This past July I traveled to Crater Lake National Park, here in Oregon. Can you believe it’s my first time visiting since becoming a photographer? My visit was long overdue!
Since Oregon and the rest of the Pacific Northwest had such a wet spring, there was still a bit of snow hanging around. Oh, and that means lots of mosquitoes! Luckily the worst of it was around the rim and not necessarily around the campground. So it wasn’t bad back at the campsite.
My goal visiting such an iconic place was to not get the typical post card shots of the rim. I really wanted something different. So I was determined to keep my eyes open for other possibilities. During my time at this iconic place, light wasn’t always in my favor so that compelled me to keep looking. Over the years of being a photographer, I have learned that you can get great shots even during the daylight hours. I have written about this very thing over at Visual Wilderness: Don’t Dismiss Daylight Hours for Taking Great Photos.
One thing that really caught my eye one afternoon was the clouds reflecting on the vivid, blue water. I happened to be looking for The Phantom Ship rock. The above photo shows the photo as I saw it when I first came upon this location. I probably would have deleted this photo as this is a typical post card kind of shot and I was looking for something unique. I kept it for purpose of demonstration. It was by no means easy to photograph from the edge of the rim due to the amount of trees in the way and just a couple of viewpoints that were free of them blocking it. So once I found this location, I decided to use my Sigma 100-400mm lens on my Sony A7R IVA and turn my camera from horizontal to vertical so I could avoid the trees and take advantage of all those cloud reflections. The clouds were of course on the move so I just had to wait patiently for them to get closer to the rock so that I could find a compelling composition. Another thing I was hoping for was to also get some light on the rock, instead of shadows. So it really was a waiting game! Often times in landscape photography you really do need to have a lot of patience in order to get the composition you really love and the light that will enhance your subject in a pleasing way.
This photo of The Phantom Ship and the gorgeous reflections and variations of blue is my favorite photograph from my trip there. I felt satisfied that I came away from the photo trip with something different than the ordinary from this iconic national park.