Watson Lake . . . Again!!

Hard to imagine that Nancy had never been to Watson Lake.  Bet she will return.  She joined Debra, Greg, Ann, Tom and I for a great morning photo-adventure.  The water level is really low, in fact some places were now 'features' that I have never seen before.  Enjoy.

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To finish the day, we lunched together at the Raven Cafe and then strolled into the downtown square.  Wonderful day!!

From Lake to Candy Apples

What seemed like a great idea was, in fact, a very fun filled day.  Off to Prescott with our first stop at Watson Lake.  Weather was perfect.  Companionship more so.

This is one of many examples why this lake is also known as Mirror Lake.

Rick took this one.  It is the transition point between the rocky part and the serene riparian part of this incredible lake.

For all the color at the lake, the dynamic range and contrast suggests a B&W would work.

I am still trying to figure out if Tom flipped this image horizontally.  I think so.  Agree?

Photographers are drawn to the rocky side of Watson Lake.  I think that is because it looks so surreal, especially in unusual lighting and weather.  But, to the south of the rocks is a much different look, almost pastoral and peaceful. On the far end of the lake is an area for hiking in a developing riparian.  It even features a red wooden bridge!  So, if you ever get tired of the rocks, take a hike among the cottonwoods. Oh, and we noticed, long before reaching the lake, that the whole area was really green.  All that summer rain is making for some good photography.

We had a picnic at the lake before heading into what we knew would be a crowded town square. But, before we could even reach the highway, Rick and group spotted an unusually colored tree.  Out come the cameras.  What fun.

Once Tom took out his fish-eye lens I put my camera away!  I am going to hide that lens.  LOL

 The Mountain Artists were showing off on the square.  There was live entertainment and families and their pets everywhere.  Not the mention food!  What fun to shoot such a crowded colorful event.

This lady was showing how to spin a thread from the ball of wool on her lap.

An old sock knitting machine.  It is a collector's item as the company went out of business long ago.  The knitter showed me how she can turn the heels (I know mom would love one of these). Most interesting.

Some folks know  how to picnic in the park.

Finally, on the way home there was a 'Stop!" request.

It was such a great day and we thank you for joining us.  A special thanks to all the friend/photographers that joined up to make it such a special day.  Plus, a really big thanks for getting me images in such a short time frame.  Must tell you that they are a dedicated group.

Shooting the Moon

Full one, no less, rising over Watson Lake in Prescott!

But first, we had lunch at the Raven in downtown Prescott and then walked to Gurley Street to take up some time before our big shoot of the rising moon. As it turns out, photographers usually find interesting things to photograph.

Let's start with a bit of humor and fun. Barbara was seen begging for a kiss from some shady character . . . she is a sport and everyone loves how she takes pictures of us. Turn about . . . 

Rick found an interesting person as well . . .

Phyllis has her own take of interesting people . . .

Matilda, alias for a famous photographer, crafted a very different, a bit edgy and appreciated look of a corner scene with some 50's bad boys (except the date on the print is '93). The image was processed in OnOne software and I really like a new perspective. Thank you Matilda for your contribution.

Tom loves alleys and it appears that Barbara does as well.  Must admit I walked right by this opportunity. What was I thinking? I love blue bikes.

Photographing door window reflections is always interesting.

Every town square has a clock. Am glad Elaine caught that item.

But, fun on Gurley street had to give way to the real object of our trip. A rising full moon.  We arrived at Watson Lake about 4:30 and examined our site options. Some chose to shoot from the water's edge and a couple wanted to shoot from higher rocks.  As the sun set the whole sky became more and more colorful, from bright yellow and then on to peach, pink and blues. There was a little time to shoot the lake with a golden glow.






You can see how the choice of shooting at water's edge versus higher up overlooking the lake affects how the images reflect water and color. The group above the lake saw the moon first. This was important to Rick because he wanted a really good shot of the moon. The group at water's edge thought the reflections would be better from their vantage point! I wanted reflections but thought the upper deck (LOL) was a better option! One thing for sure. . . we all had fun.

As the pink slowly gave way to deeper blue, the contrast was enough to see that there was still snow on the slopes of Mt. Humphrey in Flagstaff.


Full moons are hard to photograph as they are so bright compared to the rest of the image that they blow out easily if you try to get any background. To get both the moon's detail and its reflections requires separate images and combining them in some post processing or perhaps doing a bracketd shot (but I have never seen a good HDR without a separate moon added).

I hope that Rick thinks he got the shot he was after. I had a choice of a gray moon or a golden moon.  I chose the golden moon.  Both are gorgeous.

Here is my effort at two combined images. What I am most proud of is the tree in the golden reflection!! Can you see it?

Here is Tom's HDR image to capture a wider dynamic range and using a donor moon.

If you notice above in my photo, as the reflection creeps across the lake it shows up first as dancing light on the water. From there it expands. There is a glimpse of that dancing in my photo above.  Barbara captures it again in her image below. When you are there and you take in all of what is going on . . . well it is magical.

We might have stayed longer but the Park Ranger politely reminded us that the park closes at sunset. He gave us plenty of time. I think we were grateful to put our gear away and head for dinner at Left-ts.

This was a fun day. Thanks everyone for your participation and the effort taken to get your shots ready.