Coldwater lake is near Mount Saint Helens, in the Cascade mountain foothills. My Dad and I had intended to reach Johnston Ridge Observatory, but found it still closed for the winter. (Should have checked online before I left the house and drove 2 hours.) So we went to Coldwater Lake and took some photos of Mt. St. Helens from roadside turnouts.
“Clearwater Lake” would be an appropriate name for this lake also. I was using a polarizing filter, which explains the dark center in the sky. It happens with wide angle shots. But the polarizer cut some of the reflection of the water so we can see the rocks below.
This spot on the western shore of the lake gives a view of Mt. St. Helens’ peak. That is a funky looking cloud, but since it wasn’t a smear, I left it alone. This photo had hardly any color in it. Spring had officially started 5 days before, but there weren’t many leaves out yet. So it was a good candidate for NIK Silver Efex Pro.
This is the view just a few feet from the parking lot at the south end of the lake, looking northeast. The ridge at the far end of the lake still had snow on it.
There is always a temptation for me to push adjustments too far where things start to look unnatural. But I tried to watch details at a 100% while sharpening, at watch smooth areas while adjusting contrast. The goals is to keep things from “breaking up” or pixelating, yet still have a nice, sharp photo with visual impact.
I also listed shutter speeds, because in an effort to get as much depth of field as possible, I narrowed the aperture to the point where the shutter speed was barely above the focal length. In the case of this last shot, I broke that rule, but still got a decent shot with sharp details. (Breath in, breath out s-l-o-w-l-y… squeeze shutter button VERY gently.)