Mt Rainier Reflection, Washington, USA by Michael Thomas

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Mt Rainier National Park is only about a two hour drive form Seattle, Washington but a world away. The mountain is a dominating presence and especially photogenic from the west and south sides. One of the easiest places to photograph it at sunrise is the aptly named Reflection Lakes, a few minutes by car from the lodge and visitor center at Paradise. The lakes are really a couple of interconnected ponds, but there are still a number of spots with different foregrounds to keep a photographer busy. I suspect that being surrounded by a tall evergreen forest to block the wind helps keep the lake surface calm in the early morning. Like other large mountains, Mt Rainier makes its own weather. On this morning, the mountain was capped by a lenticular cloud, colored golden by the rising sun.

I recommend staying at the lodge at Paradise as many of the photographic points of interests are close by. There are also a number of campgrounds in the park. One of the prime attractions are the vast meadows of wildflowers, peaking in early to mid August. In late September the park is covered in red and gold shrubbery.

This is a single image processed in Lightroom. The principal adjustments were gradient filters to adjust the brightness and/or contrast of the sky and maintain the natural balance between sky and water.

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