Autumn at Mount Rainier

Sept 27-30, 2021

Quick Summary

Mount Rainier National Park is truly photographer's paradise! As autumn unfolds, the landscape comes alive with colorful reds, yellows, and oranges. Join pro photographer Kevin McNeal for an action-packed 4 days in the mountains. You will witness some of the finest alpine scenery the Pacific Northwest has to offer! This workshop is rated Difficult, with 3-6 miles of hiking each day, over mountainous terrain, with steep inclines, at altitude

Last Light Falling on Mount Rainier

Highlights

  • Photograph the stunning autumn colors at Mount Rainier. Dates are timed for best chances for peak color!
  • The workshop itinerary is kept flexible so we can make best use of the fall colors and weather. Our goal is to maximize your photography!
  • This is a hiking intensive workshop with strenuous 2-6 mile hikes. We will be at higher altitude and the trails can be steep and rocky.
  • Wildlife is plentiful at Mt Rainier with deer, marmots, pikas, and even the occasional black bear!
  • Learn many new photographic techniques from pro photographer Kevin McNeal. Expect plenty of individualized attention with the group size capped at 5 participants.
  • Post-processing and image critique sessions will help make the most of your images.

Itinerary

 
The exact itinerary will be kept flexible to account for weather and current conditions in the park. We will optimize our time for the best possible photography. The itinerary below is just an example of what you can expect.

  • Day 1 (Sept 27):  Meet at 9:00 a.m. at our conference room at Hilton Garden Inn  SEA-TAC Airport. For those flying in, we recommend staying the night before. After the morning classroom session, we head towards the park, grabbing lunch along the way and check into our rooms at Paradise Inn. This historic lodge boasts awe-inspiring views right from the base of the mountain! We head out for an evening hike to picture-perfect ridgelines blanketed in colorful fall foliage.
  • Day 2 (Sept 28):  We leave well before dawn and hike to some spectacular sub-alpine meadows with autumn colors in full display!  Early morning fog adds to the mystery as first light hits Mt Rainier. After a midday break, we do several afternoon hikes to some lakes and waterfalls, finishing with a sunset shoot at one of our favorite viewpoints of the mountain.
  • Day 3 (Sept 29):  We hit the road extra early to catch first light at a stunning overlook. We do several hikes this morning to some lakes and waterfalls before returning to the lodge for a mid afternoon break. We get quite the treat at sunset as clouds roll in and we are treated to colorful skies and warm light!
  • Day 4 (Sept 30):  This is our last sunrise opportunity in the park and we make the most of it with a hike up to a spectacular valley lined with waterfalls and Autumn splendor! We return to the hotel for breakfast and then begin our drive back to town. We have our final group lunch (included) and then do a comprehensive post-processing and image critique session to help make the most of your images.  We drive back to SEA-TAC airport, arriving no later than 8PM.
Fall Colors Mount Rainier
Pinnacle Peak in Pink Clouds
Fall Colors Mount Rainier

Logistics

Plan to arrive at our conference room at Hilton Garden Inn  SEA-TAC Airport. no later than 9AM on Sept 27th.  We will begin the workshop with a mandatory orientation session where we'll cover many techniques you will be using during our time together. If you are flying in, we recommend arriving the night before.

We will provide all transportation during the workshop so there is no need to rent your own car unless you want to. The hotel offers free 24-hr shuttle service to and from the airport.

Lodging is not included in the workshop price. However, we have secured blocks of rooms at Paradise Inn. Accommodations are very limited, so please call and secure your room as soon as possible.  You are welcome to stay elsewhere if you like (or even camp), but you will need your own vehicle to get to/from the daily meetup locations.

This is a hiking intensive workshop with strenuous 3-6 mile hikes that include steep inclines over mountainous terrain. You should be comfortable hiking these sorts of distances while carrying your camera gear, drinking water, and food. Everyone on this trip must be in good physical condition due to the steep mountain terrain and high altitude.

Food is not included as part of the workshop.  The final group lunch is included in the workshop price.  We will conclude by 8PM on Sept 30th and you can plan your return travel after that time.

The weather in late September can be higly variable. It can be sunny and warm or stormy and even snowing! It can be quite cold in the morning especially at the higher elevations. Please ensure you bring plenty of warm layers, hat, and gloves.  Precipitation is always a possibility, so come prepared with a rain jacket and a cover for your backpack.

Pricing

$1795/person + Tax

 
Trip Includes:

  • All Ground Transportation to/from SEA-TAC Airport
  • Park Entrance Fees
  • In-Field Photography Instruction
  • Post-processing and Image Critique
  • Final Group Lunch

 

Trip Does NOT Include:

  • Transportation to/from your home to SEA-TAC Airport.
  • Overnight accommodations.
  • Meals and snacks except for final group dinner.
  • Alcoholic Beverages.

 

When you complete the checkout process, you will be given the option to either pay the full amount or put down a 50% deposit.  If you pay the deposit, the remaining amount will be charged 90-days prior to arrival to the credit card we have on file.

**IMPORTANT: Although we have timed the workshop dates for the best chances for fall colors, there is no guarantee we'll hit peak color. No matter what happens with the fall colors and or weather, we'll get you to stunning spots for photography.

Myrtle Falls - Mount Rainier
Mount Rainier
Fall Colors Mount Rainier

Recommended Camera Gear

  • Sturdy tripod and ballhead
  • Digital SLR or Mirrorless Camera Body.
  • Wide angle lens in the 16-35mm range.
  • Mid-range zoom lens in the range of 24-100mm.
  • Long telephoto lenses in the 100-600mm range will come in handy for wildlife encounters.
  • Circular polarizer filters and ND filters for your lenses.  If you like shooting with grads, bring them along.  A 9 or 10-stop ND filter will be useful for creating very long exposures.
  • Backpack to carry your gear along with a rain cover for the pack.
  • Extra batteries, memory cards, and cleaning supplies.
  • Remote cord for your camera.
  • Laptop if you wish to backup your photos or follow along during the post-processing instruction.

Personal Gear List

  • Sturdy hiking footwear, hiking socks, and long pants .
  • A rain jacket and several warm layers.
  • Headlamp
  • Sunscreen, Sunglasses, Sun Hat
  • Water bottle or hydration bladder.
  • Hiking poles if you like having them.
  • Warm Hat and Gloves
Kevin McNeal

Kevin McNeal

Kevin McNeal is a Washington-State photographer who is passionate about photographing grand landscapes that reflect the most unique places on earth. Capturing moments of magic light and transferring this to print is the ultimate goal. His images hold a combination of perseverance, patience, and dedication to capture landscapes in fresh ways. The stories of how these images are rendered come across in the feelings the images convey. He has traveled all over North America, shooting diverse landscapes and finding remote places with the hope that we can convey to the public that this earth is worth caring for. His award winning images can be seen in galleries and showings across the United States.  He was recently invited to the Art Wolfe Art Gallery for the Environmental Photography Invitational. Kevin was the grand winner of the Landscape category for the Natures Best Magazine and was selected for the Smithsonian National Museum of History in Washington D.C..  He is a regular contributor to publications like Outdoor Photographer.

Artist’s Statement

“I believe that the Earth shares secrets with us that only can be discovered by trying to understand our position on this planet. We are never fully intimate with the planet but are given brief moments that make our souls want more. These glimpses of nature’s power are fleeting and never the same twice. I also believe it is important to share with those who want it. The treasures that await us given the patience that is out there. What I try to do is bring some of that magic to my images to share with the rest of the world. Each of my images tells a story that everyone can relate to in some way whether it is success, fear, or challenging oneself to overcome obstacles

Kevin's portfolio can be found at www.kevinmcnealphotography.com.

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