Shooting images doesn’t always result in success. I have been ‘skunked’ plenty of times when shooting. Sunrises and sunsets are never a sure thing. That is what makes getting something incredible all the more awesome when it happens!
The approximately 2 mile hike up in the Mt. Hood National Forest is a neat one. The parking lot for it is just off to the side of the road offering spots for maybe 15 cars total at any one time. Luckily, it isn’t as popular towards sunset as it is throughout the rest of the day.
It wasn’t that cloudy at the parking lot or around the mountain when starting the hike up. The prospect of a really good sunset looked promising with lots of high clouds to catch color. What happened during the hike was what made me doubt the decision upon arriving at the lake. Clouds had completely obscured the peak of Mt. Hood. The view had been obstructed in every way, and there was hardly any color in the sky 15 minutes before sunset.
It didn’t look good, but I had some faith. As time moved on the color continued to not show even as Mt. Hood eventually did. We could see the peak with a really nice atmosphere of clouds cloaking it in grey. A few minutes after the sun was scheduled to set, I began packing up. I had just gotten my lens cap back on when I noticed a flicker of purple show up on the backside of the mountain.
As quickly as I could, I threw everything back together on the tripod and rattled off a couple panoramas ensuring I got a usable image in the hustle to at least capture something. The purples got as deep as I could ever imagine before disappearing as quickly as they had came. The show was over and it was time for another paranoid hike through the dark forest at night.
I had almost given up on getting anything. It would have been a small head start on the hike back had I left without anything, and I might have made it back while it was still a little bit light outside. However, leaving without an image would have been far more disappointing. A hike back in the dark is worth it every single time when you can see and capture views like this one!