Photographer's Note

In the Wasatch Mountains above the cities of Salem and Payson, are some lakes known as Payson Lakes. These lakes are at a high elevation, roughly 3,000m. This location is popular to those who live in the area for boating, camping and fishing. At this elevation autumn comes early, and the aspen were starting to turn in early September.

The air is normally very clear, but on this day, due to numerous forest fires in California and Nevada, the sky was hazey, and was starting to turn an invigorating magenta at sunset.

I looked for a vanatage point where I could setup my 4x5 and tripod and not have any skyline, but after looking at the mirroring of the reflection in the lake, I chose to keep a little sky for repeating shape and a sense of distance.

I used a 210mm lens which for a 35mm would be something like a 70mm (or a 50mm on DSLR). Slighly long, enough to compress the distance slightly.

I needed to keep the foreground that was rather close in focus all the way to infinity, and I didn't want to disort the uprightness of the trees, so I shifted the back to accomodate the foreground and tilted the back to keep the horizontal area in focus for the reflection and used a moderately small aperature to give DOF in the new plane of focus.

Exposure was place on the aspen, to put the brightest areas on zone 6.3, and with the spot meter I could tell pretty well where the shadow was going to infringe into the detail, which was acceptable. I decided not to prexpose the film to get better rendering in the shadows, but to let the shadows be dense for more drama, thus not over emphasizing the sky and shifitng the gradient on the water.

When printing this image on Cibachrome, I could never quite get it to look how I had visualized it when I took it. But with a little work in Lightroom and The Gimp, I have more closely realized the original visualization. I know it has been 7 years since the exposure, but I take detailed notes when I photograph, expecially large format.

Vincelavisse, Boots, Dragonheart, Floydian, bakes888, dpenrod, Xoitchi has marked this note useful

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Additional Photos by Dana Rees (danarees) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 133 W: 128 N: 591] (2502)
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