Gathering Storm Over Wild Basin

Equipment Info
Canon Canon EOS 5D Mark II

I had previously scouted this area and found this geometrically interesting pothole nestled above an alpine lake. The pothole was dry at the time, but I figured that if I timed my return visit to follow a major rainfall it might contain water. So when we received significant rain a couple of weeks later I decided to take my shot. Leaving the trailhead at 1:00 am, I made the 7-mile moonlight hike/climb back to this spot and was glad to see the pothole was full. The Continental Divide runs along the ridgeline at the horizon. Under the right conditions, moist air is forced up the Western Slope and produces dramatic storm clouds. At this high altitude the fast moving clouds seemed to be racing by at breakneck speeds and appeared almost close enough to reach up and touch. Unfortunately, a thick wall of clouds to the east on this day was blocking the sunrise from bathing the mountains in alpenglow. Making matters worse, relentless high winds made camera vibration a substantial impediment to capturing a sharp image. It seemed as though my considerable efforts would be in vein. But I've learned from experience that a few short seconds of magic light is all it takes to bag a killer shot. And that magic light can occur at any moment ̶ even when all hope seems lost. The key is to be prepared when it happens. Don't give up and pack it in. When golden light finally broke through, I fired several bursts between wind gusts. Then the light was gone as fast as it came. Checking the LCD screen, I was pleased to see that the setting moon had managed to peek through the clouds, adding an appealing element to the composition. A torrent of rain bombarded me for most of the long hike out. But I got my shot!

Date Added
September 16, 2012
Date Taken
September 16, 2012