Back then it was easy – July 2007. Drive up to the parking lot then pull into one of any number of available parking spots. Yet it wasn’t the early 1980’s when you drove up to the trail head aside the two lane road parked and started the mountain. Things had changed.
It was still pretty early in the morning. With lunch packed back at the hotel and camera gear in backpack we were on our way to Hanging Lake. Short ½ mile flat walk to the trail then straight up one mile and one thousand vertical feet to Hanging Lake. One hour later. We found ourselves at the lake with no-one but ourselves to take in this amazing place.
Ribbons of water falls flow over the width of this majestic lake hanging on the edge mountainside. The setting is tranquil and filled with the white noise of falling water rushing into the lake from thirty to forty feet above. I make the obligatory time elapsed images facing the falls like ribbons piercing the greenish water filled with fish and a tree’s trunk floating across the lake. This was the standard Hanging Lake shot. I was wondering if it were possible to capture the lake from behind the falls. I had never ventured that far around the east side of the lake to see if it were possible.
It was possible. I made my way back in behind the falls and found the perfect angle for this shot with my back up against the cold wet cliffs behind them. I set up with a friend holding my rain jacket over the camera. I had to move fast to get the shot to keep the camera from getting drenched. Six to ten photographs later, we made our way back around to the side of the lake. I finally felt like I might be able to have the viewer of this photograph feel what it felt like to be as the water cascaded from the cliffs into the lake. I wonder. Can you feel the freezing water up to mid-calf as shivers rush through your arms, legs and torso? What a rush!
This day I hadn’t been concerned with film. The digital age had finally eclipsed the era of film. The file info recorded by the camera captured everything I used to remember every time I made a photograph on film. Field notes kept in my head about camera, lens length, f-stop, shutter speed and film ISO were being downloaded and been purged from my memory. Photographing with a digital single lens camera felt a bit freeing…at least for now.