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Day becomes night at Cloudy Pass meadows

By on July 26, 2021 in Outdoor Fun with 0 Comments

By Marc Dilley

Night Falls is a sunset photograph of Glacier Peak from a steep meadow above Cloudy Pass Meadows, near the Cascade crest.

Point 6801 on the left and Plummer Mountain on the right may also be seen, as well as our camp at Cloudy Pass Meadows (the large swath of bright green left of center) with Cloudy Pass above.

As are most of my images, Night Falls is a composite of multiple exposures blended together by hand in Adobe Photoshop using various techniques.

Multiple exposures solve problems common in outdoor photography:

1) bright/dark range too great for the camera sensor to record properly and

2) foreground/background too far apart for both to be in focus.

For this image I was lucky to solve both of those issues with only two exposures; for other images I have needed up to nine separate exposures, each with different focus and/or exposures.

For Night Falls, shot #1 was focused on the foreground and exposed for the dark meadow plants. Shot #2 with Glacier Peak was focused at infinity and exposed for the sunset sky — a brighter subject. The two exposures were then selectively combined in Photoshop to make the final image.

The Cloudy Pass area can be accessed from the Phelps Creek/Spider Meadow trail head. Hike to the top of the meadow and continue up the switchbacks to the Spider Glacier and up to Spider Pass. Drop down the snowfield to the glacier-polished outcroppings, taking care on the many loose rocks, and follow the drainage down with the Upper Lyman Lakes on your left through the glacier carved valley.

A ford is necessary at the far end, then drop steeply to Lyman Lake. Follow the left shore to the trail fork up and left. In about a half mile, gaining 600 feet, you will be at Cloudy Pass Meadows.

 Leavenworth photographer Marc Dilley has been imaging the natural world for 50 years. More of his work can be viewed at marcdilley.com.

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