Title: Placid Shore, a foggy image of Lake Tahoe from Jan 31st, 2020
Photographing Lake Tahoe is challenging. For all of the epic photos a basic google search reveals, along with the numerous eye-catching images plastering local marketing campaigns and gallery walls, capturing these scenes is not always a walk in the park. Personally, at times I’ve felt (for the lack of a better word) cursed when it comes to great conditions while shooting at the lake. Snow turns to rain, the wind comes up out of nowhere and sunsets turn grey or don’t materialize. The best light always seems to come when I am taking care of other obligations without my camera or time to pull it out. Looking through my Lake Tahoe portfolio will show you some nice images, but a rather glaring lack of epic light and phenomenal sunsets.
The day the fog rolled in thick and heavy was an exception. This would turn into one of the more magical moments we've ever had at the Lake.
Leah Emerson Shooting in the FogLeah lining up her shots on this foggy day at Lake Tahoe Leah Emerson Shooting in the FogLeah lining up her shots on this foggy day at Lake Tahoe
Leah Emerson composing her images in the mist.
At first seeing this massive fog bank over the lake was discouraging. We (Leah and I) were hoping for a nice sunset, along with the super low winds that were forecasted. Low wind forecasts are always attractive, because even a 5-10 MPH wind will break the surface of the water, obscuring the beautiful depth and clarity. Once we were below the shroud, the swirling fog was so thick we couldn’t even see the water from the road. Only after parking and starting the trek down to the water did we realize how special these conditions were. Never have we experienced such peace and quiet at the lake. Not a branch or needle stirred. The water was perfect. Unbelievably blue and glassy. As the fog silently swirled around us the sun played with poking through, giving us a variety of different lighting conditions. We shot till it was almost pitch black, playing with long exposures, polarizers and different angles in a dreamlike state. With smiles on our faces and a weightlessness to our steps, we returned to the car with some truly unique images of Lake Tahoe. This was a brief moment in time we will never forget.
Along with Placid Shore (at the top of the post), these were our favorites from the shoot:
Title: Cerulean Tranquility
My personal favorite from the day.
Warm HazeOpen Edition Image by Leah Emerson Location: East Shore of Lake Tahoe Title: Warm Haze
Illuminance in the MistOpen Edition Image by Sky Emerson Location: East Shore of Lake Tahoe Title: Illuminance in the Mist
Above and BeneathOpen Edition Image by Sky Emerson Location: East Shore of Lake Tahoe Title: Above and Beneath