Made Small by the Mountain

Whilst I was photographing Mount St. Helens, Suzanne was photographing me photographing the mountain. She got a great shot!

Image shows Mount St. Helens, rays of sunshine striking it from low in the west and a thick white cloud over its summit. I'm standing on a grassy ridge to the right, almost invisible due to shadows and my black trench coat. I look very small in comparison to the enormous mountain many miles away.
Mount St. Helens et moi. Image courtesy Suzanne.

Perspective makes the grass look almost as tall as me – I don’t remember it being so high! Then again, I was completely entranced by the mountain, so maybe I just didn’t notice.

It’s not just perspective that makes Mount St. Helens look so huge. It is so huge! To give you an idea of how huge, even with nearly two thousand feet of its summit missing, check this out:

Image shows a portion of Mount St. Helens. The upper rim of the crater is obscured by cloud, but the interior of the crater, exterior wall, and ramp of pyroclastic deposits spilling from the gap in the rim are all visible. The dome is a low, wide mound within. The helicopter is flying past the rim. It's only a few pixels wide and virtually invisible.
Mount St. Helens and the helicopter. No, seriously, there’s a helicopter in this photo!

Can you see the helicopter? No? Let me crop that for you:

Image is a crop of the previous, showing a piece of the crater rim and the overlying cloud. The helicopter is just visible as a tiny streak between the cloud and the crater.
Can you see me now?

Yep, that wee spec is a Bell JetRanger, which is about 40 feet long. That mound of lava in the crater that looks kind of short? That’s around 1,000 feet tall. This pdf has a lot of stats on how big the dome is, all concluding: it’s huge. Yet it doesn’t even fill the crater left by the May 1980 eruption.


Made Small by the Mountain

3 thoughts on “Made Small by the Mountain

  1. 2

    Awesome. Awesome photos, facts and mountain.

    Still struggling to see the helicopter in that second image.

    Certainly gives a good sense of a perspective.

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