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North Lake Sunrise | by Kurt Lawson
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North Lake Sunrise

The Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains in California are increasingly popular place for fall color photography. Perhaps no other location embodies that popularity more than North Lake, which is I think the California equivalent of Maroon Lake in Colorado. After heavy snow clouded out sunset the night before, I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect when I ascended the road late here. Arriving a little before 5:30 am, I snagged the last parking spot and made my way to the lake’s edge where I met what must have been at least 50 other photographers already there. The snow turned out to have spectacularly frosted the landscape, providing white accents to to everything. Clouds overhead with clearing to the east set the stage for a light show. When the light finally arrived, I found that my favorite moment was before the sun dipped below the cloud’s edge, instead causing the cloud to glow right above the aspens on the northwest side of the lake. Deep blue shadow clouds contrasted with the warm glow of the rising sunlight, and the wind was nearly perfectly still.

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Taken on October 7, 2018