The Mountains in the Northwest make their own weather and they have their own personalities.
While neither the largest, nor tallest, Mount St. Helens, also know as Loowit, from Loowitlatkla (Lady of Fire) still has the ability to shape the weather patterns around her.
The following 80 seconds is intended to show just how fast, and how beautifully this can happen. I originally went down to Mount St. Helens to get some footage for a project I am working on about Light Pollution and energy conservation. It is amazing, but even from 60 miles away, there is a giant light ball from the city of Portland that is clearly visible. While beautiful, it is extremely profound how much energy we are wasting to project that much light that far away.
The scene starts a little after midnight with the core of the milkyway moving across the beautiful Mount St. Helens. As the sun begins to rise and the stars fade, the clouds move in. First it is a series of altocumulus that move across the mountain, and then clear out. A short time later, another wave of altocumulus clouds move in just in time to catch the early morning rays of sun rising over the ridges behind me. The clouds seemed to actually be erupting from the mountain and it made for quite the show.
Slowly, the altocumulus clouds faded to cirrus clouds as a fog bank moved in, then out. This gave way to a back and forth motion of fog below and the altocumulus and cirrus clouds put on a show over the mountain. This is when I broke out the Stage Zero Dolly to move the camera around a little while shooting to accentuate the motion of the clouds.
First sequence is 1240 images taken from 12:30 am until 6:50 am. There are 34 exposure jumps that transition 21 full stops through this sequence which is an EV change of over 2 million The first frame is shot at f/2.8 – ISO 4000 - 30” and the last frame is F2.8 – ISO 100 -1/1250”
Second Sequence is 450 images taken over the course of an hour.
The Last three sequences were shot using the Stage Zero camera slider from Dyamic perceptions. Each of these was about 45 minutes with constant settings.
The sequence as processed and rendered out of Lightroom and I used LrTimelapse to deflicker and ramp the exposures to smooth out all the jumps.
The Music is “Free Flowing” from Matt Harris and AlumoMusic.
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