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Convict Lake Sunset



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8 Comments | Report
vickywei
 
vickywei March 15, 2016
amazing shoot
Arzhtatiana PRO
 
Arzhtatiana August 10, 2016
A stunning shot!
Gita
 
Gita September 01, 2016
Great!
rushewallace PRO+
 
rushewallace March 14, 2017
Excellent!!!
Alwolfe Premium
 
Alwolfe September 05, 2017
Awesome photo!
daleigh PRO+
 
daleigh November 18, 2017
Congrats on winning my Mountain Lakes photo Challenge!!
gusvdw
 
gusvdw December 17, 2017
Love the colours and reflections in that photo
The_Photo_Wave_Rat
 
The_Photo_Wave_Rat August 05, 2018
I’m so good but your pics are crazy good

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Behind The Lens

Location
A fall visit to California and a search for aspen color, led me to Convict Lake in Mammoth Lakes, California. Convict Lake is nestled beneath Mount Morrison.
Time
I was hoping for gorgeous sunset colors reflecting off the lake, but it was not dramatic. And, I wished I had been here at sunrise, when the sun would have lit up Mount Morrison. But I made the best of it. I waited for a few moments after sunset to capture this image.
Lighting
This photo was a long exposure taken after the sun disappeared behind the mountain. The light trails on the left were from a road construction crew and there was a flash of light occasionally on the opposite side of the lake, where some hikers were making their way around the trail. I thought the lights highlighted the golden aspens and added just that perfect punch of color.
Equipment
Canon 70D, with Canon 10-18mm and 10mm with polarizer filter. ISO 800, 30 second exposure, on tripod. Aperture was 5.6 which normally I would shoot landscapes at 11 or above, but I wanted to keep my exposure and ISO down.
Inspiration
Traveling to California in mid-October, I thought it would be a beautiful place to photograph the golden aspens. I was a little disappointed that the fall color was just not as dramatic in the Mammoth Lakes region, but did a google search which led me to a local photography club that had just that morning visited Convict Lake, and there were some beautiful photos of golden aspens. So we headed to the lake around 4pm and walked the trail that looped around the lake, stopping to photograph along the way. I was not disappointed and could have gone home happy. But we decided to wait for sunset. The sunset, was not dramatic, very little color to the sky. There was one other hopeful photographer next to me. She left disappointed in the sunset and I stayed. This photo was a long exposure taken after the sun disappeared behind the mountain. The light trails on the left were from a road construction crew and there was a flash of light occasionally on the opposite side of the lake, where some hikers were making their way around the trail. On a side note, there were many critters out after dark. I watched as a family of raccoons practically walked right up to me. I heard cries in the not so far distance, and later learned a mountain lion was spotted by the road construction crew drinking from the lake, just 200 ft or so from where I stood. Also, the other photographer that I met, was telling me she was there for sunrise, but spotted a momma bear and her cub and decided not to venture out. It was a memorable experience for sure.
Editing
I had taken several exposures, blending 3 or 4 together. Using Nik Color Efex and HDR Efex Pro 2. Honestly, I did a lot of experimenting trying to get it just right, and cannot remember the exact process.
In my camera bag
At the time, I only had my Canon 70D, the Canon 10-18mm with polarizer filter to capture the massive landscapes, and my Sigma 18-250mm. I was trying to keep my bag light for hiking. Since then, I've added the Tamron 24-70mm 2.8 and the Tamron 70-200mm 2.8 and have all but retired my Sigma 18-250mm. I would love to upgrade to a full frame next for the wider angle and the low light capabilities.
Feedback
Explore new places and be prepared to wait for the perfect lighting. You can't always be at the right place, at the right time, but do the best you can with what you've been given. Every scene is beautiful. Wait for it, be creative in how you shoot it. Sometimes the best photos are taken after everyone else has packed up and gone home. And, it doesn't hurt to always travel with a companion, a very, very patient one.

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