Rustic Lens
lake and mountain reflection

Louie Lake – Idaho

Years ago I bought a backpack and some varied supplies for hiking.  I had wild aspirations to hike all over this beautiful wilderness that covers much of central Idaho, but the hectic schedule of running two businesses and the short warm season here just seemed to make it hard to schedule.  So the nice new pack and all the supplies ended up in the closet and then in the storeroom.  Until my friend from The Arcanum,  Tony Curado,  asked me if I had any suggestions of where in Idaho would be good for his  “Galactic 50” project on True Vision Photography ,  his blog.  He is trying to get a shot of The Milky Way from each state.  You should check out his awesome work.  At first I suggested the Stanley area, but the Pioneer wildfire had the highway closed and who wants a Milky Way shot through smoke, right? After thinking on it, I suggested McCall Idaho.  There’s a nice lake and plenty of mountain scenery. Also we have another Arcanum friend there, The Spiritographer , Connie McClaran.  So I researched on google earth and found that Louie Lake was situated perfectly for The Milky Way to show up above Jughandle Mountain and the lake.  I asked Connie about getting there and she said it was a short hike, maybe two miles.  Well, out came the pack and supplies, our plan was to hike in and stay the night to take lots of astro-photography shots.  My son-in-law William Jensen decided to come also.  So after the drive up the little forest road to the trail head, we strapped on the packs and started up the trail.  If your someone who hasn’t hiked in years like myself, I don’t suggest you start on this hike.  It began climbing steeply right at the beginning and after working like crazy for probably a mile we came out onto a larger path that was more gently uphill.  Then it got crazy steep and I was huffing and puffing like I had just run a marathon.  Every muscle ached and my legs felt like jello.  I do have to say that Tony and William had quite a hard time too, but Connie must do a lot more hiking than the rest of us because I didn’t see her breathing hard.  Finally when we were all dripping and drenched with sweat, we rounded a corner and saw Louie Lake.  It was breathtaking, but I didn’t have any breath left.

Louie Lake Idaho


The water was so calm that it was like a mirror, except for when the fish jumped.  After setting up our tents and chugging water, we scouted our spots for the Milky Way shots.  Soon, the sun went down and we started shooting the stars.  Tony graciously helped Connie and William with the setup of their cameras, but I have done a few Milky Way shots and figured I could manage.  Although, His shots are really good (I should have taken the opportunity to see his process.)

Milky Way

I took a quite a few shots and finally settled on a spot to let the Sony A7rii do a time-lapse with the app that it has.  I was using my Rokinon 14mm 2.8 lens for the night time shots.

The Perseid Meteor Shower was also going on so you can see some of those in the end of the time-lapse and in the photo above.  I just hooked up an external battery to keep the Sony going as long as possible and went to bed.  The next morning I tried out the lens I rented from Lens Pro To Go the Zeiss Batis 25mm f2.

Morning light on the mountain

Aspens reflecting in the lake

If you look closely at this next one you will see a surprise model in the lower right portion of the pic.

Mountain lake

I was pretty impressed with the clarity of the Zeiss Batis Lens and really impressed by the beauty of the area.  If you like these pictures, check out the FULL GALLERY.  Also be sure to watch for shots from Tony, Connie and William of this trip.


Did you find the surprise model?

Evan Jones

I am a landscape and travel photographer who is drawn to old and rusty stuff as well as beautiful landscapes. I like to explore the backroads of the Northwest United States and anywhere else I can get to. My blog is at

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