Mt. Gibbs, Mt. Dana, Sunrise Light

Mono Lake South Tufa, Eastern Sierra, CA

The well has run dry.  At least the photographs that made the first cut from Monterey/Big Sur a little over two weeks ago.  Being that the trip was not photography-based, it was not all that surprising.  So it is back to the archives I go!

Even though I was at the famous Mono Lake South Tufa area early this particular morning, there were probably about 30 vehicles already in the parking lot.  The sun had not even broken over Granite and Cowtrack Mountains to the east.  With zero chance of clouds in the sky to pick up the colors, I was in no hurry to rush down to the tufas.  Instead, attention was turned to the Eastern Sierras towards the west.  This photograph is actually one in a series of several taken that were focused on capturing the first light to hit the peaks.  I am a bit partial to this snapshot with the light almost hitting the base of the peaks since there is more color in the composition.  The alternative would be to have just the tip of the peaks lit while the remaining composition in a muted shade.  Perhaps, I’ll have to process the rest of the series and create a triptych (or a quadrivium – is that the correct usage of that word) in the future.  There is a sense of wonder for me to watch the golden light hit the peaks and slowly cascade down the mountainsides, as if no one else is around me and I am the only person lucky enough to see this.

According to Google Earth, the peak to the left is Mt. Gibbs, while the peak to the right is Mt. Dana.  Tioga Pass (Hwy 120) winds its way up to Yosemite to the right of Mt. Dana, with Ellery and Tioga Lake sitting behind the peak from this vantage point.  If I misnamed the peaks, let me know.  I tried to locate two peaks with Williams Butte in the center foreground and Panum Crater off to the left.

Additional posts from that day’s shoot at Mono Lake:

EXIF data: Nikon D7000, center weighted avg metering mode, 55mm, ISO 100, 1/3 sec, f/16

Mt. Gibbs, Mt. Dana, Sunrise Light.  Mono Lake South Tufa area, Lee Vining, California. October 14, 2011. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.


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