I stood alone at the crater rim on a cold October day. At 7,000 feet (2,130 m) above sea level, it was already wintering at Crater Lake National Park, Oregon. Dark and fast-moving clouds dominated the sky. This is a place where the weather can be formidable any time of year, especially in winter. Cautious respect is the order of the day. It is best to come prepared for all possibilities.
A stiff wind swirled around Wizard Island keeping the surface of the lake water in constant motion giving it a rippled texture. Snow was beginning to accumulate on the steep inner downslopes of the rocky volcanic perimeter. Small patches of fog appeared and disappeared along the rim.
As I stood silently watching the sky, the clouds thinned above a prominent rim peak opposite my standing spot. Diffuse light filtered through illuminating half the crater and creating a natural vertical vignette across the right side of the frame. The dark vignette exaggerated the white crust outlining the island shoreline and those of the small islets.
From my vantage point, the island looked like a pointing arrowhead. I repositioned my tripod to take advantage of this perceived symbol. I lined up the arrowhead to point at the prominent dark peak and bright spot above it on the far side of the lake.
I deliberately choose a 4:3 aspect ratio as a final format. The goal was to give the viewer a sense of grandeur while keeping the island as a large foreground element. It was important to me that the image has a full black and white tonal range but unweight the mid-tones and allow the shadows and highlights to dominate without clipping. The image was edited with NIK Silver Efex Pro and Adobe Photoshop.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor