and the white balance to -1.3 in order to limit any additional overexposure. I had the camera mode in Program/Normal mode so the aperture was set at F-5.6 and the shutter to 1/250 second. I was using my Sigma 50mm macro/prime lens as I was trying to focus on the top left of the foothills near the base of the mountain. You can see most of the glaciers and late summer snow accumulations looming in the distance as well as some of the moraines dotting the mountain. I highly recommend visiting the north east part of the Mt. St. Helens National Volcanic Area but be prepared for a long drive with no towns in the immediate area. There are views of 4 volcanoes, an abundant of summer wildflowers, herds of elk, rivers, creeks and waterfalls as well as a short trip to the base of Spirit Lake. You will experience a truly scenic and magical place that is almost impossible to capture in a photo.