In June of 2019, Sophie and I flew to our respective homes from an attempt at living in Thailand. While we had enjoyed our time there, it became clear that even though the cost of living was minimal, so was the opportunity to earn income.
Fortunately, I arrived back in Oregon just in time for a large family reunion that would take place in Sunriver for the first time. This would be my first time back in the most spectular region of Oregon since buying my very first DSLR, so I was as excited to get out and shoot as I was to see everyone.
On the flights home, I planned out my sunrises and sunsets for the 5 days I would have available. Sunsets were spread between family meals and key destinations, but sunrise was reserved for one special place: Sparks Lake.
I had seen photos from this scenic view and couldn’t find anything closer or better to our cabins. On the first day, while everyone else was enjoying drinks and playing games, I remained social but sober in anticipation of a late-night drive out to the lake where I would scout by flashlight, then catch a few hours of sleep.
I arrived at around midnight, grabbed a headlamp, and wandered about to see what I could see… which wasn’t much. I had a couple ideas but as much as I hated the thought of getting up any earlier than I already had to, I felt like it would be much easier to find my shot at dawn.
About 4 hours later, the alarm went off and I awoke to a calm lake on a beautiful morning. The sky was nearly devoid of clouds, save for a few that were forming above the mountains.
After hunting for about 20 minutes, I found the spot I would be calling home and watched in anticipation as those few sparse clouds continued to swirl, forming incredible lenticulars.
Not long after, the sun began to creep up and those same clouds began to burn bright with color. A low mist formed as the water warmed and the entire scene came to life. The camera did not stop firing and I knew already that I had “the one”.
I went back for 3 more sunrises, but after all those efforts, it was this first shot that remained my most popular and personal favorite shot.