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Mt. Hood Winter Sunrise

 

Mount Hood Winter Sunrise -- Photo  Chris Carvalho/Lensjoy.com

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Oregon is known for its wet winters, but there are always gaps in the rain that bring a few breathtaking sunrises.  In Portland the best winter sunrises are likely when there are cold temperatures and the famous east wind from the Columbia Gorge is blowing.  In January 2001 there was a stretch of days when the conditions were right so I went to Portland's Mount Tabor Park in the afternoon to scout out the area and find the best location for a sunrise photo of Mount Hood.  It was cold and windy, but the view looked magnificent.  

The next morning I showed up with warm clothes and set up the equipment.  The clouds looked encouraging.  While adjusting the camera with my back to the east, the lens began to glow with a marvelous shade of orange-pink.  I turned around and saw that this was going to be an exciting spectacle to witness--and hurriedly shot several sheets of 4x5 film.  A few minutes later the colors started to fade.  This one is the best of the series.  There is some inevitable motion in the trees from the steady east wind blowing at the time.  I did not use any filters to produce the colors you see.  I particularly like the way the deep blue comes through the glowing reds at the top of the image, and the gentle lighting of the fog just below Mt. Hood.  In the print some of the lights of southeast Portland are also visible in the dark area at the bottom.  

When these special sunrises happen, traffic slows on the highways while people watch with amazement from their cars.  We talk about them with friends for days afterward.  At the local wine shop where I often go for tastings I was asked, "Did you see that sunrise last Thursday?"  I smiled and said, "Sure did, and I was most fortunate to be waiting with my camera when it happened."  

Whenever I look at this image I stare at the colors in disbelief.  It reminds me of the reason I moved to Portland in 1981 and have stayed here ever since, to be close to the outdoors.  

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Info:  Chromira digital print of Velvia 4x5 chrome, Fuji Crystal Archive CD paper
 

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All images, text, and design copyright Chris Carvalho.  Reproduction restricted to terms of the Limited Use Agreement.

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