Stanley Lake - Sunset vs. Storm 2

Stanley Lake - Sunset vs. Storm 2

This series will always be special to me.

I was camping with my wife beyond Lower Stanley when the thunder started to roll. I was planning to do some star trails but the clouds brought an end to that plan. Another photographer I know has a great shot of lightning in the Sawtooth's and I thought why not. As I passed Lower Stanley, I could tell that plan would not work either. There was a tremendous down poor with great blackness. The lightning was just pulses of light with no definition. However, there were some great gold and orange clouds at the other end of the valley. It seemed to have Stanley Lake written all over it.

It seemed to take forever to get there. There was a construction signal light that I caught in exactly the wrong phase. Finally made it past there and on the road to the lake. There I encountered a guy with a fifth wheel and a boat behind it. He was moving real slow and needed his half in the middle. I caught a view of the back of his head in his side mirrors and realized he was watching the sunset which by this time was starting to fade. After doing a passing maneuver that I hope that my kids never try, I made it to the lake just as the last rays of the sun were leaving McGowan peek.

Then, while putting up my tripod, and man that had been watching the sunset with his wife and child came down to talk. He told me how it had been the greatest sunset he had ever seen and it is really too bad that I was not there five minutes earlier. He was a nice guy, but at this point strangulation seemed appropriate.

I had noticed that the direct light of the sunset was pretty much gone by this stage, but there was some indirect reflected light was looking pretty interesting. I told the guy that there might still be some interesting activity yet. As time progressed, the pictures started to take on a different life and the rain and lightning started over McGowan peek. At this point, the man's wife came down to get him. He had been hit by lightning once before, and his wife was not going to let it happen again.

I was camping with my wife beyond Lower Stanley when the thunder started to roll. I was planning to do some star trails but the clouds brought an end to that plan. Yelena has a great shot of lightning in the Sawtooth's and I thought why not. As I passed Lower Stanley, I could tell that plan would not work either. There was a tremendous down poor with great blackness. The lightning was just pulses of light with no definition. However, there were some great gold and orange clouds at the other end of the valley. It seemed to have Stanley Lake written all over it.

It seemed to take forever to get there. There was a construction signal light that I caught in exactly the wrong phase. Finally made it past there and on the road to the lake. There I encountered a guy with a fifth wheel and a boat behind it. He was moving real slow and needed his half in the middle. I caught a view of the back of his head in his side mirrors and realized he was watching the sunset which by this time was starting to fade. After doing a passing maneuver that I hope that my kids never try, I made it to the lake just as the last rays of the sun were leaving McGowan peek.

A couple of shots later, with the camera opened up to 10 second exposure at F/2.8 and ISO-200, this shot happened. It was quite dark by this time. Those of you familure with photography will realize that the camera setting indicate that it was very dark by this time.

After seeing it on the computer screen, I realized what a fun shot it was. I realized that if I had gotten there earlier, I would have probably taken a picture of a vivid sunset. Nothing wrong with that, It is hard to have too many sunset shots. But, I would probably have packed up as it faded and missed the magic.
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