By John Haywood
It had been a while since I’ve been able to get out with my camera and I was jumping at the opportunity. Despite a questionable forecast, I booked a room at The Golden Arrow in Lake Placid in hopes of capturing both a sunset and a sunrise during my trip.
I arrived in Lake Placid that morning with a couple of ideas for the sunset photo; most of which involved Whiteface Mountain or the Heart Lake area. I stopped to do some scouting at Connery Pond where the sky was an electric blue with beautiful contrasting white and gray clouds that, at times, enveloped the snowy summit of Whiteface. The low clouds to the west made me doubtful for a dazzling sunset so, after grabbing a few shots, I moved on and headed over to the hotel to check-in.
I wasn’t sure what to expect as those low clouds kept creeping in, but I wasn’t about to pass it by. I headed to the John Brown Farm and found a view of the MacIntyre Range. I walked up a slight hill in a field and set up in the shadow of the Ski Jumps. I had a feeling it wouldn’t be one of those bright and jaw-dropping sunsets as those clouds drifted across the sky, but I wanted to wait it out. Looking behind me, Whiteface became surrounded by low clouds, so this was the right place to be.
I lined up the shot with a cluster of trees on the left and the house and trees on the right. The mountains were the focal point in the middle with the clouds above them. Then, I waited.
As the sun got lower, so did the already frigid temperature and the light wind was a constant reminder that I forgot my hat. I waited for a while and at one point, the color started to come through in the background, but never lit up the sky. I persisted but was ready to call it when suddenly a hint of magenta began to appear on the snow-capped summits of the range and clouds above. The color became deeper and now painted the clouds. Using a remote shutter release and mirror lock-up, I made my settings and released the shutter a few times before the fleeting beauty gave way to dark and drab clouds which again took over the sky. In a matter of seconds, the best of what was to come, had come and gone. I waited a little while longer to no avail then sprinted to the warm confines of my car.
Exposure information –
Camera: Nikon D750
Exposure time: 1/60
Exposure bias: 0
The final image –