Late summer wildflowers and Mt. Hood

Paradise Loop Trail near Mt. Hood, OR

[/caption] Paradise Loop Trail begins near the Timberline lodge and parallels Mt. Hood. The majority of the trail is part of the Pacific Crest Trail but you can cut off the trail and hike along Paradise Park which will then loop back to the PCT. The trail can get very dusty during the summer months due to it popularity so plan on getting very dirty. The elevation along most of the trail is above 5800 feet so you are above the tree lines and well within the many glacier carved canyons and volcanic rocks. In late summer the trail is inundated with wildflowers growing along the many creeks and steep slopes. If you are in need of some additional strain you can cut up from the trail and hike towards Mississippi Head which puts you directly in front of the mountain. This part of the trail is very strenuous due to the high elevation where the air is thin and the trail is very steep. You will find all kinds of alpine wildflowers that only grow near the 7000 foot elevations. The elevation gain is 2300 feet and if you make the additional hike up to Mississippi Head you will need to add an additional 1500 feet of elevation gain. This trail is well worth the effort and the views are stunning. I took this shot last August and I had just purchased my Canon EOS T1i camera. This was my first trip with the camera and I hadn’t purchased my bubble level or remote switch so I took this shot without a tripod. Unfortunately I had to handhold the camera which only allowed me to set the shutter priority to 1/5 second in order to avoid any camera shake. However, I did want to get some movement of the water. I was using my Canon 18/55mm kit lens and I set the focal length to 25mm. I had the camera mode in shutter priority so the aperture was at F-22. I set the ISO to 100 and the white balance at -0.3. I took the photo at about 2:00 pm so the sun was pretty bright. This helped eliminate any blur or camera shake even though the aperture was at F-22 and I was still able to keep the ISO at 100. I did attach my warming and CIR-PL filter in order to increase the contrast of the sky and foreground. This hike is already on my calendar for next August and I will be sure to bring an arsenal of ND filters, bubble level, remote switch and tripod.

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