Getting the Shot: Autumn on Heart Lake

By John Haywood

It was an early Fall morning in the Adirondacks; the leaves were beginning to change and the sky was mostly clear with a few picturesque clouds drifting about. Heart Lake was its usual beautiful self.

The day started with an early morning drive to Norman Ridge Road for a sunrise that failed to impress as the clouds kept the sun from displaying those dazzling colors. After hanging around a bit, I did get one photo that I was OK with.

I decided to head over to Heart Lake near Lake Placid to see what I could find there. By the time I arrived and checked in with the High Peaks Information Center, the sky had cleared up and it was shaping up to be a beautiful day! I walked over to the beach where there’s a small dock with Adirondack chairs usually lined up on it. I was thinking this would make for a nice photograph with the emerging Fall colors.

One of my favorite things about being in the Adirondacks is that I meet so many great people!

There were a couple people coming off the dock as I approached. One older gentleman, a Forty-Sixer, stopped and we found ourselves in a half-hour conversation about everything from the different trails and terrain on some of the High Peaks, to our adventures in hiking and climbing, to how quickly the weather can turn in the Adirondacks. We were later joined by a couple who had just come down from Mt. Jo who had hoped to take in a sunrise but, were thwarted by the clouds. One of my favorite things about being in the Adirondacks is that I meet so many great people!

Following our chat, I took in the scenery and decided to grab a couple photos with the dock in the foreground; the water was allowing for a mirror-like reflection of the chairs and the sun was lighting up the trees across the lake as the clouds made for a nice- looking sky.

I set the tripod, connected the remote shutter release, and set the camera to mirror lock-up. This setting allows the mirror to remain set in place once the shutter release is pressed. Another press of the shutter release allows for a photo to be captured without any vibration from the movement of the mirror. This is good in situations where a long exposure is needed. I use it almost all the time just as a habit.

I metered the scene and set and adjusted the settings while tweaking the composition. This was relatively easy to compose due to the chairs and dock. I liked the way the left side of the dock, where the walkway was, created a leading line out from the side which was extended by the buoys. The reflection of the chairs created the bottom and the shoreline, trees, and mountains created the background. The scene pretty composed itself and all I had to do was get the exposure right!

In the end, I was happy with the result of my efforts.

Camera settings –

Camera: Nikon D7000

Aperture: f/8

Shutter Speed: 1/125 sec.

ISO: 100

Exposure Bias: 0




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