Sunday, September 18, 2011

Dream Lake the "other way"

Dream Lake is one of the most photographed places in Rocky Mountain National Park and probably in North America. It is a short and easy hike from the trailhead and can easily be done at sunrise. I've been there many times and am usually passing through. I photographed the sunrise there many years ago at sunrise in the winter. Should do it again some time soon with better gear. The typical way people photograph this lake is looking towards Hallett peak. There are however other nice viewpoints on this lake. One is further up towards Lake Emerald looking back. On the hike to lakes Haiyaha and Emerald with my daughter on labor day, we passed by the lake and I had to take the image again, once on the way up and once on the way down.

On the way up:
Symmetry. Nikon D300, Tokina 11-16mm at 11mm, ISO 200, f/4.0, 1/80s. Single handheld exposure.
Considering how windy it was at the usual viewpoint where people take pictures I was very surprised how still the lake was here giving a great reflection.

And on the way down:

Clarity. Nikon D300, Tokina 11-16mm at 11mm, f/8.0, 3.0s, single exposure on tripod.
Also check out the horizontal version of this. Amazing how clear it was here even when I needed a 3 second exposure!

As a comparison here is the shot I took years ago during winter:
Frozen lake sunrise
Frozen. Nikon D50, Nikon 18-55mm at 18mm, f/8.0, 1/500s, single handheld exposure.
I couldn't go quite as wide yet at that time without tricks as you can see. I just snapped that off as an afterthought, thinking that the light was already gone as it was 2 hours after sunrise or so.

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