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Copyright © 2015 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I spent the week-end in the Eastern Sierras photographing Sunrises, Sunset, and Fall Color.  I left my home in Silicon Valley at 4PM on Friday to meet a new friend/member in the Photography Group I was going with.  Anyone living in Silicon Valley knows leaving after 3PM is a nightmare! Traffic is awful.  It’s congested with get-away travelers and commuters. Unfortunately, even in mid-October that’s true! It took me over an hour to travel 11 miles to meet her!  Cindy parked on a residential street hoping her car would be fine for the week-end b/c my house was out of the way, and me going to meet her would have beem backtracking and mean we’d lose 1-2 hours in traffic.

I picked her up, and we got back on the freeway where we crawled at about 30 mph for 2 hours. Finally the road opened up and we were off and onto the Eastern Sierras. We arrived at our Motel just about Midnight. After checking in we both unpacked the bare necessities then fell into our beds knowing the alarm would be ringing in just 4 hours!

We were meeting the rest of our group at 6AM. We had a 30 minute drive from our Motel to the meeting spot. That meant a 4:40AM wake up call for me! I had a quick shower, and we managed to get out the door at 5:20am and arrived at the meeting spot 5 minutes early.

We were a group of 20 in all. We drove to Mono Lake ( Moe-Noh) and found the parking lot was already full of cars! Fall in the Eastern Sierras is getting more and more crowded. There was a faint light in the East signaling the Sun was in a hurry to greet the Northern Hemisphere so, we gathered our gear, and walked-ran to find our spots as quickly as we could.

We went left away from the horde of other photographers; I found a place I thought made a good composition, but I sank ankle deep in the muck to get there.

Experienced Photographers have a good feel for the outcome of the sunrise or sunset, but I’ve never bet on it.  Mother Nature has fooled me a few times! Okay, I won’t lie more than a few times! This morning however, had great potential, and fortunately, The Belt of Venus showed up and lent the morning a beautiful pink hue.

These formations you are seeing are salt and mineral deposits that formed over thousands of years. They’re called Tufas (too-fahs).

Years ago the lake water was re-routed to the south to give water to Southern California’s agriculture belt and residents.

As the lake got lower, and lower these remarkable formations were exposed.

A couple of decades ago a conservation group was successful in their appeals to let Mono Lake (Moe-Noh) return to its natural state. They are no longer diverting water from this basin which means one day all this will be under water again.

Each time I visit this lake I am acutely aware that I am seeing something wonderful, beautiful, and unique. I hope this image is able to convey just a hint of that wonder and beauty.

Morning Twilight Civil Mono Lake

In desperate need of a caffeinated drink, and food we headed for breakfast right after the light went flat.

For more information about Mono (Mo-noh) Lake click here.

I’m really behind on all your posts. I will get caught up this week!

Nikon Df| AF Nikkor 24-70mm| Hoodman STEEL Ultra High Speed Digital Film| Tripod| Developed in Photoshop CS6

More to come…

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14 Comments

  1. Wow no wonder your photographs are amazing! you are one dedicated person! What a trip but it sounds like fun! I love these pictures! The bottom one of the lake is crazy! It is full of gorgeous colors soft and mysterious! I love this!

  2. it could be a goblin’s castle!! How wonderful though I agonized over the drive!! arggh. Gorgeous image and what an amazing place it must be!

  3. That’s beautiful Deborah. I really enjoyed reading the information about those formations. It’s interesting to know that you may be seeing (and sharing) something that will only be visible for a relatively short period of time. I’m trying to get some photos of our fall color, but I’m trying to avoid the crowds.

    • Thank you so much Dan! With drought an on and off thing here in CA it’s taking longer than the 20yrs they had hoped to get it back to the level they want. This is the 4th “severe” drought I’ve been in living here.

      I hope you’re more successful than I at avoiding the crowds. I’m seriously considering traveling further afield to find fall color in the future. It’s just getting too crowded in the ES now.

      • I’ve been cheating. I’ve been stopping to take the “ordinary” pictures I see along the way. I’m hoping to knit them into a nice post later this month.

        • I hope you share those too! I bet what’s ordinary to you may be extraordinary to someone else who doesn’t “see” the way you do, or have the same leaves, trees, or landscapes.

  4. Beautiful, well done

  5. Breathtaking!! Well worth the traffic hassle I’m sure ;-). Thank you for sharing your captivating photos!


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