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Galleria Winner: Candice Watson

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Mount Saint Helens, USA
Canon 5D Mk III, Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L III, f/2.8, 20sec, ISO 1600

A couple of friends and I decided to head to Mount Saint Helens, after we got reports the wild flowers were in bloom. I had checked up there about 3 weeks prior, but they were not quite ready.

After looking at the weather reports, we knew the sky would be clear, which allows for great milky way images, but not for great sunsets. At least it wasn't raining, which is usual for me.

We arrived around 1pm and scouted for a good location to shoot from, when it got closer to sunset. The parking lot was almost full, but we figured that everyone would probably clear out, as it happened later.

The temperature was in the high 80s, which is way too hot for us, so we spent the rest of the afternoon down by the lake. With literally no shade on the mountain, the last thing we wanted was to get sunburnt.

When we arrived back at our location, much to our surprise and dismay, the parking lot was even fuller than it was before. I guess everyone heard the news about the flowers and had the same idea we did. Go figure.

The skies were completely clear as we predicted, but what we didn't count on was the wind. Standing on the side of the mountain, it felt like it was blowing about 40mph and if you stood up at all, I swear you were going to be swept off the mountain! Talk about tough shooting conditions. It took all our knowledge to get our settings just right, so we could capture everything and not have a blurry image. We had hoped that the wind would eventually die down, but it never did. We shot until around midnight, and then headed back to the car.

Although the conditions were not completely ideal, it was still a beautiful evening to be out under the stars, and a lot of fun!

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DIMITRI VASILEIOU, EDITOR

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