Ripples Above & Below - an Alaska Range Reflection at Sunset

This is an archive post from May, 2010. Since the complete overhaul of the website, I decided to repost it here. I hope you enjoy. Jena and I were headed back from photographing Denali (and the Alaska Range) from the South Overlook on the Park’s Highway, this past Monday night. As we neared Willow, Alaska, we turned our heads to look back at where the sun would be setting. It was slightly above the mountain range, but was already showing a beautiful orange hue. The cloud formations looked very promising. I knew there were several lakes within just a few miles that would offer a good view back towards the Alaskan Range. So this became our mission. The very first lake we passed is the one in this photograph – Kashwitna Lake.

Talk about luck!


This is a 6-image pano. Each one shot vertically to increase resolution across the panorama. I used a graduated neutral density filter (2-stop soft edge Singh-Ray) to balance the exposure of the sky with the reflection. This is a pretty straight forward exposure - I set the exposure off the dramatic pink sky, and let the darker areas fall to silhouettes. I didn't have much room to roam, otherwise I would have worked my way to the left to get the reflection of Denali revealed a bit more. But I didn't have my waders that day - the silt in the lake bottom is pretty 'sucky' stuff so, so I may have gotten pretty stuck had I tried it. This was one of those incredible moments to witness, let alone photograph. And the best part was... not being there alone. As the clouds shifted color and deepened to a pure crimson, the slack-jawed look on Jena’s face was classic. Until she reminded me that I had the same look.

Great evening. Nuf’ said.

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