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Broken Top mountain is a jagged, glacially eroded stratovolcano located approximately 20 miles west of Bend, Oregon. While clearly visible from Bend, the mountain is a challenging (although) relatively popular hiking destination. My photographer friend and I had driven 45 minutes from Bend to the base of the mountain, an hour up a barely drivable fire road and then hiked 4 miles to the edge of the affectionately named "No Name Lake."
We arrived just after nautical twilight and found that we were the only souls in the crater. We quickly composed shots in the dim light, fixed our hyper-focus points and approximated exposure settings. After a few test shots I captured this image. We stayed in this location experimenting with various compositions, angles, focal lengths and exposures until the sun had crested the crater wall behind us. Moving on, we climbed up to the ridge of the crater itself and walked the ridge overlooking the Cascade mountain range to our immediate west. It was simply breathtaking. Having filled our eyes and senses to capacity, we hiked down the steep crater wall to the trail that would lead home. This shot perhaps best captured the early morning stillness and brilliance of this special place.
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