Ice and Grass, Reflection Lake, Mount Rainier National Park

Ice and Grass, Reflection Lake, Mount Rainier National Park

The last time I was actually out shooting was now nearly two months back, when I made a day trip down to Mount Rainier with Mike Bohlander. Around mid-morning we reached Reflection Lake, which is best known for its crystal-clear reflections of Mount Rainier. While neither of us were particularly interested in taking that postcard shot yet again, we were both quite interested in the shoreline, which was still frozen, but melting fast. Although only October when we were shooting, the sun was already raising to a noticeably lower angle than it does through the summer, and the low angle of the light helped to bring out the crystal textures throughout the ice.

I think we both struggled to translate what was great to the eye into a photographic composition. I ended up framing a scene I quite like, but as I am still somewhat slow in setting up my view camera, the light had shifted enough to change the scene from what I'd originally framed, but the result - seen here - still works for me. Imagine that the light and shadow, as time passed, movie from the bottom left towards the top right. At the time I began framing this the patch of grasses in the bottom left were still lit by the sun, but 5 to 10 minutes later the light shifted as you see here. Next time I'll have to try to anticipate where the light will in a scene like this.

While peak fall color had passed, there were still some points of red across the lake that I was happy to pull into the scene. The deep blue sky that morning reflected nicely off the surface of the ice, to create a nice color contrast with the browns and green of the surrounding grasses. For me, I felt these elements worked together.

Tachihara 4x5 | Caltar II-N 150mm f/5.6 | f/25 | 1/8s | Fuji Provia 100F | Tripod

See more related images in my Mount Rainier National Park Gallery.

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