While it’s fairly common knowledge that the state of Oregon is most known for being home to a majority of the country’s most beautiful waterfalls, Oregon’s mountains are what inspire me the most – specifically, Mount Hood.

Standing at 11,250 feet, Mt. Hood is one of Oregon’s largest mountains and, in my opinion, the most beautiful. Surrounded by several lakes, peaks and rivers, it’s hard to grow bored shooting such a gorgeous and iconic landscape. I’ve spent the past three years photographing Mount Hood from a variety of locations in many different types of conditions. Here are some images and stories from those adventures.

Sunrise on Mount Hood from Lost Lake

Sunrise on Mount Hood from Lost Lake

I’ve capture many images of Mount Hood at a nearby peak called TDH, located above Mirror Lake on Hood’s southern side. It’s certainly the most impressive angle of Hood, but not a place you can get to easily – It’s nearly a six mile, round trip, vertical climb that often requires snowshoes and familiarity with the trail on days when it has been covered by large amounts of snow.

A couple years ago, I was on a flight returning to Portland when I looked out the window and saw a mountain towering above a sea of clouds. The image was so powerful that I went in search of it, knowing that I could re-create the same scene using Mt Hood as my subject.

Mount Hood from TDH Mountain during Sunrise

Mount Hood from TDH Mountain during Sunrise

I once went up to TDH for sunrise a morning after a fresh layer of snow blanketed the trees below. On this particular morning, it was hovering at around 10 degrees Fahrenheit, which would have made it really difficult to use and set up my tripod if it were aluminum. However, because I was review using the , I was able to remove my thick and cumbersome gloves and set up several shots easily because it did not absorb the cold like an aluminum tripod would have. Additionally, the allowed me to stably capture quality exposures at f/18 which would have been impossible to do if I was handheld.

“Above the Clouds, Below the Stars”

“Above the Clouds, Below the Stars”

A couple years ago, I was on a flight returning to Portland when I looked out the window and saw a mountain towering above a sea of clouds. The image was so powerful that I went in search of it, knowing that I could re-create the same scene using Mt Hood as my subject.

Through some research, I was able to determine that capturing an image of Mt. Hood above the clouds required a day where the natural phenomenon of inversion was likely to occur. After seeing an indication in the weather that my dream shot might happen, I packed my backpack with a sleeping bag, tent, a camera body with a few lenses, and some food in the hopes that I would be able to finally get the image I’d been waiting for.

Time trickled on as I waited and, on one of my routine checks, I finally saw it – my dream had finally come true – a thick layer of fog surrounded the base of Mount Hood. I ran back into my tent, grabbed my gear, and created some of my favorite images of this mountain.

Toby’s Go-To Tripod for Mountain Portraits: