July 06, 2012

Location: Cecret Lake

Cecret Lake, Albion Basin, Utah. Canon 5D Mark II, 17-40mm, Singh Ray 3-stop reverse filter, Warming Polarizer.

Last night, I had one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I had envisioned shots like this at Cecret (Secret) Lake for some time now, and I finally got to capture it. I waited through wind and rain just hoping for the clouds to break at the right moment. I have to be honest, it wasn’t looking promising, and I kept thinking about how unprepared I actually was if things were to turn ugly. The rain was getting heavier and my crepe soled shoes (bad idea) had started slipping in the mud. I hiked to a spot I found photographically pleasing and waited. The light was fading and my hopes for a sky full of color were fading with it. It’s all part of the game. Often times the waiting doesn’t pay off. You sit and wait, only to come home cold and wet with grey photos. It’s the times when the waiting and the patience actually pay off that keep you coming back for more, and last night was one of those times.
There were moments of joy and frustration as the rain continued to spit on my most prized filter. The rain was the heaviest when the light finally leaked through, but I couldn’t wipe my filter off, hold it in front of my lens and place it fast enough before drops started to hit it again. The light went as quickly as it came, but I was so stoked about the shots I was able to get that I didn’t care how long it lasted. It was incredible. I didn’t care that I was wet, or that my shoes were muddy. Those things were only temporary. The moment and the beauty will be with me forever.
On my way back down the mountain, I was thinking of the natural wonder I had just witnessed. In my daydreaming and replaying of the last hour, I stumbled upon FOUR moose along the trail. The first sighting was of a mom and baby along the tree line about 50 yards away from the trail. We spotted each other at the same time, and I stopped just as they froze. I slowly crept past on the trail, keeping my eye on the mother. Further down, I nearly ran into a male moose eating along the trail. I must have only been 30 feet from him. With its head down eating the grass, and the low light of dusk, I didn’t recognize its form until he came up to chew his food. He hardly seemed fazed by my presence, but I wasn’t taking any chances. I started off trail to see if I could go around him when I saw yet another in my diverted path. I had to weigh my options for a minute and remain calm as I thought of my next step. I started off trail the other way, giving the male, still in the middle of the trail, plenty of room, and eventually got back on the path. I had never seen so many moose at once! And all so close. I’ll never forget it. 

Dramatic storm clouds and rainbow over Cecret Lake, Albion Basin, Utah.

Before the light hit at Cecret Lake, Albion Basin, Utah.
Cecret Lake, Albion Basin, Utah.

*Please click on photos for maximum viewing.


  1. These are absolutely stunning, Lindsay. Dreamy, even. I love the colors and the softness of the distant mountains caused by the low hanging clouds. Exceptional work!