Inks Lake

It was a miserable, cold, misty, cloudy day. But it was the last day of my time off for the Christmas break and I was tired of being in the house and not out shooting anything because of the weather. So, I went for a drive and ended up at Inks Lake State Park out Northwest of Austin. I figured that at least I would try some black and whites with the overcast sky against the lake.

In the below pictures, I experimented with using black and white with the cloudy sky. I could probably use an ND filter to smooth out the water, but I don’t have one that fits this lens. I tried to make this simple with small boulders or plants in the foreground, the trees to hold the left side of the photo and the wide lake on the right with a contrasted sky. I don’t really think that these pictures work all that well.

I also experimented with a foreground cactus. I wanted the green to show up in the cactus so this is a color image. I struggled with how much vertical space the cactus should take in the image with respect to the lake and sky. I ended up attempting thirds of the frame for each. As you can see, it was a dark, gloomy (and cold) afternoon.

Inks Lake cactus on cloudy day

I moved to a different area of the park to a place with nice reflections in the water and I figured it would be almost abandoned on a New Years day with the temperature below freezing and aside from a couple of other people, I was alone.

Below are the rocks reflecting in the lake, with the angled lines coming together at the waterline to almost form an arrow. I didn’t get this photo originally, but I did find that two of my pictures had the same focal length and exposure, so I merged them as a panorama and cropped this out of it. I didn’t care to have much of the sky as it was a flat gray anyway. This is my favorite picture of the day with the rocky reflections.

Inks Lake reflections

There were quite a few ducks and geese in the lake, so I put on my 70-200mm lens and waited with freezing hands for them to swim closer to me. They didn’t get very close to me, but I got a few of them in places where they showed well against the water and there was a decent background.

Inks Lake duck

In the below photo, there is a duck and the rocks in the background with the reflections stretched across the water. I like the way it shows the scale of the rocks. This is my second favorite picture from the outing.

Inks Lake duck reflections

At this point my hands were getting numb. I got up and hiked around a bit, but didn’t see anything else that I wanted to photograph. It wasn’t cold enough for the waterfall to be frozen. Next time I will probably get an ND filter and do some long exposures.

Thanks for reading, please leave a comment.


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