One of my favorite places to photograph is in Washington State’s North Cascades mountain range. Just off of Highway 20 is a great viewpoint of the Early Winter Spires. Since this area is just on the east side of the Cascade Mountain Range, you’re often greeted with beautiful blue skies and great weather. This specific morning, we got up well before the crack of dawn and made a short hike up to the viewpoint. We knew that the moon would be out and would provide a great compositional element for our photographs. The stars were shining bright in the morning twilight and in this photo you can see the Orion constellation directly over the Early Winter Spires. The previous day’s snowfall provided a light dusting of white over the peaks, providing beautiful contrast for this pre-dawn photograph.
As with most photographs, the image isn’t finished until you work with it in post-processing. In this case, I used Adobe Lightroom 5 to increase the contrast and tone down the left side of the image where the sky had become a bit too bright. I took this shot in 2011 using a Nikon D700 and exposed for 8 seconds at f/11 at ISO 1000.