In Search of Bonsai Rock

So the plan for day 2 was to end up at Lake Tahoe for sunset.  I had come across some photos online of a pretty cool rock formation on the eastern shore of the lake that would be a pretty nice foreground subject.

It was named as Bonsai Rock because of the small tree with a resemblance to the aforementioned Japanese Art form situated on top.

There were some stunning photos from other photographers that were really amazing.  I came across another photographers blog here that had documented how to find the spot as it’s relatively unmarked and difficult to locate.

Even with the latitude and longitudes it was a little hard to find.  In reality, I never did find it exactly, but part of that is not having enough time to get in position.  A little disheartening since the light seemed like it was going to be pretty awesome.

The problem was, we arrived a little late in the afternoon to really allow a whole lot of searching around.  The turn out/parking area is a relatively short breakdown lane situated on a pretty steep slope down to the water.  A quick walk up and down the shoulder searching for the rocks didn’t immediately present a preferred path down to the water.

There was anywhere from 4 to 8 inches of snow over much of the slope, so I’m sure that helped obscure the best route.  So not wanting to miss sunset completely, I took a shot at the most inviting spot.

(This is where I should put up the “don’t-try-this-at-home” warning.)

Like many times, my desire to get the perfect shot overrode my brain’s ability to process and proceed with caution.  Although, I will say that at least a couple times I was thinking that I really shouldn’t be doing this, except it didn’t really prevent me from doing it.

Quite a few times I actually found myself sliding down the side of the hill to find firm footing.  I figured finding my way out later would be something I could worry about then.  It wasn’t until I got to the bottom and had set up the tripod and camera for some shots that I took time to fully appreciate the difficulty I was going to have getting out.

I’m no spring chicken anymore and quite a frankly carrying a few more pounds around than I’m used to (not including the ~40 pounds of camera gear I dragged down there.)  So I was genuinely a little bit worried for a little while.   I know my wife is reading this for the first time (sorry, babe).

Having said all that, there was nothing I could do about it right then, so I figured I might as well try and get a decent photograph out of it so it wouldn’t have been all for naught.  This is what I came up with.  I hope you enjoy.  I had to work for this one!

Canon 5d Mk II, ISO 250, Canon 16-35L MkII @ 18 mm, f5.6, 1/15 sec. Grad N/D Filter

3 Responses to “In Search of Bonsai Rock”

  1. Mike Wiacek says:

    Thanks for the link back to my blog post on Bonsai Rock. The path down the side of the road to the shore is pretty steep. I would have never tried it with snow on the ground. The shot you got is awesome and unique. I love the colors! :-)

    • studioadmin says:

      Thanks for the kind words Mike and thanks for putting the coordinates together online or I wouldn’t have even come close to finding it.

  2. Mom says:

    Once again i’

    Once again i’m amazed with your photography and as you were telling your story it brought to mind the day I received a call that you had hurt your arm playing circus do remember? You have always been determined. Love ya

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