This is an image I've wanted to compose for years, but Mother Nature just wouldn't cooperate with my schedule. Fortunately, as we hit the right weather pattern for an inversion effect here in Lake Tahoe this winter, I was able to make the time to be in the right place at the right time. The patience and effort paid off.
Although not a physically demanding adventure, aside from dealing with extreme cold, it was quite an early excursion. I left my home in South Lake Tahoe several hours before sunrise and slowly drove the icy roads to the north end of the lake and up to a vista point along the Mount Rose Highway above Incline Village. Upon arrival, I "quickly" set up my 8x10 film camera by the light of my headlamp and waited for there to be enough ambient light to actually focus the beast. As a hint of light made composing and focussing possible, I decided to use the panoramic 4x10 inch film format, leaving much empty sky out of my composition. Now that I was set up, composed and ready, I chose not to wait for sunrise.
I decided to create a long exposure during the blue hour of light approximately 20 minutes before sunrise. As luck would have it, that was the winner! With the sea of cloud below filling the Basin, Lake Tahoe truly appeared to be "the Lake of the Sky". With the fingers of cloud reaching into the forest, snow covered mountains rising above, the pre-dawn glow of the heavens above made for a truly dreamlike scene. I had envisioned a unique image of Lake Tahoe during an inversion occurrence. The surreal glow of the pre-dawn sky that bathed the whole scene in cool color added the magic I was hoping for.
If you'd like to make this new image part of your private or corporate collection, it is available immediately in several sizes on both photographic paper or aluminum.
Camera: Canham 8x10 Metal Field
Lens: Schneider Super-Symmar 150mm XL
Tripod: Gitzo 1325 Carbon Fiber
Tripod Head: Really Right Stuff BH55 Ball Head
Light Meter: Sekonic L558R
Film: Fuji Provia 100 RDPIII 8x10 inch Transparency
Lee 2 stop Splid ND Filter
Exposure: 6 seconds