Dusk at the Lake

On Monday the completely overcast skies in the morning transitioned to partly cloudy by the late afternoon and I was eager to shoot something, so I headed to the lake to try to get some sunset reflections. I have been here before, but had been thinking of another vantage point to shoot from.

I got down to my location and found that it would be an OK place to get some sky reflections in the lake. There were also plenty of flying insects around to keep company with me. I really have to remember to put some bug repellent in my camera bag. There are a lot of stumps in the water here and I thought that this would add a little character to the scene.

Sunset reflected in Inks Lake Texas
Nikon D750 + 16-35mm, f/4; 24mm, f/8, 1/100s, ISO100

This was just as the sun was on the horizon and there are rays across the sky as well as on the water in the foreground. I would have liked to have moved to the right, but that would have put me in the murky water.

The sun went down and I had hopes for the high clouds turning brilliant shades of pink and orange. I got a little of that, but not the spectacle that I was hoping for.

Sunset reflected in Inks Lake Texas
Nikon D750 + 16-35mm, f/4; 16mm, f/8, 1/60s, ISO100

I also messed around with brackets for an HDR merge, but this really didn’t look good and I stayed with the single exposures. I was hoping that the foreground stump would make more of a statement, but it is too dark, I think. The patch of grass did seem to be well placed to block reflections of clouds though.

I waited around after the sunset, hoping for some better color with my camera perched on the rocks as shown in the picture below.


It was very peaceful, being far enough from the main highway that I could hear no traffic or motorboats. Just the sound of the insects and occasional splashes in the water from some animal. I made a video for about 30 seconds to capture the peacefulness of the moment. It is nice to be able to take time in a calm place to listen to your own thoughts. See the video below if you like.

Dusk at Inks Lake from Jason Frels on Vimeo.

The sun continued to sink and the light began leaving the sky. It looked to me like there would be no ‘second sunset’, just some gold light in the humid air on the western horizon. I tried to get silhouettes and reflections with the yellow horizon for a parting shot.

Blue hour reflected in Inks Lake Texas
Nikon D750 + 16-35mm, f/4; 19mm, f/8, 1/5s, ISO100

The sky did turn a very brilliant yellow for a few minutes. Perhaps a longer focal length would have done a better job of capturing this. I might have also tried to get down closer to the water. I did try a few long exposures, but I didn’t really like how they came out.

I bid my farewell to the swarming bugs (which I spent quite a bit of time removing from the last image), packed up, got back in the car and headed for home. It is not very easy to anticipate a good sunset. Sometimes I don’t think that it will be worth the bother and then I will look out and it will be amazing. Sometimes I get lucky.

Thanks for reading.

12 thoughts on “Dusk at the Lake

    1. Right now they have about half of the hiking trails closed for some reason. I forgot to ask the people at the office why. The other hiking trails that go around the waterfall out to the bird blind are open, but these aren’t really long hikes. For hiking, I kind of like Colorado Bend State Park better.

      For these pictures, I went to a place where I could pull off of the road and park the car and go set up and take pictures. The hiking trails to this location from inside the park are closed right now.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I was afraid that the video was boring, but I was trying to convey the mood. A motorized pan-head would have been fun. I wish I had remembered bug repellant as swatting all the insect affected my concentration quite a bit and plus I had a conference call starting about half an hour after sunset that I had to jump on.

      There is a Texas Parks and Wildlife TV show that I used to watch and at the end when they role the credits, instead of music they would often show a scene like this with the nature sounds (biophony, I think) and have the credits rolling over this. I always enjoyed that for some reason and wanted to recreate it a bit. The funny thing is that it took me some time to remember how to make my camera take video as I have reprogrammed the record button to be an ISO button.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I’ve just been taking some photos of waterfalls here after the recent rain ( post coming up soon). I was trying record how fierce the water was and I also tried a video of the scene. However it was hand held and I tried some panning which didn’t quite work so I’m not sure whether I’ll use it. But I think that it’s a good idea to give another perspective.


    1. Been raining a lot here as well. Changing of the seasons I guess. I have been thinking of going down to a waterfall East of Austin to see what I can get. My kids played there when they were little.


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