This week’s photo was taken during a recent backpacking trip into Eagle Cap Wilderness in northeastern Oregon. This was our first night, and the end of a long day of driving and a steep uphill climb of 3000 feet. Even before I pressed the shutter release, I knew I wanted to convert this image to black and white. A small rock peninsula was jutting out into the lake from the opposite shore, and I wanted to accentuate the extreme contrast between the brightly lit rocks and the shadowed forest beyond.
As expected, we had the lake to ourselves. Unlike the famous Oregon counterpart of the same name, this “Crater Lake” in the Eagle Cap Wilderness is small, and is not considered a destination unto itself, but a stopping point as the hiker gets deeper into the wilderness. In fact, this lake is not formed in a crater at all, but a dimple in the landscape carved by glaciers of the last ice age. As this lake is fed by snow melt, its water is crystal clear. Although small, this lake definitely is beautiful, which can be at least some comfort on very cold nights.