Fire on the Mountain, Logan Pass, Glacier National Park

     
  Fire on the Mountain, Logan Pass, Glacier National Park  
     
A firiery sunrise lights the clouds enveloping the mountains at Logan Pass in Glacier National Park.
 
Logan pass is a good location for your Glacier National Park sunrise photography . The mountains there are huge, but the pass is high enough for a more-level perspective that can result in a more brilliant horizon sky.
 
Shooting at higher elevation locations such as Glacier National Park often means dealing with very strong winds. Strong wind is a definite anti-sharpness condition that must be dealt with. On this day, I could not even keep a tight reversed ball cap on my head when facing the wind.
 
Here are some strategies to battle the wind:
 
A strong tripod and tripod head is the first defense against wind, but a strong wind can setup vibrations in even a solid tripod system.
 
Hang weight from the tripod. Many tripod have a hook for adding stability through weight. I sometimes hang the Lowepro Toploader AW I usually have with me - with another camera or a rock in it. Make sure that your tripod is rated to support the weight that you hang on it.
 
Shoot from a low-to-the-ground position to reduce wind load on the setup. But do this only if your composition allows.
 
Block the wind. Unzipper your jacket, move close to the camera and tripod and hold the jacket around it. Shoot from behind a structure or your vehicle if the situation allows. Note that shooting from or against a vehicle may not work as it also moves in the wind. Opening a vehicle door can block more wind, but make sure the door does not blow shut on you or your gear.
 
Remove the lens hood to reduce the wind load on the camera itself. You may need to hold your hand over the lens to prevent flare.
 
If shooting without a tripod, use image stabilization. Additionally, sitting in a three-point position or leaning against something solid - such as a rock - adds stability.
 
Increasing the ISO setting or selecting a wider aperture are the two ways to obtain a faster shutter speed. A faster shutter speed is the only technique that both reduces camera motion blur AND subject motion blur (unless you can somehow block the wind from reaching your subject). Often flora is subject to the wind and will become blurred even with a stationary camera.
 
Attempt to time your shutter release with the extents of the pendulum motion flora often has in the wind. Or, you can just roll with the conditions and try to capture pleasing subject motion blur.
 
As always, overshooting adds insurance to your anti-wind technique.
 
Camera and Lens Settings
98mm  f/11.0  .5s  ISO 100  5616 x 3744px
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