Inspirations – Jim Patterson
Nikon D300, Nikkor 12-24mm f4 lens @ 12mm 15 sec, f14, ISO 100
Over the 2009 Thanksgiving holiday, my girlfriend Kendra and I decided on a long weekend around Lake Tahoe. We left early enough to arrive by lunch time and allow ourselves plenty of time to scout out and find Bonsai Rock, a secluded spot along the lake’s north eastern shore made famous by Elizabeth Carmel. It seemed like a good place to start as the weather forecast called for worsening wind and potential snow showers as the weekend progressed. If we were going to get reflections, the first day would be our best chance.
Kendra is the GPS guru, and she loaded coordinates for us to check out. As we passed Sand Harbor, I knew Bonsai Rock was close and instructed Kendra to look out the window as it is down a relatively steep incline from the highway. “But the GPS says we have four more miles”, she said. “I don’t think so”, I replied,”it’s only about half a mile or so from Sand Harbor”. At that instant, I hear “there it is!” and the GPS chimes to tell us we had reached our destination. Funny how four miles can be covered in 30 seconds.
We scrambled down the hillside and made our way north along the rocky shore until we came to Bonsai Rock. The lake had been recently drained and there were a lot of rocks exposed compared to images I had seen. I tried a variety of compositions, but this one ultimately won out as I felt the rocks aligned best and led out towards the Bonsai Rock itself. I used my newly acquired Singh-Ray Gold-N-Blue polarizer as well as a 3 stop and 2 stop soft graduated neutral density filters to create this image. It being my first time using the Gold-N-Blue polarizer, I feel there was a little beginner’s luck involved in making this shot. During the peak light in the sky, most of my images had the polarizer dialed so the blue lake water took on more of the golden sunset colors. Fortunately, that little light bulb flickered on in my head and I dialed the polarizer so the lake turned blue once more. ~ Jim Patterson