Monday, August 16, 2010

Suggestions for Photo Guide

Once a week, usually Mondays, I check the Google Analytics for the Mt. Rainier NP photo guide, to see what pages are accessed and for the length users stay. I usually don't pay attention to the rest of the statistics because all the Web pages are stand-alone and can be accessed directly without going through other Web pages.

This is intentional to make it easier for visitors to bookmark and keep returning and still have access to the full photo guide and Website through the navigation below the logo on the top of each Web page. It also makes it easier to manage and operate the Website and pages. I can add new pages and update any one or set of Web page(s) easily without effecting the whole Website or having to rebuild the whole Website or upload it.

That said, I would greatly appreciate any suggestions to improve the photo guide. I still have a lot of work left to finish it and more so to convert it into a book, initially planned for on-line PDF's with a general guide, hopefully with maps, and links to the Website for the most recent nformation and new Web pages, all of which will be included in updated editions of the book.

So, I hope when you use the photo guide, and you think of ideas to make it better for you, please let me know. I have continued to respond to suggestions with new and updated Web pages, and I hope the suggestions keep coming, which is what I appeal to you, the visitor, user and photographer to help.

It can't be useful if it doesn't have the information you want or need. And this is where you can help. As I've said before, those who suggestions are included can, if they chose, receive a free photo card, described here. And so I thank you for visiting the photo guide and hope it helps your visit and experience and photography work in the NP.

And always, "Ya'll come back now, ya hear?"

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

August Prospects

I have updated the monthly photo opportunities and prospects Web page, see monthly report, to include additional information about areas and backcountry hikes to get into the remote areas to photograph the beautiful areas not normally covered by visiting photographers. I would estimate at least 90%, and really more, of the images of Mt. Rainier and the NP are taken from the road or within a half mile of the road. This is not new or news, it's simply easy with the wealth of photo opportunities available to photographers.

But there is far more beauty in the backcountry, even a short distance on the dayhikes. All you have to do is get there. For the day hikes you only need the minimu of hiking gear, but especially the ten essentials and good boots. The last thing you need is to feel tired or have sore feet miles from the trailhead and car.

It's common sense, but having hiked 5-6 miles into the backcountry some days, it's always funny to see people with sneakers and worse sandals. But it happens. Also, don't hike until you thing you're half way, it's likely you've overestimated the energy level. It's always better to turn around feeling good and energetic and come back another day than find yourself out of energy with miles to go. Trust me, been there done that and it's not a good feeling.

Anyway, I hope the updates help your trip. And you're always welcome to ask questions or request help with your trip.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

August Reports

The August reports for the news, access and conditions are on-line at the photo guide. August can be summarized as the one and only summer month in the NP. It has the best weather, is almost snow-free, has the most open areas and trails, has the last of the wildflowers, and the decreasing insect population around the mid-late days of the month, after the first near freezing overnight temperatures.

It's the best month for photographers, every type of scene and landscape you can imagine and all the photo opportuntiies there and waiting, from the mountain itself, to wildlife, wildflowers, waterfalls and everything else. Just a hike away. And the weather is the most accomodating. The best general weather with the least rainfall of any month. The best day and night temperatures with cool to warm days and cool to cold night depending on the weather and elevation.

The only real problem you'll face are the crowds. Everywhere, on the roads, at the visitors areas, at trailheads, etc., especially past mid-morning to early evening. Expect them, plan for them and be nice. But you can easily get away by just hiking a little farther, usually past the 1-2 mile mark from the trailhead or on the lesser used trails - and no I won't tell you my favorites but you can easily find them via the day hike Web page, and map of them.

So, it's the best time to be there. Enjoy it.