Pictures from Mt. Rainier, Seattle, and a couple waterfalls

Pictures from Mt. Rainier, Seattle, and a couple waterfalls

Road trips are therapy.


I got my new camera about 5 months ago. In that time I've done about 45 photo trips. The longest time between trips was usually 6 days, but went 7 and 8 days once.

Well, 2021 has come in with a bang, and I wasn't feeling creative enough to go out. Current events here in January 2021 had me distracted. The last time I went out was January 2, so it's been two weeks.

I had kind of forgotten how much of a joy it was to just go for a drive. Put on some music (yesterday was Loop Daddy day), ignore the phone/internet, and focus on the road and the scenery. It really is relaxing.

It was supposed to be a cloudy but not rainy day, so I figured there wouldn't be much of a sunrise or any mountain views. I checked the weather outside around midnight and 3 AM, and it was cloudy, so I went back to bed. Eventually left home around 6 AM to get some shots of Seattle while it was still dark.

I'm going to do the best pictures first, instead of chronological order.

11:38 AM. On the way home, passing through Enumclaw. They get some nice views of the mountain (Mt. Rainier). I had seen some nice clouds around 9:30 on my way towards Crystal Mountain, but didn't find a good spot to pull over. On the way out I saw this view and I liked the clouds. For this one I cropped out some brown grass in the front and more clouds above. 3440x1440


11:38 AM. Same picture, just cropped tigher and monochrome. As you can see I cropped out all the foreground trees and buildings. The clouds on the mountain are nice. We often say, "The Mountain makes its own weather". 3440x1440


9:00 AM. My main target for the day was Victor Falls, down by Bonney Lake. It has a 68 foot drop, a very short hike, and one viewpoint. For comparison, Snoqualmie Falls is 268 feet, and Niagra Falls is about 167 feet (total). It was OK, but I don't think I'll ever go back. 2000x3000


10:11 AM. So there I was at Victor Falls at 9 AM. I had no more plans, but didn't want to go home yet. It was a nice enough day, with some high overcast clouds. I decided to go to Crystal Mountain, the ski area near Mt. Rainier. It was only about an hour away from Victor Falls. On the way is a viewpoint for Skookum Falls, so I stopped. Skookum Falls has about 250 feet of drop, so it's pretty big, but the viewpoint is kind of far away. 2000x3000


10:33 AM. I made it to Crystal Mountain. I'd never been there before, so I was scouting it out. This is one of the ski hills. You can kind of see the gondola on the left side (I got shots more centered on the gondola if someone really wants). On the other side of this hill is Mt. Rainier, but you have to ride the gondola up to see it. This 'hill' is Crystal Mountain North, elevation 6,985 feet. The parking lot I was at was about 4,400 feet I think. It was mostly sunny up there. I might have missed a good sunrise. 3440x1440


10:38 AM. One of the parking lots at Crystal Mountain. It was full on a nice Saturday. I only stayed for a few minutes. 3000x2000


6:59 AM. I stopped in Seattle for some shots before dawn. Lakeview Boulevard overlooks Lake Union, and I'd never gotten pictures from that angle before. It was mostly foggy and cloudy in Seattle, but the Space Needle did break through eventually. The Wheedle On The Needle lights the way! I don't think that's how that story goes, but I like how the light on top is floating in the fog. To the right is Climate Pledge Arena (soon to be for hockey). Google and I'm sure some Amazon buildings are in there. 3000x2000


7:07 AM. I tried a few of these long exposure shots with the freeway (I-5). I'm not too happy with them, it's not a great spot for it I guess. Got one facing the other way with Lake Union and the curvy freeway. I like this one facing towards the city, though. 3000 miles to Boston or 1250 miles to San Diego! 3000x2000


6:52 AM. This boat was headed to the Ballard Locks. That's Lake Union and the Aurora Bridge. This photo probably isn't good enough to share. Oh well. 3440x1440


7:40 AM. After I left the viewpoint I went down to Pike Place Market. I hadn't been there this year (except for work). Just snapped a few pictures. Too bad some of the letters on the signs are burnt out. 3000x2000


That's it, 10 pictures. I hope they bring you some relaxation. Let me know what you think.

Be well.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    January 17, 2021 8:15 AM

    Photo dump: Guess I picked a good day to disconnect from the internet and go for a scenic drive

    Read more: Pictures from Mt. Rainier, Seattle, and a couple waterfalls

    • reply
      January 17, 2021 8:30 AM

      Chatty preview

      Can you tell the difference between these? Which do you like better?


      or B

      • reply
        January 17, 2021 8:33 AM


      • reply
        January 17, 2021 8:36 AM

        B is lighter, particularly the buildings. Not sure about the mountain/sky portion.

        I think B is technically "better" because exposure feels more correct. However, there's something about A and how it draws your eyes to the mountain/sky when the buildings are darker.

        That doesn't really help, sorry.

        • reply
          January 17, 2021 8:52 AM

          No, that helps.

          B is the more original version. A has extra editing.

          In case you can't tell, it's an HDR. In the HDR program is a 'Radiance' setting. It kind of gives a glow to things, and makes things 'soft'. I've only used it a couple times because usually I don't want to lose the detail. Sometimes it works to give a 'dreamy' look to the image, though.

          The Cortex article has version B. It's kind of subtle and hard to tell unless you do a direct comparison.

      • reply
        January 17, 2021 11:07 AM

        B for reasons I can’t explain.

      • reply
        January 17, 2021 2:31 PM

        Yes, A looks like vasoline is smeared all over your lens.

      • reply
        January 17, 2021 3:14 PM


    • reply
      January 17, 2021 8:38 AM

      Really nice pics. The first one with the mountain is breathtaking.

      • reply
        January 17, 2021 10:47 AM

        The monochrome version? Yeah it's nice.

    • reply
      January 17, 2021 8:46 AM

      I jogged up and down crystal mountain last summer it was great.

      • reply
        January 17, 2021 8:55 AM

        Nice. I'll take the gondola, thanks. ;)

        I always went to Sunrise. This summer hopefully I'll be able to go up to Crystal for sunrise. Gondola probably doesn't open early enough...

    • reply
      January 17, 2021 11:04 AM

      Great pics, thanks for sharing them. BTW, you might enjoy this NYT photo essay -

    • reply
      January 17, 2021 11:12 AM

      this is a REALLY good set. shows the "travel route" and such! fucking *crisp* shots. well done!

    • reply
      January 17, 2021 11:53 AM

      well done again Nixx

    • reply
      January 17, 2021 2:24 PM

      What do you think, is chronological better?

      • reply
        January 17, 2021 2:32 PM

        Yes! Take is along the journey as it happened.

        • reply
          January 17, 2021 2:46 PM

          Hmm. I think on days when I get like 50 decent pictures I'll still split it into 'really good' and then 'alternates'.

          I might want to do the 'really good' set in quality order, to get that initial 'WOW' factor with the best pictures. For the alternates it can be chronological, to get a feel for how the day progressed.

          When I only get 10 pictures I just put them all together in one post...


    • reply
      January 17, 2021 3:09 PM

      That last one is real pretty! I haven't kept up with your posts but I appreciate the city stuff, it's a nice change of scenery.

      Love the long exposures as well

    • reply
      January 17, 2021 6:18 PM

      OK, which is better.

      Full width, color.

      Cropped, monochrome.

      Of course I could do full width, monochrome...

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