Mt Shuksan, North Cascades, WA, USA by Scott Rubey

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This image was made on a cold and blustery autumn morning just outside the North Cascades National Park boundary. Weather conditions were questionable at best, contrary to what the cloudless sky might indicate. After a fitful night's sleep in the back of my Subaru, I woke up with a raging head-cold and almost decided to bag the shoot due to thick fog and low visibility. After a moment or two of indecision, I bundled up and made the short drive to Picture Lake, where I set up in my predetermined location and did jumping jacks to stay warm. Moisture from the fog beaded up on my camera as it swirled over the lake, growing seemingly thicker by the moment. Just as I was getting ready to call it quits, the fog broke, revealing Mt. Shuksan against a cloudless backdrop for just long enough to snap a couple quick exposures.

While an image with this depth-of-field would ordinarily have been a prime candidate for focus-stacking, the light and clouds were changing quickly enough that I had to settle for a single exposure at f/16. With the recent advent of AI-based sharpening software, I was able to make up for diffraction and a slightly soft background; the final image looks remarkably sharp at all print sizes despite less-than-optimal capture conditions.

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