This was our fourth trip to the Eastern Sierra
but the first time mid of June.
Day 1: Through Yosemite to Mammoth
Grass near Merced
Traveling from Merced to Yosemite
(through the Merced Canyon) is already great pleasure.
You have to be very patient to capture
this magnificent tree without some tourists posing in front of
Small Lake in Yosemite
We wanted to photograph this lake
for now about six years but either it was dry (magical by its
own) or harsh sunlight prevented to take good pictures.
Same lake last October (Canon 1Ds)
Day 2: Bodie Visit #1
Some find Bodie a cliche and it
probably is. But still we like to take pictures there. Actually
this years trip had the main focus on Bodie.
Closed mining area
Storm over Bodie
This was our third visit to Bodie
and the second time we had some nice strong thunderstorm (with
hail). This was our luck as we did not have just this boring blue
Sheep near Bodie
Day 3: Mono Lake
Mono Lake is yet another cliche
and photographers heaven at the same time.
Forest near Mono Mills
Burned down Forest near Mono Mills
Fire is a big danger in the Eastern
Sierra and a healing force by nature at the same time.
Mono Lake a birds heaven
For us human the Mono Lake looks
at first glance like a dead eco system. This is far off from the
truth. Mono Lake is actually a birds paradise (gulls bread on
the island, Ospreys nest on top of the tufa).
Golden Light near Mono Lake
The warm evening light creates a
very colorful scenery.
Day #4: South of Mammoth
Wildflower in Rock Creek
Burned trees in Rock Creek
Storm over Owens Valley
We revisited the Rock Creek Canyon.
Very beautiful area. A storm helped us to also capture some drama.
Day #5: Bodie Visit #2
Once per month photographers can
get into Bodie half an hour before sunrise till half an hour after
sunset (you need to register in advance, pay $30 per person, call
the Bodie ranger station). We got in at 5am (sunrise was 5:30am)
and it was quite chilly with about 38F. Because of a full photography
class from Santa Cruz it was quite busy that morning (probably
about 40 photographers, limit is 60).
There are many advantages being
there early in the morning (except that we had to leave Mammoth
at 3:40am :-)):
- No strong shadows
- No many new cars coming into Bodie
- Not to many people
This shot is close to impossible
during normal opening hours (8am-7pm in summer) because of the
Post Office side walls
The golden morning light lasts only
a few minutes (there were no clouds this morning).
Technical note: The moire seen in
the car is not visible in the fully converted raw file.
The evening session was blessed
by a thunderstorm that painted the sky dark but did not send rain
to Bodie itself.
Storm over Green Street
The photographer's day was really
worth the effort (we drove over 240 miles today).
Day #6: Golden-Mantled Ground Squirrel
We planned tonight to photograph
some wildflowers. Instead we chased some Golden-Mantled Ground
Squirrels (>200 shots in high speed bursts, Canon 300mm f/4
+ TC1.4x) and got maybe a few keepers.
100% magnification crop
This shot is part of a high speed
sequence where you could study how the squirrel eats its lunch.
When you drive in the Mono Lake
area you often cannot prevent to kill one of these lovely creatures
with your car (that hurts).
Day 7: Mono Lake South Tufa
We had nearly every day thunderstorms
in the evening. This was good for the sky colors but we also had
to fight flat cloudy light.
Tufa Towers #1
Tufa Towers #2
Osprey nest on Tufa Towers (100% magnification)
This was our last planned photo
session on our trip. We may get some pictures on our way back
To be continued.....