More Icy Donner Lake Photos

Yesterday's sunrise shoot was fairly productive, even thought the sunrise didn't end up being as colorful as forecasted. The pre-dawn photos were looking great, there was a bit of warmth to the clouds, and I thought I was in for a real treat. Oh well, can't win them all... It was still a very nice morning out at the lake by myself, I and ended up with some new photos for the website, so I'll call it a "win".

Here's the keeper pre-dawn photo below. It was shot on the Canon 5DS R with a 24-105mm lens, set at 28mm. The ISO was 800, the lens aperture was f/4.5, and it was a 30 second exposure. A tripod and a graduated neutral density filter were used. Even though there wasn't a lot of sunrise colors, I do like how the color that did exist reflected nicely on the ice.


This photo below is not going to be my next best seller... But I wanted to show how a little bit of wind changed things quickly at this spot. The ice started to break up while I was there. The sound of the ice cracking was incredible! I shot some video footage but I did not have my quality microphone and deadcat with me so the wind noise sounded horrible and you can't really hear the ice noises in the clips. Bummer!


Fortunately, I did take a little video of the ice along the shoreline before it got windy. The water and ice cracking noises were pretty cool, just not as cool as when the wind started pushing the ice around.

After packing up the gear, I headed home, or that was the plan anyway. At the other end of the lake, I noticed that it was looking even more frozen over. So I pulled over and shot a few more photos. The ice was actually looking nicer here in my opinion, but way too thin to walk out on. No ice fishing here...


Thanks for looking and I hope you are all having a great day!

Scott Thompson
Scott Shots Photography



The photo ended up really epic, the reflection of the sky colors in the ice is really beautiful

Pretty Epic!

It's hard to go wrong at Donner!

What a beautiful sunrise you have the most perfect shots. Does it take you a while to figure out where to setup and what kind of shot you're looking for?

Thanks @gubbatv! There are so many incredible options around here it does take me time to choose. The snow reduces accessibility so there are a bit less choices in the winter. I check the SkyFire app often and if it looks like it's going to be a good sunset/sunrise, I'll try my best to get out. But... when I do go out, I try to keep an open mind and change things up if my envisioned composition doesn't work out. Also, I get a lot of ideas for future shoots when I take Quill dog out for midday walks. If I see a cool scene somewhere, I'll take note and add it to my to-do list. Cheers!

That first shot is a winner. Great colors. Cool video. Its those kind of experiences in nature that keep us out there 🙂

Thanks @steven-patrick! I was so bummed about the bad wind noise in the other clips. Yes, it can be a bit addictive, I might be out in nature a bit too much at times. Good thing I made a job out of it... Cheers!

Your photos are awesome. Thanks for sharing a small clip to immerse us in the environment.

Thank you! Glad you liked that clip too.

lighting along the riverbank - does this mean there are houses in which people live?
In Russia, a law was passed banning the construction of houses close to rivers, lakes and ponds. This is called a "water protection zone". Even by car it is forbidden to drive close to the river. Sometimes it is 100-200 meters. This is a big problem for fishermen.

That sounds like a healthy walk if you have a bunch of fishing gear. I'm glad we can park a lot closer to most of the lakes around here. Yes, we have lake front houses around some of the lakes up here, including Donner Lake and the big one, Lake Tahoe. There are no houses around most of the smaller lakes and reservoirs in the area but there are plenty 4x4 trails to their shorelines for fishing. The lakes with houses do also have public beaches and piers so there's plenty of fun to be had.

We get a ton of fresh water draining out of our lakes and filling back into them from the snow melt. The water quality isn't perfect but it's pretty good compared to most lakes. But don't drink it unfiltered...

Oh, 2-stroke boat motors aren't allowed on most of the lakes around here. There are a few lakes that allow them as well as the 4-stroke.

When backpacking or camping, I will drink filtered water out of any of our lakes or streams, no problem. But filtered tap water is what I usually have in my water bottle. Cheers! (What's Russian for "cheers"? It's the weekend...)

Oh, 2-stroke boat motors aren't allowed on most of the lakes around here. There are a few lakes that allow them as well as the 4-stroke.

Wow! I use a Yamaha 4-stroke.
But people prefer 2-stroke engines and there is no prohibition.

Cheers! - Будь здоров и не хворай! Твоё здоровье!
This short word of yours makes a lot of sense.

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