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This series of images was taken on a bitterly cold winter morning (19 degrees Fahrenheit) when I donned snowshoes and hiked a ways into a snow-blanketed meadow near the start of the Cascade Loop Highway in Central Oregon. I was up before any cross-country skiers, so I had the place to myself and was relishing the silence, if not the frosty air. I could see the frost building up on my tripod’s legs and the outside of my camera lens. The gloves I was wearing were not nearly warm enough, but in a matter of minutes after setting up my camera and tripod, I was focused on the way the light was illuminating the mountains before me and, thankfully, totally distracted from the burning sensation in my fingers and toes. I had parked myself in a place where with a simple 180-degree turn, I could shoot either facing west toward South Sister and Broken Top, or southeast at Mt. Bachelor, a popular ski resort outside of Bend, Oregon. When the first light hit the mountains, the mountains glowed a dazzling magenta and the sky was lit up by alpenglow, first of pinkish hues and then of an orangey cast. Simply awesome. As the light of the sun warmed the terrain, a mist began to rise up from the treetops at the west end of the meadow. The sky, meanwhile, had shed its alpenglow and began to turn a bright cobalt blue. The light on the mountains intensified and drenched the snowcaps of the summits in warm golden light. My camera saw the blanket of snow in the dark foreground as various shades of bluish-white. As I snapped the shutter, I was giving myself a pat on the back for having rousted myself out of bed at 4:30 am to be here to see this dawn. And now, you get to share it with me as if you were there at my side all along — which you were; in my mind, at least.

Cascade Winter Sunrise

Violet and pink hues dominate the sky's alpenglow at daybreak over South Sister and Broken Top in the Cascade Range of Central Oregon.

  • February 24th, 2012
  • Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • 47mm / f/16 / 4/5 sec

Winter Sunrise

South Sister and Broken Top, with mist rising off the tree tops at dawn.

  • February 24th, 2012
  • Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • 50mm / f/18 / 1/10 sec

Winter in the Oregon Cascades

Mt. Bachelor ski area lit up by winter sunrise.

  • February 24th, 2012
  • Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • 50mm / f/18 / 1/4 sec

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