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Winter Dawn

Last week I was able to snowshoe and camp in Mt. Rainier National Park. This image was taken next to my tent before sunrise. The night before I was shooting at sunset when a leg snapped off of my tripod (Gitzo Mountaineer) when I was gently securing the tripod in the snow. A minute later when I was putting the remaining two legs into the snow near my tent another leg snapped off. It was about 15 degrees with 50 mph wind gusts at the time. I guess the cold air made the materials weaker. I was pretty distraught at losing my tripod so early in the trip but I was able to continue shooting using mirror lock-up and cable release with the remaining leg buried in the snow. It was a long and cold night up there with the wind blowing snow under my rain fly and through the mesh of my tent. Fortunately, it was too cold for the layer of snow on my sleeping bag to melt, so I stayed dry. When I crawled out of my tent in the morning I shot this scene on my “monopod” secured in the snow. Although I had a bad tripod experience up there, I still really like the Gitzo models and am hoping to get mine replaced under the warranty.


Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon EF 17-40mm f4.0 L lens, single exposure, 1-stop gnd filter. More photos at Thanks for looking!


Edit: A larger version of this photo can be seen here:

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Taken on January 5, 2010