Me and my girls, Skyy & Rain, embarked on our Mission MINT (Morning In New Territory) journey in September 2017 with the goal of exploring and photographing 10 dog-friendly locations in San Diego during the first few hours of the day. And with the purpose of: strengthening my photography skills by experimenting with unfamiliar lighting, equipment, and/or shooting techniques, as well as engaging the three of us in mental and physical activity. This month’s Mission MINT adventure took place at Lake Hodges.
MISSION MINT 4 : Lake Hodges
When full, the reservoir has 1,234 acres, a maximum water depth of 115 feet and 27 miles of shoreline. Unfortunately, the drought effect on Lake Hodges has diminished it to a mere 38% capacity. Lake Hodges historically has been filled only with local runoff from the San Dieguito River and its offshoots, and the last time Hodges reached capacity and water spilled over the dam was in February-April of 2011.* Despite the lower water levels, Lake Hodges proved to be a great place to go for a relaxing day by the water. The park offers picnic areas, as well as a variety of water vehicles to rent. Visitors enjoy fishing, boating, kayaking, BBQing, and more.
The girls and I arrived around 8:00am – a bit after sunrise, but since it was overcast, it didn’t really affect the lighting. Overcast skies act like a giant diffuser, which can be great for portraits as it provides a nice, soft look. However, I find that when shooting around water, it’s nice to have light that’s at least somewhat directional, as it gives more depth and color. Regardless, we had a great time exploring! There’s a few trails that run alongside the lake, so we ventured onto one in hopes of finding a way down to the water. Access to the shoreline is limited, but there’s a decent amount of beach areas you can get to pretty easily. All in all, Lake Hodges could definitely serve as a great photo location given the right amount of sunlight.
- Location: Lake Hodges
- Location Type: Lake with dirt trails
- Time: 8:00am – 9:45am
- Lighting: Overcast
- Equipment: Canon 5D Mark lll, Canon 50m F1.4
- Notes: There’s some great little beach nooks, however, not all areas of the shore are accessible.
CONCLUSION: Conserving water is more important than ever, especially for us in California. Do you part to help keep our lakes, streams, and rivers flowing. Mother Nature will thank you for it 🙂