Sunday, May 29, 2011

Whiskey Skies

Whiskey Skies, originally uploaded by navandale.

Spectacular sunset over the Oak Bottom arm of Whiskeytown Lake. This was my stop after leaving Redwood National Forest on my National Park trek. I wasn't actually expecting anything special to come from Whiskeytown National Park (in comparison to many of the other National Parks I have seen and would see). That thought was stoked by the fact that the waterfall that I had wanted to visit and photograph had all sorts of trail-construction. 

On my approach to Whiskeytown through Willow Creek, I could tell that the sunset was going to be beautiful... But, I was surrounded by canyon walls, and really wanted a shot with Shasta Bally in the background. Well, as I exited the canyon and rounded a bend I saw this scene... I had to stop! Fortunately, there was a campground parking lot about 50 meters ahead. I pulled in, parked, and rushed to get my camera and tripod.

In my flip-flops I navigated the steep, thistle-covered bank to the shore-line. The shoreline didn't offer much in the way of foreground... all there was was a lonely rock far off to the side, which only offered one angle of view (lest I include the man-made embankment that made up the northwest shore).  I considered photographing the scene with just lake and sky, more of an exact mirror, but it just wasn't as interesting without something in the foreground.  So, I got my tripod folded wide open to allow for a nice low angle on the rock, and still see enough sky.  The only available angle from which to shoot the foreground, not get the man-made embankment, but still see the clouds and mountains required that I put the legs of my tripod in the water, and I squat in a smelly mud.  I took a series of shots as the light quickly changed, but this image was the first I captured, and the best of the evening.

The only way to capture the completeness of the scene was to shoot it as a panoramic. This is an HDR pano made from 4 horizontal frames. Each frame is an HDR image created from 3 RAW images using Photomatix Pro. Pano stitched in Photoshop.  Very little post processing was done to this image.  A little dust-spot stamping, unsharp mask, and noiseware standard in the sky. 

Enjoy, and thanks for visiting! :-)


  1. Whiskeytown is spectacular. I love living here.

  2. Yeah, it is indeed a beautiful place. I look forward to spending more time there! Thanks for reading/commenting! :-)