Lake Maurepas trip results in amazing photos


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The sky turns pastel colors during a stunning sunrise on Lake Maurepas.

Everything lines up during photo adventure with new Florida friends

I’ve shot photos on the edge of Lake Maurepas a number of times, but the great thing about nature is that every day is different. So when Florida photographer Gregg Thomas emailed asking about likely photo locations, I quickly agreed to serve as the guide for him and his buddy Roger Cook. And it couldn’t have turned out better.

I look on as Florida photographer Gregg Thomas sets up for a shot of cypress trees dotting the edge of Lake Maurepas. (Photo by Roger Cook)

We arrived at the Reserve Canal boat launch a few minutes late, with sunlight already brightening the eastern horizon. I was frustrated my sunrise app hadn’t reset for daylight savings time (and that I didn’t realize it), but I could at least make the run to the lake on plane. Fifteen minutes later, we broke out of the canal to skies that were seemingly on fire.

The rising sun had painted the wispy clouds garish shades of reds, oranges and pinks — a perfect backdrop for the stands of cypress dotting the shallows.

In minutes, we were suited up in waders and slipping off the boat to set up tripods and start capturing images.

The intersection of the Reserve Canal and Lake Maurepas is one of my favorite sunrise locations, since there is a large, shallow flat with largely rock-hard bottom. It makes it easy to move around fairly quickly to shoot different angles as the day breaks.

The only danger comes from the numerous stumps, logs and cypress knees littering the bottom. Gregg discovered that when his foot snagged and he fell three times in a row, fortunately holding his camera above the water (barely) to prevent disaster.

What I love about working with other photographers is that I always learn something new. I get to watch as they view settings from angles I often over look, and as we chat they invariably share tips and tactics new to me.

Florida photographer Roger Cook sets up to take a photo in the shallows of Lake Maurepas.

On this trip, I learned how to shoot photos mimicking the use of a neutral density filter to produce silky smooth water even after the sun floods a scene with light. Roger and Gregg shared how this can be accomplished both in-camera and via Photoshop, and it will be part of my landscape workflow going forward.

I also learned about the Sony line of mirrorless cameras because Roger pulled out a couple Sonys and started showing off. Man, they were really awesome, offering a lot of options not available with my Nikon D810. And the frame rate? Off the charts. It’s definitely something I’m putting on my wishlist.

Watch the slider at the top of this page to see the images resulting from the session, or click here to see the images on my online gallery. Prints are available of each image.

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About Andy Crawford

Andy Crawford has been a photographer and writer for more than 20 years, with thousands of images and articles published in magazines and newspapers around the country. He now focuses on Louisiana photography, landscapes, HDR photography, urban prints and other fine art photography. He also is a portrait photographer.