I was surprised that there was still snow on the ground when we made our trip to Donner Lake. The area around the lake wasn’t as pretty though. The gray snow that still surrounded some houses was negligible. We did stop at the same overlook and, wow, what a difference 3 months can make. Snow still capped the mountains, and the scene was beautiful.
The overlook was the only place that we visited before. This time we went into Donner Lake Memorial State Park. It was here that I had an opportunity to play with a crystal orb. Now that was fun. It took some getting used to, but I was happy with the results. A crystal orb is now on my list.
What did I learn? I believe I’m shooting with more confidence. I’m also getting a great deal of positive feed back on my images, and waiting for the five black and white prints I ordered. I do hope there are no surprises when I open the box. Meaning, I want them to look as they do on my computer!
Here’s a glimpse of Donner Lake and the State Park.
In February, this overlook was covered in snow.
Snow is still on surrounding rocks.
This memorial to the Donner Party stands at the opening to the State Park.
Just an expressive dead tree and its reflection.
A bridge crossing the stream.
Rocks at the side of the stream.
The top of a little waterfall.
When you shoot into the orb, the scene is upside down.
So, I inverted the entire picture.
Another orb scene.
The stream again.
Pretty flowers. Maybe thistles?
Taken at a crystal store in Truckee.
I cropped close to just catch the colors of the art objects.
Let’s see: boots, check; flannel lined leggings, check; three layers on top, check; knitted head scarf, check. I’m all ready for a fun day of shooting in the snow at Donner Lake.
Marlene, Linda and I went off early one Saturday morning to get ahead of the weekend crowds. However, to our surprise, there weren’t a bunch of people on the Donner Lake roads. It was beautiful with temperatures in the high 50’s (Fahrenheit) and sunny. What fun.
The reality is that we drove around the lake, drove to the mountain top and drove into the nearby town of Truckee. Yes, we did get out, walk around and shoot. But, we didn’t hike. Still, the thrill of stepping into a foot of snow was there. At one time, I did fall, butt down, into the fresh icy snow. When I fall, so do my two cameras hanging from a sling. I got up and wiped them down with a towel I brought along. They didn’t suffer. Neither did I.
Since this was my first time shooting in the snow, I read tutorials. Of course they contradicted each other! That’s the frustrating about learning photography, there are many ways to achieve the same end. So, I decided to bracket my shots. At least one of the three would be good, right? When I uploaded them to my computer, I decided that the original exposure shot was the correct one. They did need some processing in Lightroom to tone down the white and, sometimes, blue of the snow.
And, we met a few nice people who were more than willing to chat. I get it now Greg! What did I learn from this experience? I discovered that whatever your physical capabilities you can have fun in the snow. Just make sure you’re covered for whatever weather Mother Nature brings–boots, hat, enough clothing layers and good friends.
Donner Lake as seen from almost to the summit.
Now these people are hiking! Underneath the snow there is a trail!
Icicles hanging from a roof.
Now this small house is truly snowed in!
We talked to the man who’s sons made this snowman and another. What fun!
A look at some of the lake side homes.
In Truckee, a brewery has made a home of an old gas station.
In Cisco Grove (down the mountain from Donner Lake) a young boy is getting a sled ride.
These red buds were abundant in Cisco Grove.
Here’s a closer view.
Back at Donner: The stairway to…..?
I enjoyed shooting with my ultra-wide lens. A deep view of the Lake.
This gentleman in his 80’s built this home. He’s come up to do some shoveling on the stairs. He summers in Alaska!
The sun’s rays are streaming through the trees, giving a rainbow effect.