Fisherman, Ellery Lake, Sierra Crest

Posted on 15 August 2013

Fisherman, Ellery Lake, Sierra Crest

Fisherman, Ellery Lake, Sierra Crest

Fisherman, Ellery Lake, Sierra Crest. Sierra Nevada, California. August 6, 2013. © Copyright 2013 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

A lone fisherman casts into Ellery Lake beneath ridges rising through haze toward the Sierra Nevada crest

This photograph includes a subject that I’ve stopped and looked at many time, thinking there must be a photograph in it somewhere – and even trying to photograph it a few times – but never quite figuring out how to see it. Ironically, it was the wildfire haze and smoke that made it work for me this time, as that haze muted some of the over-abundance of fine detail that I think can distract from the larger form in this scene, and which also muted the bright reflections on the water which can otherwise be hard to manage.

I thought of this as monochrome image when I made it. (I don’t always know that at the time of exposure, but with digital we have the luxury of making that decision later if necessary.) My first thought was to make it a “natural” landscape, but I noticed that a fisherman had appeared along the left end of the foreground peninsula. Often my first reaction to the appearance of a person in my landscapes is to wait for the person to move. But I have learned that sometimes a very small figure in the landscape can change the image in ways that seem oddly out of proportion to the size of the figure. Here, especially in a larger print, the little figure against the background of the shining water changes everything, I think. Place the tip of your finger over that person to cover him, and see if you see what I mean. I did also continue to make a few more exposures after he left, but I like this one the best.

G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer and visual opportunist whose subjects include the Pacific coast, redwood forests, central California oak/grasslands, the Sierra Nevada, California deserts, urban landscapes, night photography, and more.
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Text, photographs, and other media are © Copyright G Dan Mitchell (or others when indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without advance permission from G Dan Mitchell.


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