Before the crowds

During the past week I’ve been contemplating on going to Burney Falls and McCloud Falls to photograph the waterfalls. The adventure would begin at 4am with a 4 hour commute into northern California and driving in darkness while dodging the wildlife. Let’s just say that things didn’t go as planned. So, I decided to go to Sand Harbor at Lake Tahoe — a place I’ve never been.

The weather was sunny with very little clouds — not ideal conditions for photography. However, it was beautiful up there and I couldn’t pass on the opportunity to take a few snaps of the lake before leaving. Since summer hasn’t officially arrived the crowds were absent, but there were still people basking in the sun and some daring enough to venture into the cold water.

I started taking a few photos and weren’t pleased with the results due to the harsh lighting and the ripples in the water. I decided to try something I typically don’t do in bright daylight — long exposure photography. Surprisingly, with my 10-stop ND filter I was able to achieve shutter speeds hovering around 30 seconds to smooth out the ripples in the water and to make it look like glass. Transforming the images into black and white also gave them a timeless look.

For those that gravitate more towards color, there are a couple of those too. But, I do enjoy black and white photography more and more. I am going to try and make it back up to Sand Harbor another time to photograph it around sunset. The picture of Roger below explains how the day went — content and relaxing.

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