Autumn at Mount Rainier

September 26-29, 2022

Quick Summary

Mount Rainier National Park is truly photographer's paradise! As autumn unfolds, the landscape comes alive with colorful reds, yellows, and oranges.  Early season snow can also accent the vivid landscape. 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 2-4 miles of hiking each day over mountainous terrain.

Tuition

  • Tuition: $1850
  • Additional Cost for Lodging

Max Group Size

  • 4 to 5 Students per Instructor

Instructor(s)

  • Kevin McNeal
Mt Rainier Fall - Kevin McNeal

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 potentially strenuous 2-4 mile hikes. We will be at higher altitude and the trails can be steep.
  • 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 a small group.
  • 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 26):  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 the workshop. After the morning classroom session, we head towards the park, grabbing lunch along the way and check into our rooms.  We immediately head into the park and hike up to our sunset shoot location.
  • Day 2 (Sept 27):  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 a short walk to some lakes and waterfalls finishing with a sunset shoot at one of our favorite viewpoints of the mountain.
  • Day 3 (Sept 28):  We hit the road extra early to catch first light at a stunning overlook. We return to the lodge for lunch and a mid afternoon break. If time permits, we'll do an image critique and post-processing session.  We head out again in the evening and get quite the treat as clouds roll in and deliver colorful skies and warm light!
  • Day 4 (Sept 29):  This is our last sunrise opportunity in the park and we make the most of it with a hike up to a spectacular valley brimming with Autumn splendor! We return to the hotel for breakfast 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 after lunch, arriving no later than 8PM.
Rainier Fall - Kevin McNeal
Last Light Falling on Mount Rainier
Pinnacle Peak in Pink Clouds
Mount Rainier Fog Band Vista

Logistics

Plan to arrive at our conference room at Hilton Garden Inn  SEA-TAC Airport. no later than 9AM on Sept 26th.  We 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.

Due to limited lodging options around Mt Rainier, we have pre-booked hotel rooms for our group.  Workshop tuition is $1850 and the cost of lodging will be added to your reservation depending whether you want double or single occupancy.

This is a hiking intensive workshop.  You can expect anywhere from 2-4 miles of daily distance.  The trails can sometimes be steep and rocky. 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.  We will conclude by 8PM on Sept 30th and you can plan your return travel after that time.  Lodging for the night of Sept 30th is not included in the workshop fee.  If you plan to fly out the following day, we recommend booking a hotel near SEA-TAC airport.

The weather in late September can be highly variable, from sunny and warm, to stormy with possible snow! 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

$1850/PERSON + TAX

Double Occupancy Lodging: Adds $400/person

Single Occupancy Lodging:  Adds $800/person

Trip Includes:

  • Lodging is pre-booked for the group due to limited availability. Double Occupancy adds $400/person and Single Occupancy adds $800/person.
  • All ground transportation during the workshop
  • Park entrance fees
  • In-field photography instruction
  • Post-processing and image critique

Trip Does NOT Include:

  • Transportation to/from your home to SEA-TAC Airport.
  • Overnight accommodations.
  • Meals and snacks.
  • Alcoholic Beverages.

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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.

 

Mt Rainier Fall - Kevin McNeal
Mt Rainier Fall - Kevin McNeal
Rainier Fall - Kevin McNeal

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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