Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Kings Beach, Lake Tahoe Sunset

The sunsets and sunrises have been incredible up here in the Tahoe area lately!

I had a busy day with the camera yesterday. After I shot two real estate photo jobs, I ended up getting dinner at my favorite little Mexican food stands. Their Chimichangas are incredible! After I got my order, I drove across the street to Kings Beach, where there were plenty of unused picnic tables. The clouds were looking like they might make for a nice sunset so I hung out at the beach for an hour and waited.


I'm glad I waited! The sunset was a real stunner. The oranges and reds were intense, and it was one of those sunset where the color stuck around a looong time.


These were both shot with the Canon 5DS R and a 16-35mm lens. No lens filters were used, however, two flash units were used in order to light up those trees and get those fall colors to pop.


Happy photographer, once again. I have been getting a lot of new photos for my website lately, which yes, makes me smile!


Thank you for looking and I hope you all had a great day too!

Scott Thompson
Scott Shots Photography


Sunday, October 22, 2023

Donner Lake Sunset

It's been great living across the street from Donner Lake! I moved here a few weeks ago, and being that close to the lake allows me to make last minute decisions to grab the camera gear, and rush out to capture incredible light on the lake. Tonight's sunset shoot was another one of those last minute decisions. When I noticed the clouds lining up for a good one, I finished eating dinner as fast as I could, and rushed to this location. The color was starting to happen right as I was setting up. I just made it, without a minute to spare!


Shot with the Canon 5DS R and a 24-105mm lens. The ISO was 400, the shutter speed was 1/50 of a second, and the lens aperture was f/7.1. A tripod and shutter release cable were used. No lens filters were used. Two flash units were used in order to light up those trees and leaves in the foreground. They would have been a silhouette without the flashes.

Okay, maybe I did have one minute to spare, so I shot this quick selfie. Happy photographer!!!


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

Scott Thompson
Scott Shots Photography


Paradise Lake Photo Adventure (Video)

Join me on a backpacking trip to Paradise Lake, located in the Tahoe area, about 5 miles behind Castle Peak. Photography gear and techniques are discussed and a bit of the adventure is shown.

Prints of the photos featured in the video can be purchased from my website here: https://www.scottshotsphoto.com/gallery/Paradise-Lake-Photo-Adventure/G0000N2D17yudY6I

Milky Way and Sunrise Photos at Paradise Lake

I've had time to work on a few more photos from last weekend's backpacking adventure to Paradise Lake. This is my favorite little lake in the Tahoe area backcountry. It's an incredibly beautiful location, but it was looking extra photogenic out there and I ended up with many "keeper" photos. I hope to work on more of them today...

The hike to the spot where I shot the Milky Way was not easy in the dark, even with the headlamp. But when I made it to the location, I knew I had chosen wisely. Walking over there instead of sleeping was worth it!


These first two shots were with the Canon 5DS R and a 16-35mm lens. For both of them, the ISO was 1600, the lens aperture was f/2.8, and the exposures were 20 seconds long. A tripod and shutter release cable were used. No lens filters or flash.


After that successful shoot, I went back to bed and woke up early to capture the sunrise. It's about a 5 mile hike out to the lake and my backpack was 40 pounds, so I wanted to make sure I took lots of photos as it's not the easiest location to get to.

Shot with the Canon 5DS R, the 16-35mm lens, a tripod, a shutter release cable, and a graduated neutral density filter was used in order to balance out the sky exposure with the foreground exposure. The ISO was 100, the lens aperture was f/22, and it was a 25 second long exposure.

Can you see the tent in the shot? It wasn't mine, but I like that is shows a bit of perspective. There are quite a few areas around the lake that work for setting up tents so if you go out there, you will most likely be able to find a camp spot, even on a busy weekend.


One more from the same sunrise, but obviously from a different spot. There are so many great angles to shoot this lake from, it's hard to go wrong. The water was almost perfectly still which made for some great reflection shots.

Also shot with the Canon 5DS R and the 16-35mm lens. When I go backpacking with camera gear, I usually only bring one body and one lens in order to cut down on the backpack weight. A tripod and shutter release cable were used, as well as a graduated neutral density filter. The ISO was 100, the lens aperture was f/22, and it was a 2.5 second long exposure. The exposure time was much quicker than the photo above because the sun was getting closer to rising above the horizon, so it was getting much brighter out.

I hope you enjoyed these photos. I actually have many more Paradise Lake photos to work on... It was a great weekend for photography!

Scott Thompson
Scott Shots Photography


Thursday, October 12, 2023

This Morning At Donner Lake

I'm so lucky to live in Truckee!!! This photo was shot this morning, here at Donner Lake in Truckee, California. I was able to grab my gear, walk out the door of my new pad, and literally 60 seconds later, I was at this location taking photos. The fog on the water caught my eye, so I grabbed my gear and made the incredibly difficult walk over to the lake, lol. The fall colors around town are looking great. They haven't peaked yet, but there is still plenty of yellows to be seen.


Shot with a Canon 5DS R and a 24-105mm lens, set at 47mm. The ISO was 200, the shutter speed was 1/200 of a second, and the lens aperture was f/20. Handheld, no tripod or lens filters. The small lens aperture helps get that sunburst and the little sparkly star-like effect of the sun's reflection on the water.

Thanks for looking and I hope you all have a great day! (My day is starting off nice!)

Scott Thompson
Scott Shots Photography


Monday, October 2, 2023

Pyramid Lake Fishing Photos

Yesterday was a good day! My budddy Blake of Pisces Outdoors invited me and another buddy out for the opening day of fishing at Pyramid Lake in Nevada (Northeast of Reno a bit, near the Black Rock Desert, where Burning Man takes place). Blake makes and sells fishing lures, he also recently obtained his fishing guide license and can now bring clients out for fishing adventures on his bad-ass boat.

The day started out rough. The waves were big and scary. But again, Blake's boat is bad-ass and handled the waves with no problems. I, however, ended up seasick and the first couple of hours of fishing were rough for me. Eventually, the awful feeling went away and I was having a blast! Many fish were caught, they were all Lahontan Cutthroat Trout. All of them were big, one was a very large one, probably about 12 pounds.

Here's one that I caught:


Here's Blake's "winner" of the day. We were quick to release the fish so they could live to be caught another day. This meant we did not have time to weigh the fish, but again, the three of us experienced fishermen agreed, about 12 pounds for this one. Yes, that's a GoPro in the shot. Blake has a YouTube channel and I was also helping a bit with video camera work. Here's Blake's channel: Pisces Outdoors on YouTube The video will be released soon...


This is Blake's boat, at the boat launch. We did not start at sunrise because the wind was supposed to die down mid-day, which means the waves should have started to lay down a bit at launch time.


NOPE! The wind and waves did not mellow out for another couple hours. And again, I ended up getting seasick...


Our buddy Paul and his dog Bubba were both BEASTS on this trip. Bubba handled the rough water like a champ, he is a very experienced dog when it comes to fishing adventures. Paul was incredible when it came to gearing up the rods with tackle and landing the most fish. He's not very patient and would change the lures out often with new ones. But this was a great technique because he was quickly able to figure out what was working and again, we caught tons of fish!


Here's a few more happy fishermen photos:




And here's a look at some of the lures we were using. Blake makes and sells the "spoons". Plugs also worked for us, as well as a few other types. Many many fish were caught, we were out there almost all day, so many types of lures were used. On "opening day" the fish haven't seen lures for a few months so they aren't cautious and bite a lot. So much fun!


We had one double hook-up, when two fish bite at the same time (different rods and lures). It's always fun even though it creates a bit of chaos on the boat. I actually caught that fish Blake is holding on the right... But as the photographer on the boat, it was my duty to get the photo, lol.


Almost all of the fish were released. We did keep a couple and I now have half of one fish in my freezer, the other half is in the refrigerator and is going to be my dinner tonight, woohoo! Pyramid Lake has very strict rules about what size fish you can keep, and how many. The lake is on on an Indian Reservation and the Paiute Tribe does an incredible job with managing the fish population there. It's not that uncommon for fishermen to land a 20 pound trout there. And there are SO MANY fish in that lake, you are really doing something wrong if you walk away empty handed.


We had to stop for a minute along the shore, in order to let Bubba the dog go pee. While there, I ended up with this cool shoreline landscape photo. I was happy with it and it is now available to order as prints on my website: "Fall Colors at Pyramid Lake".


I also got Blake a nice photo of his boat. I always make sure to get some good photos for his website, that way I get invited back out again!


Thanks for looking and I hope you all had a great weekend too. FISH ON!

Scott Thompson
Scott Shots Photography