Thursday, December 3, 2009

Tahoe in Gold-N-Blue

I can thank the slumping economy for one thing. In eleven years of working at a retail outfitter, I've never had the entire Thanksgiving weekend off. When I found out this year would be different, I immediately started thinking of places close to home that I could get away. The plan was to do the traditional Thanksgiving holiday with the family and then Friday through Sunday shoot in a location I haven't done before.

Well, on Monday, I get a call from Mom that my sister is too busy moving into her new home to do Thanksgiving. I took this as a blessing in disguise to have yet another day off. Three days became four.

My girlfriend and I decided on Lake Tahoe. There were predictions for possible snow and snow showers, wind, and dropping temperatures, and the thought of camping quickly went out the window. Motels for under $50 per night became highly appealing. Ah, hot showers and baths after a long day of shooting. We were living in luxury at a dumpy motel.

I recently picked up a Singh-Ray Gold-B-Blue polarizer and figured the azure blue water of Lake Tahoe could be a perfect location to really see what this unique filter could do.

If you are interested in this filter, or any of Singh-Ray's filters, they have a great blog with a multitude of photographers sharing their craft and how they get the most out of their Singh-Ray filters. Having read up on the capabilities of the Gold-N-Blue, I was excited to give it a try.

The image at the top was shot on Thanksgiving evening at the popular, yet remote Bonsai Rock. The fact that this image was captured on a day normally spent indoors with family was not lost on me. I'll have to thank my sister for that one.

Although Bonsai Rock is not hidden per say, it is not easily located without doing proper research ahead of time. We arrived with at least an hour before sunset and had plenty of time to scout the location. Ample time really does help to get the very best composition.

I immediately was "wow'ed" by the colors I was seeing through the Gold-N-Blue polarizer. Though like any polarizer on a super wide angle lens, you can get uneven polarization if you are not careful.

I used a long exposure to calm the slight ripples from the wind and the polarizer set to a more blue color for the water. The sunset took care of the sky.

Be sure to check in soon, as I plan on writing more in depth details about my initial experience with the Singh-Ray Gold-N-Blue polarizer.


  1. This is really stunning, Jim! The colors came out fantastic, and love that classic feel of large round stones in the smooth waters of Lake Tahoe.

  2. Stunning image Jim! I am going to look into this filter. Thanks for posting the info.