A Cold Morning Photographing at North Lake, CA

Notice the layer of fog that formed above the lake – it was cold!

North Lake is a few miles outside of Bishop, CA along highway 395.  It is one of the most photographed spots in the Eastern Sierra Nevada.  Here is how to do it.

North Lake is one of the prettiest spots I have ever seen and is very popular.  Galen Rowell made this lake famous with this iconic shot. As you gaze at the “peaceful” photo below, imagine 20+ photographers pushed together in a bit of  “combat photography”, tripod-to-tripod trying to get this shot.  Because it is so popular, it is critical to get here early and stake out a good spot.

You need a windless morning to get a good reflection
Peter and some of his “new friends”

This is a sunrise shot, so grab your flashlight and get here early.  This is also a fall color shot with peak color usually in the middle of October.  It can also be quit cold – often below freezing and in the 20s.  I usually use a wide angle lens, polarizer, and a 2 or 3 stop neutral density graduated filter.  It is pretty dark until the light hits the mountains so the exposures will be long.  A tripod is a must.

After making the classic photo toward the west, turn your camera back toward the north and get some close-ups of the trees and some reflection shots.


Once the sunlight starts to hit the mountains, it is pretty much over.  The sky gets a bit washed out.  However, if the wind stays down the reflections can get even better.

To see our blog about the Eastern Sierra Nevada, click here.

To see more of our photos, please go to www.pamphotography.com.

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