Mount Saint Helens from Mount Rainier

Colors, by Me

This picture is from a hike I took last summer on Mt. Rainier.  It was a clear day, so you could see far-off places like Mt. Saint Helens, which is almost 100 miles away.  This hike was the first and only time I’ve used the JPEG mode on my DSLR.  I knew the theoretical benefits of shooting RAW from the day I bought the camera, so I never bothered with JPEG.  I wanted to try it and see if I could save myself some post-processing time by just taking whatever came out of the camera.  Like a dummy, I didn’t use RAW+JPEG, I only saved JPEGS.  The hike was on a sunny day with lots of snow, so nailing the exposure was a bit of a challenge.  Rescuing the images that were off was made much more difficult than if I had simply shot RAW.  This was a good learning experience because prior to that point, I hadn’t actually tried to edit JPEG’s from my DSLR.  Now that I’ve done it, I won’t have to try it again.  Nothing can beat getting the exposure right in the camera, but if you don’t it’s nice to have a safety net.

What I learned from this exercise:

  • Don’t trust the image on the LCD screen.  Use the histogram.
  • If want JPEG’s out of the camera, use RAW+JPEG.
  • Get the exposure right the first time.
  • Try new techniques all the time.  If you succeed, then you’ve added another tool to your kit.  If you fail, then you’ve learned a valuable lesson that you won’t forget next time.
  • Mt. Rainier is beautiful in the summer time.

As an aside, check out this photo of Mt. Saint Helens.  It’s a 360 degree panorama taken by Gregg M. Erickson.  Clicking on the photo will bring you to its Wikipedia page where you can download the giganto version (119 megapixels!).  Download it, it’s well worth it.  The tiny version below does not do it justice.

Mount St. Helens Pano II, by Gregg M Erickson

3 thoughts on “Mount Saint Helens from Mount Rainier

  1. It looks like it was a beautiful day. That’s a really tough lesson to learn when there are good photos to be learned. I would go even farther and just shoot RAW without JPGs and then export to JPG. That way, you can ensure that you have only one set of quality JPG images and not a good set and a bad set. It’s a little extra work but if all the RAW images are great then exporting the images with an image editor should be quick. Plus, I feel like it makes me really look at all the images when I have to take the extra step of conversion.

    1. Other than that one time, I’ve always shot RAW only. I thought I’d try to save some time and ended up regretting it. Snow and a bright sunny day is not the time to go with JPEGs.

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