Sparks Lake in Winter
Fresh Winter Snow, Deschutes National Forest, near Bend,Oregon
Sparks Lake is one of the iconic locations in the Bend Oregon area. It has a naturally elegant composition. South Sister to the west, Broken Top Mountain to the east and interesting foregrounds all around. Sparks Lake is always photogenic but it is especially rewarding for Oregon Landscape photographers after fresh snow falls. In late summer the Oregon cascades get a bit…barren. Fresh winter snowfalls brighten and refresh our beloved volcanoes. Every year there is a narrow time window where there is fresh snow on the Central Oregon Cascades and the famed Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway is still open. Later in winter there is a snowgate which closes for the season, prohibiting automobile traffic beyond Mt Bachelor. During that window, the shores of Sparks Lake are accessible and in years like this one, you can even capture snow covered foregrounds. Light cloud cover above South Sister and Broken Top are a welcome bonus during this elusive landscape photography window.
Sparks Lake in Winter, The Capture
Sparks Lake was a favorite of Oregon’s historic photographer laureate, Ray Atkeson who knew that great backdrops are available from every perspective on the shores of Sparks Lake but great foregrounds are more difficult to find. In summer wildflowers like in this print, Sparks Lake Garden , are briefly enjoyed. In late summer, the shores of Sparks Lake dry out until autumn storm fronts begin to roll through the Oregon Cascades. Every early morning offers surprises. On this morning, I was greeted by fresh snows, frozen water, and enchanting clouds over the summits of South Sister and Broken Top. I was ecstatic! I was especially excited to find the texture of snow coated lava rocks, forming a miniature wintry stonehenge. I had my foreground and my newest fine art landscape photograph! I hope you enjoy this new work as much as I did capturing it!