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Anyone traveling to North Cascades National Park in Washington state should take a side trip through the Mt Baker Wilderness on the Mt Baker Highway (Rt 542). Near the end of the road is Picture Lake where one can capture images of Mount Shuksan reflected in its waters. In late summer, wildflowers abound and make great foreground elements. Mount Shuksan is an extremely photogenic mountain, especially near sunset. At the end of the road is the trail to Artist Point, another great location for photographing Shuksan at sunset. All along the upper reaches of the road are spectacular views of the Cascades. Even in mid August there is still some snow at this elevation. Mount Baker is about eight miles to the southwest and is best photographed from here at dawn.
While exploring the area around Picture Lake, I stopped at Highwood Lake, which is just across the highway from its more famous neighbor. Here I spied a clump of daisies growing near the water’s edge. I used my 24mm tilt-shift lens to keep Mt Shuksan within the frame without any keystone effect on the trees. Only minor adjustments were made to the image in Lightroom, primarily to control the brightness of the sky as I was shooting in bright overcast conditions.
There are several campgrounds along the highway and a small hostel type lodge near Reflection Lake. While summer affords lush greenery and open trails, another good time to visit is late September-early October when the shrubbery has turned fiery red.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor