[/caption] The sky is turned into an amber colored glow as smoke fills the sky and suffocates the forest. Cultus Lake was almost spooky quiet as a controlled fire was burning only miles from the lake. This seen almost looks like a foggy morning but as you can see the amber colors truly shows that something just isn’t right with this picture. I made very little changes with the color in photo-shop and almost no cropping since I was able to frame the photo with my telephoto lens. I was actually standing on the north side of the lake and the scene was taken from the south side. The forest service was conducting a controlled burn about 3 miles away and the wind was blowing the smoke directly into our path. The glow emitting from the lake and sky really adds to the interesting contrast of the trees and water. The day was actually cloudless and rather warm and it was right in the middle of the afternoon hour. However, the sun was cut off from the intense smoke but was able to help create the amber colored reflection in the water. If you look closely you can see several tall trees hiding in the background of the lake front trees. My trip to the lake was pretty much ruined since I was limited on my photo opportunities and I could hardly breathe since the smoke was so thick. However, I found that there are some great mt. bike trails at Cultus lake as well as Little Cultus lake. They are only a few hundred yards apart and they are joined by a trail that offers great mt. biking and hiking trails.
[/caption] I waited for over 2 hours to get this shot of Mt. Jefferson while hiking towards Jefferson Park. I had already hiked for over 2 hours before finally deciding to stop along a narrow and steep trailhead in order to patiently wait for the mountain to emerge from behind the storm clouds. A storm the day before brought a dusting of snow in the higher elevations as well as the low and rainy clouds the morning I set out for this hike. By the later part of the day the snow had mostly melted with the exception of the higher elevations of the volcano. I took this shot on 9/10/10 and you can read about my trip that I posted in my article on 9/13/10. I was using my Canon EOS T1i along with my Canon 18-55mm lens. I set the focal length at 40mm in order to zoom in to the mountain as much as possible without losing too much of the forested foreground. I attached my warming filter as well as my CIR-PL in order to capture the deep contrasts of the sky as well as the snow capped mountain. The warming filter brought out the warm colors of the vegetation and the volcanic soil. This photo truly emulates the need for both of these filters in order to really capture the personality of the scene. The camera mode was in Program/Normal mode so the aperture was at F-8 and the shutter speed was at 1/100 second. I set the ISO to 100 and the white balance at -1. I took this photo at 2:40pm so the sunlight was pretty intense and the glare from the snow was bright. There are several creeks and small waterfalls that you cross while hiking along the park. There are a few rumbling waterfalls coming from the mountain itself as you can see in the lower left of this photo. There are dozens of different species of wildflowers found along the trail as well as along the many alpine lakes that dot the Park. Herds of elk also visit the park in the evenings and early mornings while most campers are sleeping.