A Garden of Light
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A Garden of light. Mt. Washington and alpine lake, Oregon
This image may give the impression of a calm and peaceful morning, but read ahead.
I made this image yesterday morning. I was camped out here and all night long there was what I felt to be close hurricane force winds. The weather forecast said windy, but this was above and beyond what I imagined. Luckily I have a Bibler Itent which is used in expeditions and is as bullet proof as they get. But, I have to say, with the howling wind and fear of a tree falling on me, I don't think I slept at all. It made me remember one night camping in Leslie Gulch with my buddy, Matt. He had his tent, and I had my Bibler. I got up in the middle of the night to water a bush, and there was Matt with his tent ripped to shreds all around and he was laying in his boxers out in the open wind! Luckily that night wasn't cold and he had a sense of humor over that!
Anyway, in the morning I hauled my butt out to the lake for photos and I could barely walk; the wind was that strong! Even windier than Leslie gulch and my mono lake experience with my cousin, Alan! I'm thinking, how in the heck am I going to pull this off? I hooked my camera bag to my tripod for weight stability, screwed on my 10 stop nd, and pulled out one of my homemade neutral grads. Here comes the light, woohoo! I'm trying to shield my camera from the wind as much as possible and at the same time keep the sky from blowing out with my grad. I cannot feel my fingers at all at this time (despite my hand warmers). I checked exposure on the photograph, it was a bit off, and then out of nowhere these two little lenticular clouds appear to the top right. I didn't want to use such a wide lens so that Mt. Washington would be a little closer and larger, but I had to get the lenny's in the composition as well. I had no choice but to go 16mm and step my feet in the cold wet water. I screwed the nd filter off, recomposed, screwed it back on, locked the mirror up and did my usual neutral grad routine. From experience, I knew this would be my last exposure with good light, so I was worried that the exposure would be too long to capture the lenny's with most of their form, but I had to let this exposure run a long time and just hope for the best.
So the light looked like it was ready for me to end the exposure and I did so, checked my histograms - everything looked great! I then looked back up at the mountain and it was completely hidden by grey clouds with no color. That's how fast these things happen out here.
My hands were so cold and numb at this time (not to mention my feet and legs), that I couldn't even grab my camera and tripod; I had to scoop them up with my arms and then headed back to camp to warm up.
The long exposure evened out all the crazy waves into this serene and mystical looking image that looks like a lake of fog. Hard to imagine with all the white-caps on that were on the water (and my legs), LOL!
In a future posting I'll do a tutorial on how to make homemade neutral grads that are superior to comercial ones for long exposures - stay tuned!
16mm, 248seconds, iso 125 @ f9.5.