Sunset on Thousand Islands

Another backpack. Another dramatic sunset.

 

This time from the Thousand Island Lake in the Ansel Adams Wilderness just east of Yosemite National Park.

 

This place is truly a gem of the Sierra Nevada.

 

Pristine snow-melt lakes meet the thin crisp and fresh mountain air of the Sierras at an altitude of 10000 ft.

Where the peace, solitude and mosquitoes meet.

Where afternoon thunderstorms and dramatic sunsets are a daily occurrence.

Where the trees touch the sky to form a harmonious relationship.

And where bears are the king of the land....

 

It was probably such a place the great naturalistJohn Muir had in mind when he said:

Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.

 

Back to the scene in mind.

After having set up the campsite, I started wandering around the rather windy (and largely mosquito-free) lake trying to find a good spot to shoot what I thought was going to be a good sunset. A hour before sunset, a large band of Altocumulus clouds started marching in towards the great divide and I knew they would give off a rather colorful sunset. What I didn't know and was praying for was where would be the ideal place to shoot them - the wind hadn't died down yet and finding good reflections was hard.

 

Eventually, just at the very end, a small inlet in the lake calmed down enough to from some nice reflections. Of course, no wind => mosquitoes, and boy, did I suffer. Having not sprayed any DEET, I bore the full brunt of their attack for the 15-20 minutes I was shooting there. But I just had enough patience to capture some HDR imagery of the sunset.

 

For this scene, I had 5 exposures combined with photomatix and later processing in Photoshop to remove the blurry clouds.

 

I shall end the post with another gem from John Muir:

Keep close to Nature's heart... and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.

 

See it in Black.

 

Thousand Island Lake

CA USA

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Taken on July 25, 2009