Thursday, September 24, 2009

Eastern Sierra Fall Colors September 23, 2009

My first chase to catch the Eastern Sierra Fall Colors started at 2:40AM on September 23, 2009. I was able to take the Old Priest Grade before they closed it. Very little wildlife crossed my path, one deer that was it. Hunting season is upon us and it always seems there are less deer close to the road. When coming down the steep section of the Tioga pass, right after Ellery Lake, the Aspen “shrubs” have turned yellow and orange with very little green. This is a very difficult image to take due to the jumbled view, so no image.
Looking down into the Lee Vining Canyon, it was still green/lime green. Barely a few Aspen started to show color. One short stop at the Tioga Gas Mart for a breakfast and coffee to go.
The Parker Bench as seen from US 395 has one patch of orange and the rest still looks green.


Bishop Creek Canyon:

Up to Aspendell, the trees are mostly lime green with the mountain sides above Intake II looking yellow with a little green. The big grove behind Aspendell has the smaller Aspens are mostly yellow/orange with a few green trees; the taller Aspens are still green. From here all the way up to Lake Sabrina, 60% of the Aspens are yellow, orange and some red. The rest is still green. Here is some bad news; I did see some trees with brown leaves already mixed in (by the small bridge past the Sabrina campground). Lake Sabrina color is about 75% turned. I barely missed an early morning reflection – just as I set up the camera, fishing boats were crossing the lake and that was it for the reflection. I went back in the afternoon and the sun lit up the trees in a sparkling yellow and orange. There are still some green ones on the slopes. I was trying for a pano, but there was just too much sun. All day - not a cloud in sight. In my opinion the colors at the lake approach peak fast. This coming weekend should be awesome!


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As the Sun crests over the mountains, it lights up an Aspen Tree – September 23, 2009. © Copyright Inge Fernau .


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Fishermen enjoying the afternoon on Lake Sabrina – September 23, 2009. © Copyright Inge Fernau .


The Aspen color along the North Lake Road is about 50/50. With yellow, orange and red colors. The famous “tree tunnel” has one side green, the other side yellow. The big Aspen grove behind the lake is about half yellow with some orange and half green. The slopes up the mountain are mostly a reddish orange with some green. Some of the Aspens close to the outlet by the lake are already red and some trees have brown leaves and don’t look very good. The colors by the first day use parking lot are, in my opinion, at peak. The afternoon sun produced a nice reflection on the lake.


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Aspens close by the outlet at North Lake – September 23, 2009. © Copyright Inge Fernau .


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Aspens glowing in the afternoon sun at North Lake – September 23, 2009. © Copyright Inge Fernau .


I had set up a time table for myself to catch most of the good light along the Bishop Creek Canyon, but there is just no way to catch all the best hours in one day. So I hit the South Fork of Bishop Creek close to 11:30AM. From the Forks campground to the Mountain Glenn campground the trees are mostly green with a hint of yellow here and there. Between this campground and Parchers Resort the color is coming in nicely and the Aspen trees are about 60% turned. Lots of yellow and orange, however the trees around the Table Mountain group camp are still mostly green. The slopes in this area have brilliant colors already, especially the small Aspen shrubs. There is still green in this section. 75% of the Aspens between Parchers and the South Lake parking lot are yellow and orange.


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Sun light is bringing out the brilliant colors in the Aspens along the South Fork of Bishop Creek – September 23, 2009. © Copyright Inge Fernau .


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Sun light is bringing out the brilliant colors in the Aspens along the South Fork of Bishop Creek – September 23, 2009. © Copyright Inge Fernau .


Rock Creek Canyon:
After exploring enough of the South For it was time to make it to the Rock Creek Canyon. Due to my time constraints, I got there around 1:30PM. Last year Rock Creek dazzled me with gorgeous colors, but this year ….hmm less impressive. Don’t get me wrong there is color; the show is just not like last year. The trees along road between US 395 and the snow park area are mostly green with a few colors along the slopes. Starting at the snow park area the color is yellow, red and some green. Overall color is about 50/50. From the Pack Station to the Mosquito Flat trailhead parking the color is at 80%. A lot of the trees are already yellow, with some orange and red. Some of the trees have lost their leaves or have brown leaves mixed into them.


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Rock Creek Canyon Fall Color – September 23, 2009. © Copyright Inge Fernau .


This was a long day for me and I returned to the Bishop Creek Canyon to get some afternoon light. The sky was blue all day - not a single cloud. It makes shooting at midday pretty hard. On most of my images at that time I used a 4 stop soft GND filter to tone down some of the harsh sky. I am not sure why some of the trees already had brown leaves, because a local told me they had no freeze up there yet; maybe drought? Sunset was not going to be eventful so I started to make my way back home. I did observe great sunset light once in Yosemite, most likely from the smoke in the air. The sunset afterglow lasted for a long time. The Old Priest Grade was closed due to repairs, so I had to take the long way down….I was beat by the time I got home at 11PM. It was too warm, with too much sun to take an afternoon nap and for the life of me I could not find a spot shady enough to close my eyes. My body was aching (still is) from all the driving. I have to come up with a different game plan when I go back next week to be able to stay past sunset (if it is promising). I will definitely have to take an afternoon nap.



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Friday, September 18, 2009

October – Lundy Canyon.

Searching for Eastern Sierra Fall Colors in the later part of October – Lundy Canyon.


In the past few years I visited the Lundy Canyon in the Eastern Sierra between October 8th and October 20th. Lundy Canyon is part of the Hoover Wilderness. The May Lundy mine was organized in 1879 after promising gold discoveries. Lundy Lake Road goes up Lundy Canyon from US Highway 395 to the trailhead past the Lundy Lake Resort. This road turns into a rocky dirt road and it ends in a one-way loop around an outhouse at the Lundy Canyon Trailhead. The trees in this canyon appear to turn a little later in October and then the Aspen trees lining the lake and the canyon put on a spectacular color show.
The dirt road is as I mentioned rocky, it is also narrow in some sections and has a couple of big potholes filled with water. I tried to navigate it in 2003 with a VW Bug and turned around after I hit a few big rocks; way before I got close to the 1st beaver pond. It is up to your comfort level taking a passenger car up there, I think it is doable to the 1st beaver pond and I have seen passenger cars along the road all the way to the trailhead. I take an SUV or high clearance vehicle when driving this road.
Alongside the dirt road are two beaver ponds with big Aspen groves. These groves either elate your spirits with color or they just plain disappoint. Early snow and cold spells take their toll on these groves and signs such as of brown/black leaves, bare trees or trees that have a lot of their still green leaves blown off are apparent.


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Aspen Grove at the end of 1st Beaver Pond – Lundy Canyon – October 17, 2005. © Copyright Inge Fernau .


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Aspen Grove at the end of 1st Beaver Pond – Lundy Canyon – October 20, 2007. © Copyright Inge Fernau .


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Aspen Grove at the end of 2nd Beaver Pond – Lundy Canyon – October 8, 2005. © Copyright Inge Fernau .


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Aspen Grove at the end of 2nd Beaver Pond – Lundy Canyon – October 12, 2007. © Copyright Inge Fernau .


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Aspen Grove at the end of 1st Beaver Pond – Lundy Canyon – October 6, 2006. © Copyright Inge Fernau .


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A different take of the 1st Beaver Pond – Lundy Canyon – October 8, 2004. © Copyright Inge Fernau .



There is color along the road towards the lake and the resort in early October. I believe I drove along this road on October 1st one year and found a lot of color along the road all the way up to the beaver ponds just not in the big groves. The Aspens along the dirt road are losing their leaves due to strong winds coming down the canyon and from my past experiences, these trees are mostly bare by the time the big Aspen Groves come into prime.


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Fall Color Dirt Road to the Beaver Ponds in Lundy Canyon – October 6, 2006. © Copyright Inge Fernau .


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Lundy Lake and a View into the Canyon – October 6, 2006. © Copyright Inge Fernau .


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Aspen Grove – October 8, 2004. © Copyright Inge Fernau .



These (digital) photographs are not in the public domain! They may not be used on websites, blogs, or in any other media, they may not be copied, printed or otherwise reproduced in any manner or form, whether in whole or in part without explicit advance written permission from Inge Fernau

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Saturday, September 12, 2009

Searching for Eastern Sierra Fall Colors in the later part of October.

In 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2008 I visited the Eastern Sierra between October 15th and October 22nd. Most of the Aspen groves at the higher elevations such as Bishop Creek Canyon or Rock Creek Canyon are past peak by then, but there are a couple of places holding on to color. One of them is the June Lake Loop.
The June Lake Loop is a 15 Mile Scenic Loop, with 4 lakes, a waterfall and majestic mountains. The June Lake Loop road is found just south of the town of Lee Vining off U.S. 395. Soon after you enter the June Lake loop you drop down behind some low foothills into the Grant Lake area. From here the land becomes more varied and interesting as you pass down a nice canyon dotted with pine trees and quaking aspen.
I found the Aspen groves to be at peak and glowing in the sun. Cold wind and frost can change things here within a day as I experienced. I had checked on a couple of spots too late in the day to get a good composition and came back the next morning; only to find the aspen leaves had turned into an ugly black/brown color.


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Aspen Grove with a view on the Mono Craters – October 17, 2005. © Copyright Inge Fernau .


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Late Fall Color along the June Lake Loop – October 18, 2005. © Copyright Inge Fernau .


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Fall Color Road along the June Lake Loop – October 20, 2007. © Copyright Inge Fernau .


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Reflection at Silver Lake - June Lake Loop – October 19, 2008. © Copyright Inge Fernau .


These (digital) photographs are not in the public domain! They may not be used on websites, blogs, or in any other media, they may not be copied, printed or otherwise reproduced in any manner or form, whether in whole or in part without explicit advance written permission from Inge Fernau

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Windsurfer getting caught by the wave.

I was trying to be smart and use flickr to update my blog. Not….Flickr uploaded a small measly image.
I went to Waddell Beach a couple of times in August and enjoyed photographing the windsurfers and kiteboarders here. The image is a sequence of one of them getting caught by the wave.


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Windsurfer catching the wave – August 24, 2009. © Copyright Inge Fernau .



This (digital) photograph is not in the public domain! It may not be used on websites, blogs, or in any other media, it may not be copied, printed or otherwise reproduced in any manner or form, whether in whole or in part without explicit advance written permission from Inge Fernau

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Windsurfer


Windsurfer
Originally uploaded by ifernau
Getting caught up in the wave.
August 24, 2009

This (digital) photograph is not in the public domain! It may not be used on websites, blogs, or in any other media, it may not be copied, printed or otherwise reproduced in any manner or form, whether in whole or in part without explicit advance written permission from Inge Fernau

Please visit my website for this and more. All images may be purchased or licensed in a range of sizes.


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Blog - Journal of my travels for the perfect photo