Giant Basalt Monolith

Beacon Rock, WA

[/caption] Beacon Rock State Park is a great place to visit if you’re looking for access to the water along the Columbia River or if you are interested in enjoying some grueling hiking trails. Beacon Rock is an 848 foot Basalt Monolith that has 47 switchbacks and several railed catwalk bridges. The views of the summit are stellar but there is limited standing room at its summit. It’s actually a small volcano that erupted over 57,000 years ago with deep Native American history. I took this shot while using my Canon Rebel T1i along with my Sigma 17-70mm lens. There are limited spots to get a photo looking directly up at the rock so I stood just above the highway and looked for a spot where the sun wouldn’t overexpose the landscape too much. I wasn’t using a tripod since the sun was very bright and I found myself moving several times looking for the best photo opportunity. I had the camera in Program/Normal mode so the aperture was at F-7.1 and the shutter speed at 1/100 second. Because the sun glare was so intense I was able to have the ISO at 100 and reduce the white balance to -1.7. I took this photo at 4:00pm and the sun was pretty much directly overhead and just to the right. The hike to the summit is a fairly simple hike but if you’re afraid of heights you may want to avoid this hike. There are plenty of other scenic hikes available around the park. You will have the opportunity to see bald eagles, hawks and osprey at almost any time of the day.

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