One of the beauties of photographing in Alaska in October is that the quality of light stays relatively warm and angle-appropriate for shooting most of the day. However, there is nothing quite as dynamic as the first and last light of any day. This shot was taken about 1 hour before actual sunset, but the sun was fading quickly in the foreground due to its descent behind a mountain ridge. I wanted the pattern of the foreground wetland grasses to be in the light, so this was the last shot before shadows crawled over the ice. The clouds on the mountain peak provide and interesting element of turbulence. I find that angles in a landscape image add a great sense of compositional power, but in this case, it just did not work out in spite of a few efforts to find a line along the shore. So I settled with this composition.
You might wonder why I was at ISO 200 and f/14 for a landscape like this…well, it was hand held since I had wandered away from my tripod for a moment. The shadows were coming so quickly that I laid down and made a tripod with my elbows and shot it as fast and steady as I could. The ISO boost gave me a safer shutter speed. Ideally, I would have been at ISO 50 or 100, and f/16 or f/22