We had our first cool weekend of the autumn. Between that and the high clouds, I couldn’t resist getting out for a late afternoon hike and sunset. So, I headed out to Inks Lake State Park about 2 hours before sunset and hiked around on the trails among the granite hills beside the lake. The wispy high clouds gave me hope of a nice sunset.
It was very quiet, at least on the side of the park that I was on and I only encountered one other group of hikers. I hiked to a part of the lake with a lot of dead trees in the water in hopes of finding some interesting birds, but the place was deserted of people and birds. After a while I decided to work on shooting some reflections as the lake calmed down just before sunset (there wasn’t even a motorboat on the lake).
After shooting about with some stumps that weren’t really working for me I settled on this little group of boulders with a few plants clinging to them. My goal was to completely isolate the stones in the water with nothing but reflected sky behind them. I was trying to achieve a surreal images of the stones isolated in negative space.
I shot these with a long lens (150mm) and I don’t have an ND filter for this particular lens, so the best I could do with the following shot is a 2 second exposure at f/32. Fortunately, the lake was mostly calm and the water smoothed out to glass.
The above photo was shot in direct evening sunlight 13 minutes before sunset giving the stones a very warm glow. The next photo was taken 4 minutes later as the sun had gotten into some high clouds on the horizon so the image is quite a bit cooler but perhaps with more texture.
I think I achieved my goal of stones floating surrounded by sky. Perhaps with an ND filter, I could have gotten a longer exposure at a wider aperture and gotten a better mirror image. You do lose sharpness at apertures values as high as I was shooting. I am still happy with what I got and I probably like the warmer image better. What do you think?
As the sun set, I headed to a nearby pier to hopefully get a silhouette of the pier and a sunset. The high clouds were mostly on the horizon at this point so I got back and shot with a longer lens so that the clouds would be more prominent in the shot. There is also a lone figure on the pier fishing though he is a bit swallowed up by the shadows on the water in front of him. The nice thing about people fishing is that they tend to stand still for long periods of time.
I also got down low and close with my wider lens for which I do have an ND filter. I really wanted to glass out the lake and reflect the sunset. The following image was shot at 24mm with a 20 second exposure to smooth the water. The two fishers remained mostly still and I get nice silhouettes on the pier. I was a little late for the high clouds to the top left of frame as they had lost their color.
I am not sure if the above photo tells a story, but it does capture the mood of peacefully fishing at sunset at the lake. Just after I took this, the bright lights across the lake came on, so I got it in just in time.
I hope you enjoyed you autumn Sunday evening as well.