Lake Tahoe has many beautiful places along its shores, but for me Sand Harbor is at the top of the list. The way the white granite boulders merge with the crystal clear, turquoise water is simply incredible. I’ve visited this spot numerous times and it never fails to leave me in awe of Mother Nature’s magic.
But simply being in a beautiful location is not enough when it comes to creating a powerful photograph. You have to master your gear and technique, understand composition and light, and be able to anticipate what’s going to happen next. And sometimes the most important thing of all is a little bit of luck.
On this night I was shooting a sunset that appeared to be a dud. Even though I had arranged a strong composition of stunning boulders rising out of the lake, the late evening light fizzled and my photographs became mediocre at best.
Thinking the night was over, I packed up my gear and began boulder-hopping back to the shore. Just as I rounded a bend, the clouds to the north unexpectedly lit up with luxurious pink and purple hues that reflected magnificently in the tranquil waters of the lake. Scanning the boulders around me I was amazed to discover a gorgeous natural composition: a deep pool of aquamarine water separated from the lake by whale-shaped boulders. Just as I set my camera up to capture the scene, a moment of pure harmony arrived: The color palette between the sky and the lake was flawless, the reflections were mirror-smooth, and the silence was profound. I captured this shot, then stood there in awe. With the beauty of the scene, and a complete lack of any wind, it seemed as though Lake Tahoe and I were both left breathless.