Winter Photos… Sans The Snow

Donner Lake Pine Cone, originally uploaded by foolscircle.

Photo Details:
Camera: Nikon D80
F-Stop: f/5.6
Focal Length: 85 mm
Exposure Bias: -0.67
Shutter Speed: 1/250
ISO: 100

The Lake Tahoe region, at the moment, is pretty desolate right now due to an overall lack of snow. It’s a little worrisome, since Northern California’s water supply is largely derived from My dog, Hunter, at Donner Lakemelted snow. While it’s been raining pretty hard down here in the Bay Area, I’m hoping this will keep up and provide a couple of blizzards up in the Sierras… because, well, I really don’t want to end up in another drought.

The more immediate problem, though, is that taking winter pictures with only a minuscule amount of dirty snow is a pain. Two weekends ago, I simply walked around the area near my family’s cabin and took a bunch of texture-based nature photos with what I found on the ground nearby. This past weekend, I ambled down to Donner Lake in search of some more winter-oriented imagery.Surface of Donner Lake

While there still wasn’t any more snow down there, there certainly was a lot of ice coating the surface of the lake. We’re talking some serious ice, too, in certain places: my dog was able to wanter out about 20 feet while sniffing around, and I saw some teenagers standing even farther out on the ice about a half-hour later.

Ice itself is often tricky to shoot, mainly because the background often gets refracted through it and reduces the detail of the textures/crystals. The easiest solution for this conundrum is to light it from behind, or, in certain cases (like with icicles), lighting it from the bottom. As I wandered around the shore, I saw a lot of ice that I couldn’t really control the lighting on. Needless to say, I had to get a little creative in order to make the photos interesting.

Normally, I shoot with my 24-120 mm lens. In this case, my regular lens wasn’t getting meKids playing on the surface of Donner Lake close enough to the interesting items on the lake’s surface. In this case, I switched over to my 70-300 mm lens in order to get closer to the action. Laying down on the boat dock, I was leaning about halfway off the edge and shot roughly a dozen pictures of the pine cone before I was happy. As you can see, the result is at the top of this blog entry.

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Explore posts in the same categories: nature, Photography, winter

2 Comments on “Winter Photos… Sans The Snow”

  1. Erin Says:

    Really great pictures Mike. I can’t wait to see more.

  2. max Says:

    Hey Mike, just found your business card which led me to your site….
    very awesome photography!
    I am impressed!

    cheers
    max


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