The southern side of Mount Rainier National Park is heaven to me in all seasons. Driving down 410 from Seattle, the closer I get, the more excited I become.
This year, however, the wildflower season was largely a bust. Then, wildfire smoke covered the area with a hazy blanket for several weeks. This picture was taken at the end of those weeks of wildfire smoke where you couldn't see Rainier.
I had been watching the weather reports for a break. Finally, there was some clearing, so I hiked up to one of my favorite tarns for sunset. I had brought a tripod but left it in the bag. I sat perched on the edge of the tarn to watch the evening unfold.
This time of the year, the placement of the sun on the horizon during sunset offers a sliver of alpenglow to the mountain. The rest of the color is up to the clouds around the mountain at the time. At sunset, the sky and clouds caught fire and a tiny lenticular cloud formed atop the mountain. I had brought my Zeiss 50mm, 16-35mm and Voigtlander 10mm lenses with me. I was glad I brought the Voigtlander lens for its unique perspective which stood out from the rest.
I stayed until the morning but the sunset was the main event. It was a long trip back to Seattle to get the picture on a big screen to see what I had captured.
This image was processed from a single frame in Lightroom, adjusted for contrast, color and white balance.
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