Sunset at Artist Point

The Mt Baker Highway (WA Rte 542) runs from Bellingham Bay east, through the town of Glacier, past the two ski lodges and finally, to the roads end, at Artist Point.

The road to the ski areas is open year round, but the last few miles of road up to Artist Point is only open in the summer.

The view is quite dramatic, with Mt Shuksan looming above on one side, while the huge snow cone of Mt Baker sits by at arms reach.

Here are a few pics from a recent visit at sunset, and beyond.

 

 

 

Field Trip to Artist Point

Last Thursday I took 47 students on a field trip to Artist Point. It was awesome!

Artist Point is the coolest place you can drive a car here in our state, and on a fall day with nice weather its unforgettable. Located at the end of the Mount Baker Highway, at more than 5,000 feet elevation) Artist Point is right between Mount Baker and Mount Shuksan.

The weather was perfect and we had a blast. Most of the kids had never been to Artist Point before, in fact many had never been in the mountains until today!

Just the bus ride up the switch backs at the end of the highway was breath taking…

This all started with Career Day; I was invited to the Burlington Edison High School to present what life is like for a professional photographer. I came and did the talk twice and the photo teacher started to recruit me, he was retiring soon and suggested I take his spot.

So now I am the Photography Teacher at the Burlington Edison High School! This is my 3rd year. I have a full schedule of Photography Classes, this semester I have about 165 students.

The school has about 40 Canon Rebel DSLRs; a wide selection of lenses, studio lights, Photoshop… so I can teach the students to take and edit cool pics. And field trips!

We stopped at Picture Lake for some shots of Mt Shuksan…

Often I go on a field trip and take few images, spending most time advising, but the light and setting was so stunning that managed to snap a few pics…

Picture Lake is right in the middle of the two ski areas. From there we drove up to the end of the highway, at Artist Point

Our next Field Trip adventure is Oct. 16th and I cant wait!

 

Mount Shuksan and Picture Lake, North Cascades

Mount Shuksan is reported to be the most photographed mountain in North America. One possible reason for this is that Picture Lake and this vantage point are just a few feet from where you park along the Mount Baker Highway.
Mount Shuksan
You can see faintly a SUV there, on the left that I forgot to photoshop out…

This image is from a September visit, nice red color from the huckleberry bushes.

This spot is about a 60 mile / 90 minute drive from my house, in Sedro Woolley. The last 10 miles gain 4,000 feet and its quite twisty!
I have visited many times at night, hoping to capture the great arc of the Milky Way Galaxy above Picture Lake and Mount Shuksan. This image is from a visit in June.
mount-shuksan-and-the-milky-way-jan
To get a good image of the Milky Way you need a wide angle lens. This allows you to have a longer exposure, capturing more light. But the wide angle lens also makes everything look farther away!

If you would like to learn how to go about capturing night sky images like these you may be interested in a North Cascades Night Sky Photo Tour. This is where we meet some near Sedro-Woolley and I give a guided tour to a great location for night sky imaging (like Picture Lake!) and then assist you to capture your own images.  Here is the link to learn more. There are drive-in tours, where we return home late after our photo shoot, and also Overnight Tours here we will backpack into a cool location for night sky imaging, like her at the Winchester Mountain Fire Lookout.

winchester-lookout-10

 

Recent Night Sky Images

Over the past 3 weeks I have visited the Pasayten Wilderness, the Glacier Peak Wilderness, Winchester Mountain Lookout (twice), Artist Point – for a North Cascades Institute Class and the Diablo Overlook – for a North Cascades National Park  class.

The Glacier Peak trip was not during ht e new moon, but I was able to get a few good shots early in the night, before moon rise. I was out working to capture an image of the tent at Upper Lyman Lake, with the Milky Way behind, over Spider Gap. I could clearly hear and animal sniffing around. It was a deer, come to find place where anyone peed, to lick the spot for any lingering salt.

I decided to see if I could capture the deer in the image, and it worked pretty well!

The Winchester Mountain Look out is a perfect place to spend the night and shoot night sky images…

The Night Sky Photo Class that I lead though the North Cascades Institute was held at Artist Point. There were 14 of us, we parked at the Artist Point rest area and started to hike to Huntoon Point. There were more than 50 other night sky photo enthusiasts there, all out along the same trail! We asked and were told that they were all from Vancouver, BC! The skies got cloudy, but we managed a  few shots.

The last class was on Aug. 1st, another Night Sky Photo Class, this one through the North Cascades National Park, as a part of the NPS Centennial. About 15 people arrived and we hung out at the overlook, trying to learn the basic tools of night sky capture.

There are two New Moons in September, on the 1st and 30th! If you’re interested in a Night Sky Photo Tour, here are the details!

The Road to Artist Point – Washington States Best Drive

Here is a link to a description of Artist Point, Washington’s Best Drive.

Along the way you’ll pass Picture Lake and this smashing view of Mount Shuksan, the most photographed mountain in North America.

Mount Shuksan

Mount Shuksan and Picture Lake

 

Mount Shuksan, North Cascades

Mount Shuksan, North Cascades

North Cascades Photo Tours will take you to photograph these places! Here are the details.

New Night Sky Images

Every month brings a New Moon and with it, an opportunity to get out for more Night Sky Imaging.

Northern Lights and Milky Way Over Mount Baker

Northern Lights and Milky Way Over Mount Baker

Here in Western Washington its not often that you see the confluence of both no moon AND no clouds, but this last weekend we were blessed with both.

Thursday night I met a friend and we hiked in the dark up to a local promontory known as Big Rock. I expected that there would be plenty of light pollution from the nearby towns, but I did not expect to see the green glow of the Aurora Borealis on the horizon!

Friday night I was teaching a field class on Night Sky Photography through the North Cascades Institute and took 14 students up to Artist Point, at the end of the Mount Baker Highway. There we photographed Mt Shuksan at Picture Lake and then drove up to the roads end to get images of Mount Baker and more shots of Shuksan. At a small tarn we posed for a group shot.

 

 

Mt Shuksan

Mt Shuksan

Night Sky Photo Students and Mount Shuksan

Night Sky Photo Students and Mount Shuksan

Mt Baker

Mt Baker

 

 

Saturday night I recruited two friends and we hiked up to the Winchester Mountain Lookout. It was my first time up there and I was ecstatic with the whole trip, the hike, the fall colors, the lookout and the stars were all unsurpassed!

All of these image are for sale, as digital downloads, Canvas Wraps and Fine Art Prints. Here is the link to the Gallery Store.

 

 

 

 

The next New Moon is October 12th. I am conducting Night Sky Photo Tours for Oct. 10th through Oct. 13th.

Here is the link to find out more and register!