Day two started early for me, real early, 4 am early. Through willpower I didn't know I had, I dragged myself from the tent. Though it was upwards of 20 plus during the day, the temperatures had dropped to 7 degrees overnight, so leaving the warmth of my sleeping bag was not easy. Outside everything was peaceful, the air a muted blue, Lake of the Woods was exceptionally still, there were no clouds. I got my gear, and meandered the lakeshore, looking for anything eye-catching I could use as foreground.
The mountains surrounding Lake of the woods would soon become emblazoned with a ferocious orange, they were Pyramid Mountain and Quiniscoe Mountain. Pyramid the pronounced triangular peak, while Quiniscoe was much more rounded.
I became immersed in capturing the mountains reflecting on the still waters, this is what I love about Landscape Photography, the times when everything disappears and time seems to stop. Time doesn't really stop though, and as the sun rose, the light became harsher, golden hour was over. Satisfied, I returned to the campsite to go back to sleep, while the other campers were just starting to get up to go out for their hikes.
I chose hiking to Glacier lake as my evening excursion, a relatively easy 2.2 km hike one way from Lake of the Woods, with a 162m gain in elevation. Glacier Lake is located at the base of Pyramid Mountain and surrounded by Larch Trees and lush green meadows. On my way up, I met some hikers on their way down; they were the only people I would run into for the rest of the evening.
All around the verdant hills I was finding patches of wildflowers, mostly Paintbrush, exuding a more intensely red than they usually exhibit. The colours everywhere were so vibrant; I don't think I have experienced anything like it before.
This Trip was my first using a B&H Circular Polarizer, I had ditched the NISI one I had been using, and I need to do an actual test. Still, I believe the colours and sharpness with this filter to be superior to the NISI one, as I've never been able to capture things so nicely.
I spent most of my evening composing shots of Paintbrush, with Glacier lake and Pyramid mountain behind it. Most of these images are 3-4 shots blended, three shots at the same exposure, focus stacked, and then the background exposed for highlights, blended with the stacked image.
As meandered towards the end of the lake, I found more significant patches of Fireweed, the red and green and brown colours mesmerizing.
soon the sun dipped below the mountain, casting everything in the shade,
I turned back to follow the last rays of light. As the previous few patches of the hillside were bathed in orange, I discovered a lovely patch of Lupine to be the final images of the day.
The sun had disappeared, and it was time to hike back down to camp, exhausted by another full day of hiking.