June 8, 2009 – Upper Silver Lake

Upper Silver Lake, Buckhorn Wilderness

Upper Silver Lake, Buckhorn Wilderness

June 8, 2009


This was taken at Upper Silver Lake, in the Buckhorn Wilderness on the Olympic Peninsula. (Just outside Olympic National Park.) This is absolutely not the last time you’ll see a picture from the vicinity of Upper Silver Lake, because I got a lot of great pics on that trip.

This was taken in the very early morning, after we had camped out near the lake. I had just woken up a little while earlier, and was taking a casual stroll around the lake. Most of the area was in the shade, since the lake is surrounded on all sides by huge ridges, but the sun was making its way down a couple of the surrounding peaks. There were two problems with it though (photographically speaking): first, the scene was too big to fit in the camera frame. I couldn’t seem to get both the lake and the peaks in there at the same time. Second (and this is something anyone who takes pictures runs across ALL the time), is that the human eye is REALLY good at handling large variations in brightness. As in, when you look at a scene where half of it is in shadow, and the rest is bright and sunlit, you say “Wow, that part is bright, and that part is in shade”. The camera, on the other hand, has to pick one or the other to expose right, and you’re basically out of luck on the other one. As in, you can either expose the stuff in the shade, and everything else will be over exposed, or you can expose the bright stuff, and everything in the shade will be basically black. One common way around it is to use a split neutral density filter, which is basically a piece of glass you put in front of your lens that is half clear, half shaded, so you darken the bright bits, and bring them closer together. But, I didn’t have one handy, oh well.

So, I decided to just play around with the reflection. (I’ve noticed that I use reflections a lot.. hmm..) Since the water doesn’t reflect all of the light, it naturally darkened it enough so that it worked, and it also solved the problem of getting everything in the frame. (Since I was able to use the otherwise wasted space of the water to pack in more content.) Excellent, nice work Dave, high-fives all around.

Map: http://tinyurl.com/mnb7vu

I used the terrain map this time instead of satellite, because the lake was still covered in snow when the satellite photo was taken.

Notes: Canon EOS Rebel XT, 18-55 mm kit lens.  1/100s, f/5.6, ISO 800.  Focal length: 18mm.

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    […] trip out to the Washington coast was one of those times. The time I hiked out to Silver Lakes was another (and […]

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