I really love it when a concept image I have in my mind ends up coming together. I saw this pull out overlooking Emerald Bay when I was in the Tahoe area back in June when returning from my trip to the Grand Tetons. I had spent that morning shooting Eagle Falls but afterwards when I drove past this pull out I knew exactly the kind of image I wanted to make in the few seconds just after the sun would rise.
So with that in mind I set out early one morning in late July, getting to the spot around 5:30. I quickly found the composition I wanted and knew that I would need heavy filtration to get what I was after. In the end, the sun came up exactly where I was expecting to and ended up making the image I wanted.
A natural question that comes up is whether the reds and purples in the sky are 'real' or whether they were achieved through digital manipulation. The answer is no in both cases. These colors are the result of me using a strong reverse grad filter stacked with a strong soft grad filter with the camera set to daylight white balance. If I had shot film this is close to what I would have gotten. I did add a tinted a virtual grad filter in Lightroom in post to balance out the lake however.