Getting the shot – Whiteface and Lake Placid – “Icons”
Early on a June morning last year, my alarm went off and I cringed. The urge to hit the “off” button and roll back over in my comfy bed was strong however, I had a plan for the day and needed to get started.
I hit the road and headed for the Adirondacks. Destination: The North Fork of the Boquet River in Keene, NY to photograph Shoebox Falls, Fern Gully, and do a little exploring. As I got closer, the clouds kept getting more and more scarce. Not what a photographer who intends to photograph waterfalls wants to see due to the contrast created by bright sunlight.
I arrived and started up the trail which is a well-worn herd-path that parallels the northwest side of the river. I could see the sun shining strongly through the canopy of green leaves above, but I continued with doubt growing in mind. When I got to a spot that had a clear look at the sky, there was not a cloud in sight so I decided to head back and see what else I could come up with.
As I headed back, I became quite ill and had to sit down for a few moments. as my head was spinning, I told myself that the day was over and I’d just head back home with nothing but a wasted three-hour round trip drive and some time in the woods. I got composed and made it back to my car after stopping to enjoy the scenery of Fern Gully, a picturesque area with a large swimming hole and small waterfall that squeezes out from between some boulders.
When I got back to my car I noticed one “puffy” cloud overhead. I thought about a photo I had wanted to capture for a number of years, but was continuously put off due to weather. I wanted a very specific look to the sky with “puffy” clouds. Despite still feeling ill, I decided to head down route 73 to Lake Placid where I arrived at the Lake Placid Airport, home of Adirondack Flying Service, and found the sky full of those “puffy” clouds! I would not be denied.
With Phil at the controls, we took to the air and headed out for Whiteface Mountain, one of the Adirondack 46 High Peaks. We reached altitude and began to circle the 4,867-foot summit. I popped the window open, aimed my Nikon D7000, and began to photograph this incredible sight. The sky was perfect with an almost electric blue! The clouds were perfect as they looked like cotton-balls scattered about! The landscape was a beautiful green that screamed Summer and I was fortunate to be there at that moment to capture it.
As we circled the summit, my goal was to get a photograph of the mountain in the foreground with Lake Placid (the actual lake) in the distance behind with the Village of Lake Placid also visible. I set my camera to manual and had a circular polarizer attached to my 18-55mm lens. I varied the shots with and without the polarizer to get different looks. As we made each pass, I adjusted my settings quickly to accommodate the changing light. On the fourth and final pass we inched up a little more in elevation and I got the look I had been after. I called it a wrap and we headed back. I was a happy man!
ISO – 200
Focal Length – 26mm
0 Exposure Bias
The final image: