Tahoe Lupine at Sunrise 4

"Tahoe Lupine at Sunrise 4" - These partially submerged lupine wildflowers were photographed at sunrise at Lake Forest Beach, Lake Tahoe. ...
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"Tahoe Lupine at Sunrise 4" - These partially submerged lupine wildflowers were photographed at sunrise at Lake Forest Beach, Lake Tahoe.
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6 Comments | Report
tyraardourel February 03, 2017
Welcome to ViewBug! love the photo
ScottShot February 04, 2017
Thank you tyraardourel!
YvonneJeaK PRO
YvonneJeaK September 07, 2017
Superb. Voted in the Amazing Nature Photo Contest
ScottShot September 15, 2017
Nice, thank you Yvonne!
Pidge815 PRO
Pidge815 October 08, 2017
ScottShot October 09, 2017
Thank you!
dianestupp April 08, 2018
This is gorgeous!!
tamcleary February 04, 2019
So beautiful!!
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grahamrippon November 11, 2019
Love the colours. They create an attractive mood.

Behind The Lens

I photographed these flooded Lupine just north of Tahoe City, Lake Tahoe at Lakeforest Beach. It is an area that is well know to have amazing Lupine blooms when the lake level is low. This particular year, the lake level raised after the Lupine had bloomed. It flooded the Lupine along the edge of the shore and provided a rare and beautiful sight. I got incredibly lucky with sunrise colors that complimented the Lupine colors.
This was photographed at sunrise. I arrived early enough to also shoot some Milky Way photos with the flooded Lupine in the foreground, those were also some pretty cool photos. But the pink wispy clouds at sunrise and the still water helped create one of my favorite photos. I was ankle deep in the water wearing soaked hiking shoes for this. My photographer friend Tony Spiker was also there with me and we were both splashing around like kids getting all kinds of compositions of the rare sight.
The lighting is totally natural. I did use a graduated neutral density filter over the sky to balance the exposure and light. A tripod was used since it was a 1.3 second shot. No flash or reflectors.
Photographed with a Canon 5D Mark II and a 17-40 L Canon lens. A tripod was used as well as a graduated neutral density filter. ISO 100, 1.3 seconds, f13. June 8th, 2016 at 5:28 am.
I have been living in the area for 15 years and every time this area blooms, I rush over there and get all kinds of cool photos. This year, my photographer friend Tony Spiker's wife Melissa went for a walk with their dogs in the area the day before. She took a cell phone pic of the flooded lupine, sent it to us, and basically said "GO!". Tony and Melissa own the Vista Gallery in Kings Beach, Lake Tahoe. A large print of this image is on exhibit there. You can also see what Tony captured there...
I do shoot RAW so there is a little bit of post processing in Photoshop's raw converter. There I work on highlight and shadow detail, and dial in the color balance. I remove any image sensor dust in Photoshop but I try to manipulate my landscape images as little as possible. The scenery up here in Tahoe doesn't need any faking.
In my camera bag
These days I rock a Canon 5DSr, I love having the 50.6 megapixels in a "small" body. I do a lot of printing on my Epson 9900 and sell prints out of the Vista Gallery. The 40x60 prints that I produce are amazingly sharp and detailed. I also usually have a 24-105 L lens, a 16-35 L, a 24mm tilt-shift, and a 100-400. I usually carry a flash, flash diffuser, Lee filters, headlamp, spare batteries, tripod, and some minimal camping gear (decent knife, water bottle, small water filter, alcohol stove and cook cup, 1 instant backpacking meal and 1 granola bar). I use a Lowepro ProTrekker 300 and I love it, I find it to be the perfect bag for Tahoe photo shoot.
Advice for trying to capture something similar? Good luck. In the 15 years I've lived up here, I've never seen the water rise up after the Lupine bloomed and flood it like that. Maybe it has in the past and I just missed it... But the flooded flowers didn't last long before they died. That said, this area can still provide incredible Lupine photos, even when they don't flood. Keep in mind that they only bloom on drought/low lake level years. The shoreline has to be exposed more than full lake level years (like 2017, this area is completely under water right now and there were no Lupine this year). Have fun and tread lightly!

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