Today was our last day at Crater Lake and sadly the weather killed us. The forecast called for blue skies with patches of clouds throughout the day (Ideal time lapse weather) but when we crawled out of our tents it was obvious that Steve Pool got the forecast wrong. There were flat unphotogenic clouds everywhere with a couple sparse patches of blue sky. Buzzkill. Our stomachs were grumbling at this point so we drove down to the southern entrance to get some breakfast while we waited to see if the clouds would disperse but they didn't.
After munching down our big breakfasts we headed down to the Pinnacles to get some photos of the giant pillars. These ancient structures were formed after the eruption of Mt. Mazama (7,700 years ago) when steam seeped up through the ash creating dense cones of cooked ash surrounded by loose ash. As the softer material eroded away it left behind these solid pillars that still stand today.
Once we finished up there we took a short hike out to one of the water falls within the park limits. The waterfall looked great in the early afternoon light and as we started up the time lapse the shadows from the trees started to run across its face which will look awesome in the finished video.
We then continued on our way up the eastern section of the caldera until we reached Mt scott. We were tempted to make the climb up to the highest peak (8,934') but a couple of hikers who were about to make the hike got to talking with us about how windy it gets up there and we quickly decided that it wouldn't be worth it since our time lapses would all shake rendering our 1200 foot climb useless so we headed back to the western rim of the lake for the sunset.
Once we reached the western rim we decided that it wasn't going to be worth staying an extra night since the clouds still weren't cooperating with us. We quickly texted our airbnb host Linda to see if we could move our stay up a day early and she graciously agreed. While we were waiting for our last time lapse to finish up we met another photographer/ time lapser Brad Goldpaint. He told us about how he had spent the last year and a half living out of a motor home with his wife traveling around taking photos and shooting time lapses. They also do 5 day photo workshops around crater lake which seemed really awesome since he covers everything from time lapsing all the way to giant panoramic photos!
As our time lapse finished up we got the car situated and ready for our departure of Crater Lake. We were really sad to leave but it was time for us to move along so we headed out for LaPine and our second night at an Airbnb home.
Text By: James Whelan
Photos By: Jake Magraw