Blue Light, Silhouette, Star

Near Sand Harbor, East Shore Lake Tahoe, NV

Of all the shots I had envisioned taking this day, this was the further possibility I could imagine. I’d like to thank the unknown and unnamed person for posing for this photograph.

The plan for the day was to drive up to Lake Tahoe and visit two areas: Taylor Creek Visitors Center on the south shore on California and Bonsai Rock near Sand Harbor on the east shore in Nevada.

Taylor Creek was a real eye opener for me in that even though it was closed for the season, the trails are still accessible.  A fair amount of people from visitors to locals walking their dogs.  Interpretive, engaging, and educational signs are throughout the trails and probably a lot of fun for kids.  There’s even bunker-like structure called the “Stream Chamber” that provides a cross section of the stream (closed during the winter season and reopens around Memorial Day).  Pretty exciting stuff even for me.

Now Sand Harbor is a photographer’s delight.  Many, many iconic photographs have been made here including the famous Bonsai Rock, about a mile south of Sand Harbor.  In case you’re how to get to Bonsai Rock, here’s how to get there.  Drive south 1.1 miles from Sand Harbor on Hwy 26.  Near the top of this hill are two turnouts for parking.  A number of trails make their way down to the shoreline.

Anyhow, the clouds were not cooperating.  I arrive at 3pm and saw clouds slowly developing over the western mountains, there was hope.  But alas, the clouds were moving in south to north direction and never came over Lake Tahoe.  For the first hour and a half, I was the only person at Bonsai Rock as I waited for sunset.  I was able to sit and enjoy the sunset while singing along to my iPod.  Then en mass, about 8 other photographers arrived and it was time to begin shooting.

The lack of clouds was a disappointment as was the wind that picked up and produced choppy waves on the lake.  I’m sure there are some good photos that captured, but it’s this silhouette photograph that stands out.  The man in this photograph and his friend have this tradition of shooting this pose wherever they travel to.  It’s pretty fun to have someone randomly busting out this pose after an hour of “serious” photography.  I had noticed the star and mentioned that he should point to it.  And here’s the result.  And yes, I’m impressed he kept still for 8 seconds despite the cold and wind.

EXIF data: Nikon D7000, center weighted metering mode, 24mm, ISO 100, 8 sec, f/16

Blue Light, Silhouette, Star.  Near Sand Harbor, Lake Tahoe, NV.  February 19, 2012. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.


6 thoughts on “Blue Light, Silhouette, Star

    1. Thanks! Of the three days I could have gone, Sat-Mon, I chose the worst day, in terms of rough weather. It was nearly cloudless and sunny yesterday (Sun) when I went. Another photog was said Saturday was great with cloud cover that opened up at the horizon at sunset and today has the overnight snow and more scattered clouds.

      At least you’re close enough on the Central Coast that it’s only a day trip worth of driving.


        1. Sometimes just being there is enough. I think a lot of photogs don’t enjoy what’s in front of them because it’s always a rush to get somewhere and take “that” shot. I’m guilty of that myself at times.


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