Scouting Lake Tahoe

Our goal was to 'scout' opportunities around Lake Tahoe.  Scouting is an interesting concept, a useful tool (no doubt) and terribly difficult to accomplish.  For Tom and me the idea of scouting quickly turns to 'get it while I am here and the light is perfect'.  No surprise that we did not complete our scouting trip as we planned.  No regrets, however.

First shot of the morning.  Right away we could see the advantage of scouting.  This is NOT where I would return next time to capture a sunrise.  Why?  There is no view of the iconic island in Emerald Bay.

Just down the road we see a very short pull-out.  It is already occupied by one car but we ease into the remaining space.  We meet a fellow photographer, Mark, an ED physician in Tahoe to ride in the Tour d'Tahoe on Sunday.  He has been to this very spot every time he comes to ride the 72 mile route that benefits childhood diabetes.  He tells us this is the BEST spot for morning light.  We make ourselves comfortable.  Yes, the small figure is a paddle board surfer.

This is a long shutter speed.  I did not use an ND filter but for some reason the water changes color with my longer shots.  Hmmmmm. . .

We watch with excitement as the sun slowly works its way down the mountain.  How long before it reaches Fannette Island?

My photography editing dilemma for the day.  I like this crop as it tends to reveal more of the detail.  It is a virtual copy of the image below, just cropped.

I liked this image because it gives more of a sense of place for the island.  Good news is I can have both!

We were so concentrated on the lake that I almost missed what was behind me.  I believe this could be seen from the trail head to Eagle Falls.

This old tree fascinated me.  I have no idea what kind of tree it was.  If you know, please let me know.

We move up the road.  A new look. There were plenty of paddle boaters. 

To Tom, scouting means you can head down an incline, over rocks and tree trunks, in search of possible images worth capturing.  He was drawn by this small waterfall.  I was too scared to scamper as he did and I was being pestered by wasps.  Glad he went on down.

Among the rocks and waterfall.

We then headed for the Rubicon Trail.  We only hiked the beginning of it, not nearly enough, reminding ourselves that we were 'scouting'.  LOL

This diver was with a group that we later met up with in the parking lot.  I asked which one of them this image belonged to and got an email address to send the photo to him.

It is called Emerald Bay for a reason.

Water so clear that it appears as molten glass!

From above this image caught my attention because of the pattern.  Have never seen a wake like that before.  If you zoom in you can even see a pretty nice tattoo on one of the men's back.

Two is better than one.  Maybe these are Tahoe wakes!

Gliding on glass!

There are many private properties around Lake Tahoe but there are also plenty of public access to beaches.  On this Saturday the parking was nil and the beaches were full.  Tom stayed behind in case he needed to move the car and I grabbed a couple of beach shots with my iPhone.  This side looking left.

This side looking right.  In spite of the parking hassles, I found it nice to see so many families out enjoying the lake and spending time in nature.  I can go back any day of the week when the kids are in school and their parents at work.  Only problem is, I run into a lot of white haired old farts with black noses poking around looking for the best spot to photograph what they dare not climb up or down or dip their toes in.  I am one of them!

Before our trip back home we stopped to rest for a few minutes in a parking lot.  Tom spotted this car, a McLaren P1.  Perfect complement to the emerald green and deep blue of Lake Tahoe. 

We returned home and felt like we really wanted to return to the lake and check out the late afternoon light.  We hoped that the Tour d'Tahoe was finished and the crowds had thinned out.  I chose to hike the trail to Eagle Lake as far as the Vista Point.  It is one steep hike!  Tom stayed below and got a better selection of shots.  Personally, I did not care for the afternoon light as much as the early morning light.  Fannette Island is shaded by mountains before the golden hour even starts and the reflections either not there or are dull and uninteresting.

Not a bad view of Emerald Bay, what there is of it.  I would imagine that when the Vista point was chosen 50 years ago these trees were smaller!

The one and only square inch position from the Vista Point that you can see the Tea House on Fannette Island.  Fully extended to 300mm.

This photograph was taken at the first stop we made yesterday.  By now, getting Fannette Island was not so important.  Now we had some clouds too!

From the main lookout on Emerald Bay late in the afternoon.  The water really is a very dark blue at that hour!

Tom scampered back down the rocks.  Change in light and clouds.

Well, Tom has now thoroughly 'scouted' this site!

Taken from the huge parking area at the top of the road, a favorite spot.  A ranger came through the parking lot and announced with a loud bullhorn that people without proper permits had ten minutes to clear out of the parking lot or be ticketed.  You would have smiled at the number of people running to their cars!  Nice of the range to let people know.

You can already see shadows coming down the mountain.  Soon the island will be too dark to photograph.

Good night Emerald Bay.