Earlier this year I had the incredible opportunity to go camping at the Boundary Waters Canoe Area with my two cousins. It was a trip my wife arranged for my 40th birthday, and I couldn’t have been more pleased with how everything turned out. The BWCA is more than a thousand square miles of untouched wilderness at the Minnesota/Canada border, with hundreds of lakes, just as many campsites, and no motorized vehicles allowed. We arrived at the Clearwater Lodge entry point at 7am (which meant we had to leave the Twin Cities about 1:30am) on a Sunday morning, got our gear, packed everything into a canoe, and hit the waters. A few hours later we arrived at our campsite on Caribou Lake which was our home base until Wednesday morning.
Weight is pretty important on a trip like this, since you have to carry everything you bring with on your shoulders. There’s also the issue of rain, wind, dust, and other natural elements: I didn’t want my camera gear getting full of dust or dropped in a lake. As such I mostly just used my iPhone for any pictures, but I brought my trusty Fuji X100F and Peak Design Travel Tripod with for one specific purpose: to get a picture of the sunset. I’m not even sure if I go the photo I was hoping for, but then, if you were to ask me in advance I don’t know that I could have even described the photo I was hoping for. I just wanted a long-exposure sunset image of a lake on the Canadian border.
That’s basically what you see here: a two-minute exposure just as the sun was setting, taken from the shore just off our campsite on Caribou Lake. I forgot to bring my cable release which meant I had to sit on the edge of the lake holding the shutter down with one finger while swatting mosquitos with my other hand, but it wasn’t too bad and I got a few pictures that I liked including this one. The long exposure served two purposes: smoothing out the lake and adding motion blur to the clouds. It’s not quite as dramatic as the sunset photos I took at Milford Lake last summer, but this one comes with a really fun set of memories involving camping way up north, and that’s something you can’t get just any time you want.