I arrived here in the inky blackness on an autumn morning in September of last year. There were no visible details or color. The landscape consisted of vague lines and silhouettes made of various shades of black. The sky was moonless, clear and filled with sparkly stars. There was just enough light to tease a hint of a soft shimmer from the lakes waters.
A mild breeze blew from the far side of the lake into my face. In its wake, was a faint perfume of pure flowing mountain water and pine which caused me to close my eyes and inhale deeper through my nose. Ah, the seductive elixir of the wilderness. "Honey I'm home!", I think.
This was the first morning of my Autumn Pilgrimage for 2016. I had no idea what to expect as far as autumn color goes along the lake. Was I to early for good color? Were the trees still all green? Or, maybe to late and all the aspens were barren. Predicting autumn color is a bit of a crap-shoot, but you can't win if you don't play.
So, I sat quietly sipping hot black coffee and watched the blackness of night slowly drain to wherever the blackness of night is stored and watched the first hints of morning slowly trickle in and fill the newly created void. Like slowly unwrapping a Christmas present, the treasures of the wilderness and the new day were gently revealed as a peaceful calmness settled in.
To me, there are few sights more beautiful than soft morning light revealing the first hints of detail on a new morning. The first faint shimmers of light on a lake or visible texture in a silhouette or shadow, these are emotional times and experiences for me. I was so excited when I began seeing the first slight hints of autumn color! Once I had enough light to work with I framed up my first shot of the day. Click!
Inspecting the image on the LCD on the back of my camera I was not pleased with my first exposure. The morning breeze made the water look to choppy for my liking and my camera angle was to low which merged the distant offshore rocks with the base of the mountain. Yikes!
I recomposed and made a few more attempts until I produced my desired result. This is a 5 minute exposure made around 630AM.