Pre-Sunrise At Sand Harbor in Lake Tahoe


Over the years I’ve learned to never believe the weather forecast. I looked at my weather app the morning I was getting up to shoot Sand Harbor at Lake Tahoe and this what I saw. Clear skies forecasted for sunrise.


Now, I would never let that stop me from going out shooting. But it sure does help me reason to myself to sleep in for an extra 15-20 minutes thinking there’s no clouds in the sky to catch any color during twilight/pre-sunrise time. Luckily, it was my first morning on the west coast so my internal clock had me awake and ready to go early. And boy am I glad. Because this is what I was treated to.

(click to see the photo larger)

This was take at Sand Harbor, just down the road from the photos I posted a couple of weeks ago from Bonsai Rock. I was the only one there. In fact, I never saw another person for an entire 2 hours, until my friend Karen showed up. I love shooting with other people, but sometimes, on mornings like this, it’s just nice to enjoy it alone.

The photo was processed with Lightroom and onOne’s new Perfect Effects 8 Dynamic Contrast preset. Here’s the Gear/Settings:
• Canon 5D Mark III
• Canon 24-105mm lens
• Tripod: Really Right Stuff TVC-33
• Ballhead: Really Right Stuff BH-55
• Aperture: f/11
• Shutter Speed: 2.5 sec
• ISO: 100

Have a good one!

  • Irish

    When did you switch to Canon? I must have missed some posts ….

  • Peter MacDonald

    Nice shot Matt, I may personally crop just above the lower left rock and below the nice round middle foreground one. Give it a look and see what you think if you haven’t already tried different looks.

  • Dennis Zito

    Hey Matt, that is one Beautiful Photograph! Man the colors and lighting are just phenomenal! I’m waiting for tomorrow to get my Photo Suite 8. I’ve heard a lot about the dynamic contrast, so looking forward to try it out on some photos. Oh, I’ve always said the the best job in the world is being a weather forecaster. You can screw up all the time and never get fired! :-) Again, awesome photo!


  • Mike Rodriguez

    Love the colors, Matt. That’s a great shot. Sounds like an ideal morning.

  • David Latour

    I like shooting with other people. I really love shooting by myself. Getting a great shot doesnt just happen. Sometimes you need to wait it out. A great time to take notes, put thoughts on paper, or get my settings ready.

  • Bill Bentley

    Nice capture Matt. I love shooting sunrises and sunsets, especially when you get nice skies like this. It’s just amazing how the colors can change so much in mere seconds. One has to be watching very carefully and have their settings set.

    • Matt Kloskowski

      I couldn’t agree more. It was crazy how it changed so much in a matter of 5 minutes.

      • Bill Bentley

        Your capture inspired me get up early today and see what skies were waiting at one of my favorite sunrise spots. What an awesome surprise. This is Mt. Baker in WA State as seen from Coquitlam, British Columbia.

        • Matt Kloskowski

          Wow Bill! Those fiery colors are beautiful!! Great photo. Thanks for sharing :-)

          • Bill Bentley

            Thanks Matt! That’s pretty much exactly as it was. No vibrance or saturation added. +10 contrast, +15 clarity, +75 sharpening, and +25 NR. I also added about +50 shadows to bring out the foreground trees a bit.

            Thanks for all the great tips you share here and everywhere.

  • DestructoTex

    Matt- You mentioned that you used Prefect Effects 8 Dynamic Contrast but didn’t mention why you chose to do that rather than adjust contrast in Lightroom or what the advantages are to that. It would be helpful.Thanks!

    • Matt Kloskowski

      It’s hard to say other than it’s just better. The results far surpass anything I could do in Lightroom.