We took a quick break from a busy summer of wedding photography to visit Lake Aloha in the Desolation Wilderness area in South Lake Tahoe for a quick landscape photography trip.
After grabbing our permit online, we parked at Lily lake and headed up from the Glen Alpine trail head. Our first day in to Aloha Lake went fine, lots of water still and a surprising amount of snow for mid July, but we got to the lake and found a great site halfway around the north end and set up camp. After eating we scouted around for sunset and sunrise landscape compositions, and of course, for some night time astro-photography spots. Those are always harder to find at night!
For this trip, given that the moon was waning and only about 25%. I brought only my Nikon D810 and my 24mm f/1.4 lens which was a godsend during the night shots. The night shots were all at f2 at about 20 seconds at ISO 2000. This lens allowed me to capture some of the cleanest and most noise free images I have ever got at night with my D810. After leaving Aloha Lake, we headed on to Half Moon lake just below Dicks Pass. This was on a 2 mile side trail, so we figured there wouldn’t be many people here and we were mostly right. A couple of hikers showed up much later in the day as we where swimming in all the amazing lakes clustered nearby. Unfortunately the Detwiler fire in Mariposa blew up overnight and we awoke to a windy day full of hazy smoke. Rather than battle the smoke for another night, we decided to cut our trip short and head out, a good decision as it turns out since the smoke settled over Lake Tahoe heavy for the next 4 days.
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