Eagle Lake Dawn

This was a tricky shot to compose. It was about an hour before sunrise when I arrived at Eagle Lake to scout the photo possibilities; it was so dark I needed a flashlight to find my way around, and I was the only person there that morning. Eventually I settled on this location which had a good foreground, nice middle ground, and the distant mountains in the background.

But the water was choppy and messy, so I knew I would need a very long exposure to smooth it out into a large, creamy expanse. And to get this angle, I needed to balance myself and my tripod on one single rock the size of a basketball, about five feet from the shore. In the end, the exposure needed over six minutes, so it was difficult balancing for so long, hoping you don't fall in the water, while trying hard not to knock $13,000 worth of camera gear into Eagle Lake. It's at times like this that you realize that although you're cold, hungry (I still hadn't eaten anything and I probably skipped dinner the night before), you're all alone and your body aches from contorting itself to fit onto your camera position, the end result is worth it- at least you hope, because often it's not. But such are the sacrifices we make for a potentially great photo...


This image was made about ten minutes before the sun rose. But at Eagle Lake, the surrounding hills block the sun so you don't actually see the sun until several minutes after it comes up in the east. I had hoped for more interesting clouds in the sky but that morning we got plain blue. Better than plain grey, but not by much. The glow off the sun behind the mountains does add a nice touch of color to an otherwise dull sky.