Sometimes a location is visually amazing, yet impossibly difficult to capture effectively on camera. Such was the geological phenomena known as Devil’s Postpile National Monument in the Eastern Sierras near Mammoth Lakes.
We had planned to stay in Mammoth as a sort of hotel base camp for various day trips between Lee Vining and Bishop. A few short hikes, attempts to see the fall colors, buying bakery goods at Schat’s Bakkery and looking at Galen Rowell’s photographs at his Mountain Light Gallery in Bishop. As we drove into Mammoth, the road sign noted the “Devil’s Postpile” was just ahead. I knew she had interest in volcanoes and geology, but never realized this was one of her bucket list locations. So before we knew it, we were driving down the steep decent into the national monument, hiking the half mile to the site, and soon enough scrambling at the tops of the columns looking down at the other visitors 150 feet below.
While the popular and oft photographed composition of the postpile is from ground-level looking up at the 200 feet wide face, the most interesting shots of this visit were the broken columns forming the talus (debris) pile at the base of the columns.
EXIF data: Nikon D7000, center-weighted metering mode, ISO100, 65mm, f/8, 1/4 sec
Mammoth Lakes (CA), Devil’s Postpile, Broken Columns Talus, Monochrome. Mammoth Lakes, CA. October 15, 2014. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.