Two Problems

There are two problems in photography: too little good pictures and too many good pictures. I’m joking of cause. There are a lot of more important problems like soul searching. But that’s the problem that I face right now: there are just too many good pictures from the trip to Enchantment lakes.

Almost every photo is “golden”. Either I’m a good photographer or golden larches make every picture “golden”. The place is just too beautiful to fail to impress.

With that here is one photo that I really like.

Sunrise in Enchantments
Sunrise in Enchantments

Enchantment Lakes [18]

Day 5. Wake up!

Josh woke me up way before sunrise as I asked him last night. He was the only one with an alarm watch. I was hard to wake up. Morning sleep is the sweetest sleep of all! Especially after night with wind gusts waking me up every now and then.

Over night clouds moved in. This was great for photography. It was our last sunrise at Enchantments.

I tried to wake up John but he refused. He was tired and sick. It was still dark but I saw some color in the sky and took a few long exposures. I saw on the back of my camera that the sky was already red. I showed it to John and that woke him up. He went on with his plan to climb back up to Core Enchantments. And on the way there he made one of the best photos of the trip.

I went to the spot which I found the night before. The sunrise was blocked off by a small ridge on the right but I did not count on it. I was counting on Prusik Peak lighting up and photographing its reflection in Lake Viviane. Unfortunately the wind was still strong and the lake was unrestful. There was no reflection and the sky remained dark.

I lost hope to get good photo. Suddenly a cloud above the Prusik Peak lighted up with bright red. I started taking one panorama after another not sure if I got it. Only when I assembled panoramas back at home I found out that I got it in one of them! (click on the image to see it larger)


Morning at Lake Viviane

Enchantment Lakes [16]

Day 4. Getting Closer to Home

After yet another lunch out of freeze dried bag we started moving back home. The goal was to relocate our camp back to Lake Viviane where we would spend photographing sunset and sunrise.

There was one big challenge for me on the way to Lake Viviane. At one point we needed to walk down a face of big boulder. With each step the slope was getting steeper and steeper. And the only thing that the one walking down could see was an abyss of the valley far down.

I’m afraid of heights. This place got me worried even when we were walking up. But back then I just put those worries in the back of my mind until we would head down. Now it was the time to fight my fears.

My first attempt was unsuccessful. Midway thru I panicked and turned around trying to get down on all four. Which turned both scarier and riskier. It was scarier because I could not see land under my feet at all. All I could see was the valley below. And it was riskier because I did not have full foot traction and could slid down.

Josh and John told me to climb back up. I obeyed. Josh offered me to help with backpack and I handed it over to him. While Josh walked down with y backpack I did breathing exercise to calm myself down and restore oxygen balance (I was hyperventilating at that point).

The exercise was surprisingly effective and in about a minute I made second attempt. I chose slightly different path that I was more comfortable with. I was looking strictly down to my feet. That helped and I got  down.

I cannot describe amount of joy I was experiencing. There is nothing like overcoming your own fears. (Jumping ahead when we were walking down steep rocks next day I was smiling because I was not afraid anymore.)

* * *

We had big hiking and photographing plans when we would get to Lake Viviane. When we actually got there we realized just how tired we were.

I felt tired because I did not have enough calories in my food. As strange as it may sounds I had to bring more deserts, candies and other sweet things. John got sick. Josh was the only one that had energy to move around. He went to yet another lake while John and I stayed by Lake Viviane.

I went to check on possible photo opportunities around Lake Viviane for sunrise:

_MG_2188

I found a small niche where I could photograph reflection of Prusik Peak in Lake Viviane. After taking a few photos with the last light of the sun I took off my clothes and plunged into the lake. The water was icy cold but after four days of sweating it felt nice and refreshing.

When I got out I put on fresh clothe getting ready for descent on the final day of the trip.

_MG_2236

Enchantment Lakes [11]

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.