Saturday, July 11, 2009

Updated Day Hikes

I've updated the Mt. Rainier NP day hikes Web pages with the corresponding map of hikes. It's been expanded with more information and resources about day hiking for photography.

It's hard to do hiking and photography at the same time, you can't carry enough of both and have to make compromise, optimizing your photography gear without sacrificing the essential and emergency hiking gear. I've done enough solo hiking in the NP to see too many people miles from the trailhead without any hiking gear and the worst clothes and footwear. You're lucky if you don't get tired and sore, and regret wearing tennis shoes or flip-flops - and yes I've seen that.

For the most part, photographers are fairly experienced hikers and they carry both the proper hiking gear with the photo gear, but I've seen some with great photo backpacks full of photo gear and just the minimal hiking gear trying to stretch their water and food for the day and hope the weather doesn't change or they get hurt.

As for the trails, if you want to find locations and opportunities for good photos, you have to do some homework on the trails and your photography work and interests. There's the whole array of photos of Mt. Rainier and all the different environments in the NP. You won't run out of places and subjects.

The problem you'll find is too many places and too little time. Furthermore, compromising your photo gear on the day hikes means leaving some types of photos behind or find the time to go back. But the best advice any photographer who's worked in the NP any amount of time is simple, "Go at least a mile from the trailhead." You'll find tons of photo ops rarely photographed.

And that's the cool thing, lots of new stuff different than the routine stuff. It's all there for you, just grab the backpack and go.

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