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Nebraska Dawn Lake

This peaceful lake was just off a dirt road and I was fortunate to have discovered it. I had arrived in the area the previous evening, my hotel was roughly fifty miles north, and before going to bed I scoped out the region and took note of several spots that piqued my interest. The following morning, I woke up well before dawn so I could be on location as the landscape became illuminated. The weather forecast called for dense fog and it proved to be accurate.

I became worried when I first saw this lake covered in fog; I feared becoming overwhelmed. I decided not to make any photographs until I had a clear vision of what I wanted; I continued driving down the dirt road. I waited for over an hour for my creativity to ignite and when I returned to this lake, I immediately knew what I wanted. My game plan was to juxtapose the lake reeds with the emptiness created by the fog; an exposure of several seconds would smooth out the lake.

To achieve the desired effect, I selected my widest Hasselblad lens, the 24mm, and attached my tilt shift adapter so I could shift the lens downward. I put my boots on, waded nearly knee deep into the lake and set up my tripod immediately in front of the reeds. I metered he scene in the viewfinder; because the sky was too bright, I added a 0.90 ND Grad filter to reduce the light on the left. I made several test exposures to verify I had the correct exposure.


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