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Dream Lake

Dream Lake
Photo Information
Copyright: Paul Gana (PaulGana) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 102 W: 3 N: 129] (595)
Genre: Landscapes
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2011-10-02
Categories: Mountain
Camera: Olympus E620, Olympus Zuiko 14-45mm f3.5-5.6, Cokin Grad ND8 A121
Exposure: f/11, 1/20 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2012-02-15 22:18
Viewed: 2983
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 10
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Dream Lake is a high glacial fed lake in Rocky Mountain National Park in northern Colorado. It is below the iconic Hallett Peak (on the left) and fed by the dying Tyndall Glacier wich is barely visible in this photo. Dream Lake is an iconic location as well, it is one of the most photographed areas in the national park, perhaps a little overdone at times. It truly is a beautiful place and I can understand why it is such a popular area, it is an easy 1 mile hike from the Bear Lake parking lot (easy if you don't mind high elevations), but that morning it was a very brutal hike, I had gotten up at 4:30 Am to start the hike early enough to get to this lake before sunrise, the part that made it difficult was the fact that I drove over 300 miles or about 180 kilometers from Crested Butte the night before, and not getting into Rocky until 8 PM and hanging out with a friend of mine at a campsite until midnight before finally deciding on going to bed.

Dream Lake is notorious, especially in the winter, of having incredibly powerful winds. Hurricane force on a regular basis in fact (and I have been here in these conditions and fully dressed for winter conditions it was still very intense with me only being able to last maybe a minute or two), so to have a nice calm morning to get the reflection for this shot is a rarity.

this scene is so expansive that this shot was taken with my widest angle lens at the widest focal length and still was barely able to get everything in and actually was still not enough, perhaps next time I will take multiple images overlapping each other and stitching them together in Photoshop in order to get everything in the scene

Hallett Peak is probably the second most known peak in Rocky Mountain National Park, second only to the renowned Longs Peak (which is legendary for it's alpinism and the fact that it is the only 14,000 foot peak, or about 4,300 meters, in the park and the northern most 14'er in the Rockies). Hallett Peak is only 12,700 feet (3880 meters) in elevation, so not exceptionally high by Colorado standards, but it is an extremely prominent peak from the town of Estes Park which is the eastern gateway to Rocky, from the town Hallett Peak rises a mile (1,600 meters) above the town. Though it is considered an easy climb, one route is on a list of the 50 classic climbs of North America.

Again I had to reprocess this image for better display on this site, though I still feel it does not actually show the true character of the photo I took that morning.

For a more accurate display: http://www.redbubble.com/people/moses/works/8197936-dream-lake-shadow

rubyfantacy, maaciejka has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To thijs: thanksPaulGana 3 02-20 17:55
To mwmod99: thanksPaulGana 2 02-16 10:22
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Critiques [Translate]

Good day Paul .... I love that incredible view! The image is so peaceful and powerful! I think that the scene however with that strong sunlight is quite challenging for any cameras. I mean, we have quite strong shadows, and extreme highlights. In my opinion some detail has been lost in those two sites of the scale. An HDR can be the best way to preserve all this details, I think! On top of that I feel that the HUE has been twisted slightly....the sky is shown in some purple colors, and the expose rocks and the pine trees are bathed in powerful yellow tint! So, please have a look my proposed workshop. Well, to work with a small JPEG file is not the best way, but at least I have tried!
P.S. Sorry Paul ....your workshop is locked!
George Veltchev

hi Paul,
such a lovely place is this... serene and heavenly... wish i could get a glimpse of this place in full sunlight... can you post one in your workshop?
thanks for sharing

  • Good 
  • thijs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 82 W: 1 N: 104] (529)
  • [2012-02-16 5:56]
  • [+]

Hi Paul

This really is a great spot! i have te agree with mwmod99 about the shadows. The shadow could use some more light and the leftside is just too dark. Me personally am not a great fan of HDR, but you could try it one time.
At final i must say, the reflection in the water is awesome!


  • Great 
  • kabel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 61 W: 0 N: 95] (552)
  • [2012-02-16 7:56]

Hello, Grat reflection shot. It looks like a bird reflected in the water that can not be seen in the air. Strange but wonderful. Good composition.Tfs,

Hi Paul,
Really beautiful place. Amazing vivid colours. Great composition.

Hi Paul,
How strange that the colors of this photo are so different from the one you posted on the other side. In the past I have experienced that my photos came out a little darker. But never had a change in color. What steps do you take to make the photos ready for TL.
If I look past the odd colors, I see a wonderful photo with an excellent composition. The beautiful light has illuminated the mountain wonderfully. My only thought is that a lower POV might have created a better FG interest.

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