Photographing Lake Tahoe - 1. Nameless Cove

 Stillness. A nameless cove near Incline Village, NV.

Stillness. A nameless cove near Incline Village, NV.

 Aquatic Abstraction. A nameless cove near Incline Village, NV

Aquatic Abstraction. A nameless cove near Incline Village, NV

Nameless Cove

The classic image of Lake Tahoe is exemplified in this image, STILLNESS, perfectly clear blue-green water with the rocks strikingly visible beneath the surface. The classic image also puts the subject of the clear water in context by including the shoreline, a tree or trees, and the mountains in the distance. This is what people come from all over the world to see and it is a wonder to witness. It is not so easy to capture with your camera, however. The lake can be as smooth as glass at any time of the year but spring and fall have more dead calm days. As you can see from AQUATIC ABSTRACTION absolute calm is not always necessary. Landscape photographers are usually up for sunrise to capture the best light but, good news for sleepy heads, the best time to shoot water on the eastern shore of the lake is about 10:00 am. There are two reasons for this; first, the sun has to rise above the steep mountains that rise directly out of the lake and, second, the sun has to be high enough to shine down through the water rather than reflecting off of the surface. It’s impossible to get images like these without a polarizing filter to reduce the amount of reflection on the water so come prepared.

Best Times

10:00am to 12:00pm.

Best Months

October, November, April, May

Directions

Parking on the east shore of Lake Tahoe is very limited and these directions require that you be alert or you’ll miss the parking spot. Drive south for 0.7 miles past the Tunnel Creek Cafe (great food) which is just south of Incline Village NV. You’ll pass numerous signs that say “Resident Parking Only”. As soon as you see the single sign that says “End Resident Parking” there will be a dirt patch on the right side of the road. Park here. Blink and you’ll miss it. Walk south about 100 feet and descend the slope to the lake. It is STEEP AND SLIPPERY so use caution.