Devil’s Lake Hike

Last weekend I drove out to Devil’s Lake State Park, a popular state park north-west of Madison, WI. I originally wanted to get out there for sunrise, but it is a two hour drive out there, and I ended up getting up around sunrise, rather than two hours earlier. It was still a good trip, since it let me scout for another one I hope to take in a few weeks, as the leaves start to turn. I’ll take a little more time to plan that one, and make sure I get on the road in time for sunrise.

I parked on the south side of the lake, so it was a new area for me, basically turning around at the same point I normally do, but in the opposite direction.

Balancing Rock

This image really captures why I shoot raw and like Capture One. This image is the lowest exposure I took to create an HDR, so the majority of the image was a couple stops underexposed. I ended up just bringing the exposure up by .7 of a stop, and added a lot of highlight and shadow recovery in Capture One, giving me an image that I think works as well as a traditional composite HDR image.

I didn’t take a closer picture of the balancing rock, because climbers were using it to anchor ropes, which kind of messed up the shot.

Devil's Doorway
Devil’s Doorway

Another shot of The Devil’s Doorway. I think I like the lower angle in my previous shot, but this is a cool place to come and try some new angles and new ideas. It is often worth going back and revisiting places and subjects you have photographed before, and see how the changing conditions, seasons, or your own evolution as a photographer effects your images.

While I was here, a couple came up, and the woman was going to take a picture of the man with her iPhone. I offered to take one for them, so they could both be in it. She looked at me, with a DSLR, camera bag and tripod, and said “I don’t know, it doesn’t look like you know what you are doing.” I took a couple pictures for them, which they were very grateful for.

One of the Potholes

Devil’s Lake’s Potholes were probably formed by water sometime around the last ice age. Very different to see the smooth, flowing shapes in the normally very angular quartzite.

Sunlight on a plant

The sun was catching just the sprig at the end of this plant. It ends up losing some of the context it had in real life, but I think the picture worked.

Playing with off camera flash for close-up photography

I saw this little plant, and decided to try to use my flash off-camera. Fun little exercise.