Picture Lake is a classic spot. According to the US Forest Service, this is one of the most photographed mountain scenes in North America, in fact it's hard to find a Washington calendar that doesn't feature this view. My friend told me that a few years ago her parents visited a gallery near Yellowstone, and the photographer was trying to pass this scene off as from the Rockies. Nope, this is in our lovely Cascades.
Because this place is so frequently photographed, I wanted a fresh take. Traditionally this scene is shot in the fall when the leaves are turning colors. The result is absolutely gorgeous, but very common. This image is from a lush, verdant midsummer evening. We were very fortunate to make the drive on a calm evening with such a perfect reflection, and I was really surprised I was the only photographer there on this Friday afternoon. We returned at sunset after a hike near Artist Point, and there were a few others set up at the lake. I like this image much more than the ones I got that evening. The scene was still beautiful, but there was less drama as the clouds had dissipated by sunset.
We climbed Mount Shuksan in 2013 and I thoroughly enjoyed staring down at Picture Lake from its summit, a perspective less frequently seen. I never tire of this mountain, in fact Mount Shuksan might be my favorite peak. We realized recently that from I-5 in Everett you can see the top of Mount Shuksan just to the right of Mount Baker. I definitely plan on returning sometime at peak fall color, but I'm not sure I'll like the image more than this one.