Soon after I moved to California in 2017, some friends talked me into splitting a ski lease in Lake Tahoe for the winter. This turned out to be a great decision because I fell in love with the area. From snow capped peaks to the clear, blue waters Lake Tahoe has something for everyone.
One difference between just taking photos for a hobby and as a job is the amount of work I put in to research. Over that winter I spent hours online and outside looking for interesting subjects. This effort led to a long list of places to photograph. One of first places on the list was a boulder roughly 100 yards from the shore, called Bonsai Rock. On a spring night I took a drive to the eastern side of Lake Tahoe to photograph the spot at sunset.
With the warm colors of the spring sun casting a golden glow on the scene, I set up my camera and tripod to enjoy the moment. As I was taking the photos I used a few different perspectives and techniques. For this particular photograph, I chose a long exposure to slow down the motion of the water to mirror the sky and draw attention to Bonsai Rock as it glowed in the last rays of the sun.
When winter comes to Lake Tahoe, most of the crowds flock to the ski slopes. This leaves most of the lakeshore deserted. On this particular evening, the deep snows blanketing the hillside deterred even more visitors from the famous Bonsai Rock. I shared this winter sunset on Lake Tahoe with only two other strangers. We laughed and marveled at the fact that we had the place all to ourselves.
In my opinion, having a chance to see Bonsai Rock with snow on it was worth the cold and getting dressed up in my winter best. The more I explore with my camera the more I have become accustomed to being uncomfortable in some way. However, the other part of the lesson is that these are the situations that will likely make for cooler, more unique moments.