Lake Becking, Mallee, Victoria, Australia by Russell Curr

Picture Story

This shot was taken just after sunrise from the shores of Lake Becking, a pink salt lake in Western Victoria. It had been a freezing winter dawn and I hiking over to the lake I was shrouded in dense ground fog, not sure what to expect given the poor visibility. With the rising sun the fog was soon being burnt off and the opposite shoreline came into view while the rest of the lake was still covered in mist. I stood at the shoreline which was a vivid pink due to the red algae (Dunaliella salina), that grows in the brine, and focused the shot. Prior to this there had been no colour in the landscape, just the grey haze of the fog. As the sun rose further, the fog started to lift and for a few brief moments there was colour in the fog. A few minutes later a dazzling sun burst through and I was witness to another cloudless winter morning with mist trails dissipating skyward. It was all over in a few minutes.

The base of the lake is hard salt but in winter its covered with a shallow layer of salt water with the edges protected by thick, black smelly mud. When focusing a shot the biggest problem one faces is sinking into this mud. My medium format Pentax with its heavy lenses presents a significant weight on the tripod and on some occasions the uneven distribution of weight has caused it to sink. Its usually wiser to wade out into the lake (its very shallow) to seek the harder salt surface - gum boots are mandatory.

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