Lake of Dreams

It seems like I have spent the past two weeks trawling through my image archives making the best of previously undeveloped pictures rather then getting out and about actually photographing stuff. The weather has been generally appalling with little in the way of obvious opportunities. The met office forecast some pretty lacklustre sleet showers for this evening, despite the hysterical predictions of snowmageddon end of the world weather-bomb that the more excitable media outlets would have us believe.

On the off chance the weather gods may serve up something interesting I headed out with a van full of dogs and camera to scout out the local area for inspiration. My first port of call was the 3 sisters lake. With a fat, bright moon hanging low in the sky I had an idea to catch its reflection in the still waters. After messing about with the camera settings, and even resorting to an ND grad to quieten the sky a bit, I managed only to capture a series of over exposed shots of the moon and a frame full of lens glare. The moon was so bright that it washed out the rest of the image.

I decided to try a different approach and ignore the moon completely for along exposure shot of the lake and the Rangers hut. A couple of security lights cast interesting hues on the trees around the hut, and that powerful moon was radiating its influence all over the sky. I wound the ISO up to 3200, and opened up the aperture to get a good depth of field.

The autofocus couldn’t cope with the dark conditions, and my eyes are 20 years too old for reliable manual focussing in such low light. I opted for manual, took an educated guess and hoped the DoF would make up for any shortcomings in my focus. With a 30 second exposure the dim lake suddenly sprang into life on the viewfinder and I knew I had something worth capturing.

I could have easily battened down the hatches tonight and shut out an unpleasant evening, but was well rewarded with some decent images for the effort of taking a chance. the snow has now arrived but I’ll wait to see what sunrise offers rather than venture out once more!

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