Day 4. Midday Light
Midday light was steep and harsh with clear sky. The previous day we spent midday resting. The last day before heading back I went back to the area between Leprechaun Lake and Perfection Lake. The day before I liked the stream and a line of larch needles along it but in afternoon light it was cut in half by a shadow of a mountain on the left. So, I returned there midday to avoid any shadows.
It was interesting from technical perspective as I used focus point “bracketing” to get everything sharp throughout the image.
Day 4. Catch the light
The day before when Josh and I went to photograph sunrise to Leprechaun Lake, John stayed by the camp and photographed by Perfection Lake. At night we shared what we got and I liked what I saw in the back of John’s camera (here is the image that John posted on his blog). So the next morning I stayed by Perfection Lake for sunrise.
The night was cold, bitterly cold. There was frost on the ground. The first light that hit the granite wall was deep red:
In just less than a minute it turned yellow. In fact the panorama above is the only image I’ve captured with that light. After that it looked like this:
Day 3. Afternoon light
One of the advantages about going backpacking and staying in one place is that you’re walking the same surroundings over and over and you can see landscape in different light. And you start appreciating light in a whole new way…
As I wrote earlier when we entered Core Enchantments on the second day of our trip we saw the area between Leprechaun Lake and Perfection Lake in the afternoon light and it look gorgeous. Unfortunately we have not captured much of it. So the next day in the afternoon I went back from our camp to Leprechaun Lake to photograph in the afternoon light.
The air was as still as possible. There were no ripples on the water. So reflections were perfect.
By the time I got to Leprechaun Lake it was late afternoon. The sun light was getting warmer turning golden larches into bright orange shifting further and further towards red. Leprechaun Lake was absolutely still and reflections were perfect. It was taking photo after photo but I felt they were falling short of the beauty around and the actual feeling of being there.
Day 3. Wherever You Go
Enchantment Lakes is a place of incredible beauty. Wherever you go you see something pleasing your eye.
I want about 10 meters from the camp just to pee (pardon me) and I saw this scene: golden larches glowing in the sun on a deep blue background of the sky; playful light and dark spots on the ground. It was so beautiful I forgot about why I came there. I went back to the camp, grabbed camera and tripod to capture this:
Or on my way to Prusik Peak I stopped by a small carving in the ground where larch needles formed geometrically perfect arcs:
A little bit further the trail itself fascinated me as much. Spots of light and shade over the rocks:
Day 3. Visitors
My photographic day was cut short unexpectedly. All my batteries were dead. I had 2 original manufacture batteries and 2 cheap knockoffs. I spend half of the first original batteries on a long exposure at Snow Lake. I spend the rest of the first battery and the second original batteries photographing up to that point of the trip. And turned out that neither of knockoff batteries held the charge. I got only about 8 exposures from each of them.
I went back to the camp to have breakfast and wait for other guys. Once I got to the camp I found there 3 visitors – a family of mountain goats. They were scavenging around for salt (guess where the salt came from).
I was very disappointed with my camera not having any batteries left but then I recalled that I brought point an shoot with me. So, I used it to capture the photos of the mountain goats. A good caption for this one would be “let’s go son, this photographer is out of batteries”. By the way you can see Prusik Peak in the distance.
Eventually, John came back. Good thing that John had extra battery that he could lend to me. Thanks, John! Without your battery the rest of the trip would be without photos for me.
Day 3. Morning
Sunrise is always tricky in the mountains. From our camp Prusik Peak was blocking our view toward sunrise which made it hard to make out how close sunrise was.
Josh and I took off back toward Leprechaun Lake while John stayed to photograph near the camp. Once Josh and I got out of Prusik Peak shadow we saw the sky burning red. It meant that we took off too late. Walking turned into running, trying to get to the area between Perfection Lake and Leprechaun Lake which was the only one opened to sunrise.
We did not get there in time to photograph sunrise but we got there in time to catch the first rays of son shaving the tops of the larches.
Day 2. First Night at Lake Perfection Camp
As the sun dropped behind the mountains and it started getting darker, we headed back to setup our base camp.
I could not get much sleep again. I still was not very comfortable but that was not the only reason. At night I was woken up by wind gusts and what appeared to be rain. It was rain but it did not have water in it. It was rain of larch needles shaken off trees by wind gusts. I realized it once I got out of tent to get everything we had left outside into the tent.
Day 2. Lake Perfection
Our destination in Core Enchantments was Lake Perfection. That was where we planned to setup our base camp for a few nights. We were walking along the streams and lakes. Gorgeous afternoon light was making golden larches glow.
Maybe this was the hardest part of the trip. It was so beautiful around that I wanted to drop everything and start photographing. Josh and John were more practical and wanted to stick to the plan and get to the camp site first. Needless to say that once we got to the camp site, we dropped backpacks grabbed cameras and tripods and fanned out to photograph. Setting up the camp could wait till darkness falls.
Day 2. Entering Core Enchantments
After resting and photographing by Lake Viviane we’ve put on our backpacks that seemed to get heavier and heavier and headed out to Core Enchantments. It was a short but dangerous hike, since at some places we’d need to walk on a ledge no more than one meter wide with a steep wall on one side and dropoff on the other.
In some twenty minutes or so we entered Core Enchantments…
It was like entering a magic kingdom – realm of white granite, golden larches, emerald lakes, delicate waterfalls and snow white mountain goats.
No picture can describe it. Photos show lakes, mountains, larches. But it was is much more than that. It was an oasis secluded from the rest of the world by steep cliffs of white granite with spiky tops filled with lakes with incredible pure emerald water connected by an intricate web of silky streams and cascading waterfalls.
It was peaceful, remote, isolated, inviting, unique. Like no other place on Earth.
Day 2. Lake Viviane
After scrambling up the face of a rock for hours we were finally getting to the lower Enchantments. We were entering Enchantments at a mouth of a waterfall; greeted by a mountain goat.
Lake Viviane was the first of Enchantment Lakes that we got to from the Snow Lake trail. It was surrounded by steep drops of white and black granite walls. The water was incredibly clear. We were able to see very deep into the lake where a few fish lazily were moving around. The granite walls were sprinkled with bright golden larches. The sky was deep deep clear blue.
We, finally, took a long break, refilled water bottles, had some snack, rested and photographed. The greeter rested with us and took some nap.