Photography is all about light. You can be standing in front of the most incredibly beautiful scenery on the planet with the most advanced camera gear available, but if the light isn’t good, you’re just NOT going to get a great landscape photo. One of the reasons I keep going back to the Nymph/Dream/Emerald Lakes trail in Tyndall Gorge is that I keep hoping for better light. The first time I went, I saw that the sun hadn’t cleared the ridge above Dream Lake by 12:30pm so more than half of the gorge, including the lake, was bathed in perpetual shadow. I went a little later in the day the next time, but it was cloudy that day and the weather conditions precluded decent photography anyway. During my hike to the same place this past Sunday, I was poking around on the frozen surface of Dream Lake, taking pictures of the fascinating patterns in the ice and I thought how spectacular my ice photos were going to be once the sun hit the ice. But by 1:00 or so, I realized that the sun probably never does come all the way above that ridge this time of year… it just skims along right below the ridgeline without ever completely showing itself. I’m still planning on a 4th attempt at Emerald Lake on Friday, but only because I am determined to reach Emerald Lake, not because I think I’m going to get any great photos. I’ll hope for the best, though. I can tell that this is going to be one of those places that I’ll have to visit in every season. But not on weekends.
As I mentioned in my previous post, I’m hoping that by scheduling Emerald Lake Attempt #4 on a Friday, I won’t have to deal with SO very many people. I may have exaggerated a bit when I put the number of fellow hikers on Sunday at 500,000, but really, there were a LOT of people. I prefer a certain measure of solitude when I’m out in my mountains, which is why I usually go on my every-other-Fridays-off and not on weekends.
It’s also more difficult to do landscape photography when there are hordes of people in view. It’s generally easy to clone a couple of people out of a photo with Photoshop, but it takes a lot more work to wipe out hordes of people. Now I do realize that there are significantly more dangers inherent in winter hiking and I do like to have SOME people at least within shouting distance in case I get buried in an avalanche or fall through the ice while walking across a frozen lake or fall off a cliff or something. But just SOME people, not 500,000.
Dream Lake ice patterns
More Dream Lake ice patterns