Happy 2024!

2024 Calendars are still available at lotsasmilesphoto.etsy.com!

I’m fervently working through the 2057 photos I took in Costa Rica, and I hope to start sharing some photostories from that trip soon.  If you can’t wait that long, we’re already sharing some of our travel adventures on our travel blog, BIGtinyWorld.  We won’t be duplicating posts, so you’re invited to follow both blogs!

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2016

In the meantime, I have a photostory that’s a bit older.  I’ve been anxious to process these photos, but for whatever reason, I simply haven’t gotten around to them.  I alluded to this story before, but I now have the finished pictures to share in all their glory.

I love love love mist.  It completely transforms a scene into something seldom seen – eerie and magical.  With just the right amount of mist, any mundane location can’t help but be breathtakingly beautiful.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2016

We took a trip to Crater Lake, and we stayed at a nearby campground off of Diamond Lake.  We attempted to catch sunset our first night there, but we found the crater hidden in a snowstorm.  Back at the campground, it was cold and wet, but drying, with low clouds already settling into the valley for the night.

I had a hunch this was the perfect formula for some morning fog.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2016

However, we stayed up late playing games over a few drinks, as a group of photographer friends tend to do while on a photo excursion together.  Needless to say, the thought of crawling out of bed before the sun didn’t appeal to anyone.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2016

I wasn’t fond of the early hour, either, but the thought of magical mist was enough to drag my tired butt out of bed before anyone else.  Sleep tends to vanish, and I’m more willing to do crazy things at the promise of some good photos.

For once, my hunch paid off.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2016

Absolutely no one was around, and I was unsure if I should even be out on the dock.  Not even the fishermen were up yet.  The air was crisp and silent, but the lake was stunningly shrouded in a thin layer of mist.


I went to town.  It was one of those incredible mornings where I forgot the cold entirely; I didn’t even notice the frost on my camera bag.  I loved the calm water, the birds all lined up on a distant log, the idle motorboats resting at the dock, the proud mountain serving as my backdrop.  It was gorgeous, and I couldn’t get enough.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2016

Have I mentioned I love the excitement of a perfect photo morning?  Sure, I take pictures all the time.  But times are rare when I’m giddy at the camera, ecstatic to be capturing a perfect moment.  My techniques could be atrocious, and the photos would still be amazing.  This is what fuels my passion; this is what I live for.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2016

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2016

I reluctantly packed up my gear once the sun was too high and the magic gone, the early boats just departing from the shore and disturbing the mirror lake.  It was only then that I realized my hands were a bit cold.

I returned to the cabin to share my captures and incite jealousy amongst my sleepy comrades.  They vowed to try the next morning, but after a warmer sunny day, the following day wouldn’t offer the same magic again.  Perhaps next time, they’ll forsake their pillows and come with me.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2016

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  1. Whoa!…here in Nsukka is quite chilly. Chilly enough for a misty photostory. I can feel all that magic around me as if I were there, taking those pictures with you!. Thanks for sharing! Now I can sleep and have a magical dream????

  2. These images take me back to a time when I would sneak out of my house in the wee hours of the morning to sit on the dock with my lab. I would sit with a heavy blanket watching the wind move across the water. Such a simpler time…

    1. I do some post-processing, but I really try to stay true to the scenes as much as I can (with some artistic exceptions). For the most part, this is how I saw that morning; it was absolutely breathtaking.

  3. I love waking up early to catch sunrise and yes, the results never disappoint me. Not to mention the nature is always wholly different in the morning.

    Anyway, this deserves more attention! Amazing photos, keep it up. My favourite is the one with the clouds and oh, how beautiful is the reflection and the colours! I can imagine myself waking up early and run over there to enjoy the view. So breath-taking! Hopefully one day I can experience something perfect like this.

    1. That’s kind of you to say! I love visiting Crater Lake – it’s Oregon’s only national park. The wilderness out there never ceases to amaze me. The whole area is so beautiful!

  4. I love photos with mist and fog. I’m not a true photographer, but the ones I’ve taken with just my smart phone are good because fog is so forgiving. Yours are gorgeous. I love the rising mist off the lake.

  5. The word pearls are very beautifully crafted and beaded to complement the picturesque clicks! It was a great pleasure reading such a description of a normal day out on a foggy day… Awesome!!!

  6. A fabulous photo story -thank you for sharing-I love misty mornings as well -although they are more rare in my corner of Zimbabwe, Africa!

      1. Definitely will not and thanks a lot for the encouragement….I should be sleeping right now since we leave at 4am….(it’s 1am now XD) Looks like I will have to catch some sleep in the car XD.????

  7. I’m glad I found you. I love photo blogs. And I look forward to the Costa Rica post. Looking at the above, aren’t you glad you got up early? You have an artistic eye.

    1. Thank you! Yes, I’m loving the Costa Rica pictures I’m working on now – such a beautiful country. And while my sleepy head never wants to roll out of bed, I almost never regret doing so 🙂

  8. Wow! These pictures are so amazing!!
    It feels so amazing to wake up to scenes like these, isn’t it? Plus being able to capture them so beautifully! I am glad I came across your blog!

  9. For the late risers like me, it’s an amazing way to bring the dawn to our eyes from the time they’re shut with dreams and possibly for people in other countries who just can’t be there physically. Morning speaks through your photo_stories!

  10. […] via Photostory: The Misty Morning — LotsaSmiles Photography […]

  11. These are beautiful! What a capture in that moment with both pre-dawn and sunlight. Gorgeous! Totally worth losing a little sleep!

    1. To be honest, it was completely coincidental. An editor came across my site from a weekly photo contest submission (one of my Sunday posts) and found this post. It was mostly a lucky break, but participating in regular challenges help get you seen 🙂 I’ll be starting my own photo challenge really soon, so be on the lookout for that!

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