Mt St. Helens National Monument Eruption

Mt St Helens National Monument Eruption
Mt St Helens National Monument Eruption ( click for higher resolution)

This weekend i went to Mt St Helens National Monument on my way back to Seattle from Columbia river gorge. Though my GPS played a bit with me and took me to wrong spot, i managed to find a overlook nearby. It was almost 10:00 and there was very less light in sky. I grabbed my tripod and camera and fire few shots to get foreground shot. Then i  realized that i could see Mt Rainer also (Can you spot it? ) 

The composition with Mt St Helens in front and Mt Rainier was not too bad though i would like to have clear foreground with some interest but that was trade off of arriving different spot..

After 1 hour, i set my intervalometer to take shots every 1 sec for 30 sec exposure.I fired it till i saw milky way rising over st Helens and give illusion of eruption!!

What camera settings I used

Nikon D800, Nikon 16-35mm F4 @16mm , ISO 3200, F4, 30 sec. of course you would need a solid tripod and ball head which will prevent any vibration and remote shutter release/intervalometer.

How I processed this image
The milky way is a stacked of 26 image using an action for CS6. Then i hand blended the foreground image that i captured earliear and blended both using luminance masking mode.
Then little contrast and tonal boost using Nik Plugin.

I hope you will like it! NK


  1. Fabulous shot! I would love to try something like this, thank you for your explanation as to how you achieved it.

    1. Your Welcome Lorna Tyson Photography!! I would love to see the results. Please share it with me.

  2. That is incredible. I was just there in mid-June as well, and this brings back stunning memories!

    for the record, though, that's Mount Adams to the left, not Rainier. :) You'd probably be able to see Rainier from St. Helens's summit and definitely from the air, but not from that vantage point (I know exactly where you took that because my friends and I stopped there as well).

    Cheers! :)

    1. Thanks Smitha! Glad you like it!

      Thanks for clarifications :) I thought that was Mt Rainier :)