Mount Rainier

Mount Rainier

  • Tatoosh Range Storm Light Mt Rainier

A Northeast Vision Of The Pacific Northwest – Part 1

Artistic vision is an interesting thing. It’s like your personality, no matter where you go, you take it with you. This became obvious when we headed to the State of Washington recently to check out the great Pacific Northwest. Being comfortable with your vision can help you help adapt to a landscape like the one at Mount Rainier National Park which was different from what we expected.

I’m a Northeast landscape photographer. Some of my inspiration comes from the artists of the Hudson River School of landscape painting. When we got to Washington State, I couldn’t help feeling some similarities between the light and texture of this landscape and what those artists painted along the Hudson River in the 19th century, especially so at Mount Rainier National Park.

The weather in the mountains is usually unpredictable. On this trip along with the typical rain and fog, we were plagued with a persistent haze from the smoke of a large number of forest fires in the region. Needless to say it created some challenging conditions to shoot in. Fortunately, we planned this trip to be flexible in order to take advantage of conditions when they were right for photography. So with a plan in place and our camera gear, we headed out to photograph Mount Rainier National Park. By the way, I’ll talk more about that plan some more in my next blog post.

Mount Rainier

Mount Rainier has the distinction of being a lone 14er. (14,000 foot high mountain) which makes it visible from far away Seattle on a clear day. Up close, the mountain is a beautiful, yet somewhat imposing feature of the landscape.

Moonlit Mount Rainier by Richard Lewis 2018


Mt Rainier Reflections

Mt Rainier Reflections by Richard Lewis


Myrtle Cascade Mt Rainier

Myrtle Cascade by Richard Lewis 2018

The first day we were at Mount Rainier National Park the big mountain was socked in by clouds so completely that we couldn’t see it even when we hiked up to its base. Finally at sunset, the clouds vanished. From our vantage point the mountain was so overwhelming that I created the image below with a telephoto lens to show the effect of its massive presence on the forest below it.

Mt Rainier Detail by Richard Lewis 2018


The Tatoosh Range

One of the mountain ranges in Mount Rainier National Park is the Tatoosh Range. We made several visits to Inspiration Point which overlooks these beautiful mountains and the valleys below.

View of Round Top Mountain by Thomas Cole

Inspiration Point is an apt name because from here I really noticed the similarities between this landscape and the work of the Hudson River School artists. You can see that in the Thomas Cole painting on the right compared to the photographs below.

The first three photographs here are a progression from the clearing of a mid-afternoon storm to sunset and twilight. The last image is from another day. On that day, the quality of early morning light on the landscape looked like something the great black and white landscape photographer Ansel Adams would have loved.

Tatoosh Range Storm Light Mt Rainier

Tatoosh Range Storm Light by Richard Lewis 2018


Sunset Fire In The Tatoosh Range Mt Rainier

Sunset Fire In The Tatoosh Range by Richard Lewis 2018


Last Light On The Tatoosh Range Mount Rainier

Last Light On The Tatoosh Range by Richard Lewis 2018


Morning Moon Mt Rainier

Ansel Adams Morning Moon by Richard Lewis 2018


Mount Rainier Beyond The Mountains

Mount Rainier National Park is more than just an imposing mountain. We found that the lakes, rivers and old growth forests had their own beautiful and mystical charm.

Reflection Lakes Mt Rainier

Reflection Lakes by Richard Lewis 2018


Fog On The Nisqually River Mt Rainier

Fog On The Nisqually River by Richard Lewis 2018


Upper Christine Falls Mt Rainier

Upper Christine Falls by Richard Lewis 2018


Christine Falls Mt Rainier

Christine Falls by Richard Lewis 2018


Looking Up Hill Mount Rainier

Looking Up Hill by Richard Lewis 2018

This trip to Washington was an example of changing your expectations and opening yourself up to the landscape facing you. Due to weather and wildfires the landscape we saw at Mount Rainier was very different from what we expected. If we were working from a list of must have photographs to get, we may have been disappointed. Instead, we responded to the beauty that nature revealed to us, and it was enlightening. Standing at the base of the big mountain or exploring the valleys below it you see how the wild and unpredictable beauty of the wilderness has inspired artists throughout time. Feeling comfortable in my own artistic vision made that the constant that anchored the unpredictable and changing landscape unfolding around us.


Stay tuned for my next post on Olympic National Park. 

Fog On Rialto Beach Olympic National Park

Fog On Rialto Beach by Richard Lewis 2018


2018-09-18T10:10:36+00:00September 18th, 2018|22 Comments


  1. Roberta Weinstein-Cohen September 18, 2018 at 10:18 am - Reply

    Just beautiful. You are a true artist.

    • Rich Lewis September 18, 2018 at 2:50 pm - Reply

      Thanks Roberta. I appreciate that nice compliment.

  2. Bonnie Rovere September 18, 2018 at 11:04 am - Reply

    Absolutely beautiful photographs. Well done!

    • Rich Lewis September 18, 2018 at 2:49 pm - Reply

      Thank you very much, Bonnie.

  3. Rivki Locker September 18, 2018 at 4:15 pm - Reply

    Wow. Beautiful shots. The Mt. Rainier reflections shot is spectacular. The colors are just perfect and the reflection is crystal clear. I almost want to turn it upside down to be sure you got it the right way!

    • Rich Lewis September 18, 2018 at 4:45 pm - Reply

      Thanks Rivki. I appreciate the compliment. That reflection photograph was kind of special. One of the few very peaceful rain and fog free mornings we had. There is even a little Pinelands style mist on the lake which make me feel at home.

  4. Diane Emerson September 18, 2018 at 4:17 pm - Reply

    Treasures. Beautiful images. What a wonderful trip!!! Love the way you captured the waterfalls!

    • Rich Lewis September 18, 2018 at 4:46 pm - Reply

      Thanks Diane. It was a wonderful trip. I’m beginning to think that the best way to capture waterfalls is in the rain.

  5. Thomas Jagielo September 18, 2018 at 4:42 pm - Reply

    Absolutely beautiful images that truly capture how splendid these views are!
    Thanks again for sharing your creativity with us.

    • Rich Lewis September 18, 2018 at 4:47 pm - Reply

      Thank you for that nice comment. It’s my pleasure to share my photography here.

  6. matt davis September 18, 2018 at 5:23 pm - Reply

    Splendid. I am sure seeing them on this screen doesn’t do them justice. LOVED the telephoto with the trees in the foreground and the texture of the mountainside behind.

    • Rich Lewis September 19, 2018 at 6:33 am - Reply

      Thanks Matt. You are right, screens don’t do this landscape justice. I’m glad you liked that photograph with the telephoto. The whole first day we were up there the mountain was 100% obscured by clouds. We were shooting in the opposite direction when I turned and all of a sudden there it was in all its overpowering presence.

  7. Greg DeAngelis September 18, 2018 at 8:48 pm - Reply

    Very very nice Rich! Looks like the weather cooperated…that can be a feat in itself in the Pacific NW.

    • Rich Lewis September 19, 2018 at 6:36 am - Reply

      Thanks Greg. You are are seeing when the weather did cooperate, somewhat. Some of these photographs were made in the rain. The Pacific Northwest for all its beauty is a tough place to get the right weather and light.

  8. Mike Pillows September 19, 2018 at 8:08 am - Reply

    Well you’re sure don’t disappoint… beautiful compositions! I can only hope others see this and realize that you need to embrace what is given and react positively to it just like a cook … you put that love it and we taste it. I am noshing on all you presented and looking to be feed some more in the coming posts.

    • Rich Lewis September 19, 2018 at 9:12 pm - Reply

      Thanks Mike. I really appreciate the compliment. I hope you enjoy the other recipes that will show up here soon.

  9. Sara Ascalon September 22, 2018 at 8:15 am - Reply

    I want to be Rich Lewis when I grow up.

    • Rich Lewis September 22, 2018 at 8:54 am - Reply

      I think you once told me to be “careful what you wish for”

  10. Louis Dallara Fine Art Photography September 22, 2018 at 3:15 pm - Reply

    My favorite is Tatoosh Range Storm Light, you have captured some amazing emotion in that frame.

    • Rich Lewis September 22, 2018 at 8:02 pm - Reply

      Thanks Lou. That one is probably my favorite of the trip because of that storm light.

  11. Denise Bush October 4, 2018 at 10:27 am - Reply

    Put a talented photographer like yourself and this wonderful scenery together and magic happened … an awesome collection!

    • Rich Lewis October 7, 2018 at 8:32 am - Reply

      Wow, thanks so much Denise for that compliment. It means a lot to me coming from a photographer of your caliber.

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