Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Mount McKinley

In case you didn't know, Mt. McKinley is big. In some ways, it's bigger than Mount Everest. It's usually enshrouded in clouds, but on the second day of my trip to Denali National Park, it fully revealed itself. Luckily, this was also the day that I was on the park shuttle bus to Wonder Lake (more on that in another post).

Mt. McKinley

This uncropped shot was taken at 200mm on my 5D (full-frame sensor) from a distance of 33 miles, at Eielson Visitor Center. Thirty-three miles, and it still filled the frame. Those little mountains you see at its base are about 7,000 feet tall; not exactly small.

I'd thought about lugging my 400/5.6 on this trip, but it's probably better that I decided not to. There was quite a bit of haze in the air from regional forest fires, so there's only so much sharpness and detail you can achieve, no matter how long your lens is. I had to up the contrast quite a bit in this shot to get the level of detail you see now. Luckily, I remembered to expose to the right without blowing out all the highlights, so pulling back the color and contrast wasn't a huge problem when I got home.

If you make it up to Denali National Park, I hope you're lucky enough to see Mt. McKinley in all of its massively huge glory too. Happy trails.

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