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When I’m behind the camera, I constantly struggle to keep a balance between the logical and the artistic. An engineer by vocation I like things organized. (I mean really; doesn’t everyone require their drink coaster’s edges to be lined up with the tile grout?)  As much as I try to keep that left brained activity in check, sometimes I have no choice but to succumb to it.

This image was taken near sunrise at Emerald bay in South Lake Tahoe, CA. After shooting the sunrise, I put on a telephoto lens and started looking for other images. Subconsciously I kept working on compositions very similar to this. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but something about this scene kept drawing me in. It wasn’t until I’d downloaded the images to my computer that it dawned on me; The outline of the anchored boats was a near mirror image of the silhouetted land. My engineering focused brain, (or OCD, depending on who you ask), made me take the shot. It just goes to show that both halves of the brain, working together, are equally important.

Much of what makes this image work is the exposure. In an automatic exposure mode, the camera would have rendered a bright washed out image. To bring out the color, I metered on the bright water in the foreground and set my shutter speed to underexpose by 1 stop. The resulting exposure dropped the boats and the shore to silhouette while making the most of the reflected color.

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