I shot this image of the Lake Bailey Dam about two weeks ago. Although I have been to this state park numerous times, I had never known about this area until I was searching the internet one night trying to find some new photographic locations. As soon as I saw pictures of this area, I knew had to find it. As it turns out, I have passed by this spot many times. But, because it is not easily seen from the road, I had never noticed it, nor had I ever stopped to look around. Shame on me!
I left my house about 5:00 that Saturday morning to make sure I was there just before the sun rose. Unfortunately, I had not fully anticipated how cold it can be when it is 40 degrees, the wind is blowing, it’s dark, and all you’re wearing is a shirt and light jacket. Brrrrrr! Needless to say, it was only a matter of seconds before I began questioning my sanity as I stood behind a tree to block the wind waiting for the light to improve. But I decided to hang in there, and I’m glad I did.
In order to get the photograph above, I used a 70-200mm lens set at 155mm. I selected the smallest aperture on the lens, f/32, for two reasons. First, I wanted to ensure the image was sharp throughout the entire frame. Second, at that aperture, the shutter speed would be 6 seconds, which I knew would create the smooth silky effect for the falling water that I wanted. Although the area was in shade and being lit by the sky rather than directly by the sun, I used a daylight white balance because this would give the scene a bluish color tint that, to me, was in keeping with the cold temperature I endured to get this picture.
Settings: Canon 5D Mk II, 155mm, 6 sec, f/32