Receding Waters at Rattlesnake Lake

After a month and a half of doing almost nothing but edit photos from Sakuracon, Emerald City Comic Con, an After Hours themed shoot in a Tacoma antique store, a six hour beauty shoot, and a model who reappeared suddenly six months after a TFP shoot we did in November to ask about the work we did I have made a commitment to go out one day every week and shoot landscapes for myself.

The Pacific Northwest doesn’t make it easy to catch the golden hour. As of May 15 the sun rises at around 5:30 in the morning.   Factor in caffeination and travel time and you’re looking at a 4:30 departure from Seattle.   Fortunately the Pacific Northwest is also frequently overcast so the golden hour means very little when it has to battle its way through thick cloud cover.

At least that’s the excuse I make for sleeping in until 6:00 and leaving at 6:30.

My first trip to Rattlesnake Lake was immediately after a series of heavy rainstorms in the region which swelled the lake.  A tree growing out of a stump that was a good ten yards into the lake during my first visit now sat comfortably on the shoreline.   As summer progresses I expect the level of the lake to continue dropping and plan to return at least once more before the dry season ends in September.

This trip was dramatically overcast with occasional drizzle.  The cloud cover kept creeping lower over the mountains as the morning progressed but I was fortunate to catch the clouds just as they brushed the tip of Rattlesnake Ridge.

For this series of photos I used a ND 3.0 filter on my Fuji 10-24mm f/4.0 lens at f/5.6 to f/8.0 for 10-30 second exposures as the clouds intermittently muffled the morning sun.

I did a few shots with the Rokinon 12mm f/2.0 with the infrared filter but was happier with the natural light.   The infrared did have the advantage of separating the rocky cliff face of Rattlesnake Ridge from the pine forest so I plan to go back and take a look at the infrared shots to see how they turned out.