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{fall} color me happy

By Monday, October 24, 2011 , , ,


We skipped out of town about a week ago hoping to catch the fall color show in the Eastern Sierras. Plans to go earlier in October had fizzled out - the leaves didn't seem to be turning quite yet then according to the reports. So we waited. And even though the color reports still didn't sound amazing we packed up the car and hit the road. Destination... the Eastern Sierras.

on the road from Mono Lake
First order of business was finding a campsite since we were flying by the seat of our pants. {not normal for us} We settled into June Lake Campground, got the tent up and headed out to find some fall color in the fading light of the afternoon.

We found a little stand of birch trees colored all different shades of yellow and neon green. That night for dinner we had overly toxic cheesy mac and cheese. Really! We will not be doing that again - and it was the "healthy" version. Ew!

Before turning in for the night we continued up June Lake Loop to Silver Lake for some night photography. The moon was almost full that night and little dabs of color ringed the lake.

beaver pond
The next morning we hit up the beaver pond along the road to Lundy Canyon. Then we hiked and photographed our way up Lundy Canyon. The cloudless sky brought harsh morning light that light up the changing trees brilliantly. But hard to capture just right with the camera. It was here that I decided to test out my skills as a videographer {movie at the end}. Maybe I've given Josh Cripps a run for his money?

We hit up Mono Lake for sunset. Talk about crowded. We expected the crowds and got there earlier enough to stake out a spot Lukas had scoped. The clouds looked promising but as the sun got lower it seemed less and less likely that any color would come. We overheard another photographer say "This is just about the worst I've ever seen it here."

Mono Lake
So... we moved away from the crowds looking for other interesting compositions and found our way to a deserted stretch of the water. Lukas shot a little bit before pointing out to me, "Look. There's a little bit of glow." He pointed across the sky opposite the sun. And shortly after that the color spread around the entire sky.

Mono Lake
The next morning we met up with a photographer friend, Jeff, at Convict Lake. We were impressed by the 30 people that piled out of two vans. And unimpressed that the clouds didn't cooperate and blew away from the scene of interest.

Convict Lake
After sunrise we drove out to check out Mcgee Creek and then Rock Creek Canyon. On Rock Creek Canyon road we ran into Jeff again. He let us know about a sweet spot up the trail at the end of road. Since we were quite a ways south of our campsite already we opted to spend the day just hanging out along Rock Creek Canyon. It was a long day spent hanging out in the car, shoot a little fall color.

At one point we were parked in a wide turn out facing a large evergreen tree. A couple pulled into the turn out in front of us, hopped out and started picking up bark off the tree. Strange! Then a couple on bikes rolled up. As they passed us they were wondering what kind of tree the big tree was. "I think it's a redwood tree," the man said. I called out to him that while I wasn't sure what kind of tree it was it most definitely was NOT a redwood tree. He rode up to the tree to join the others there. And before they all pulled away he shouted back to us the conclusion they'd come to. "It's a redwood. Majority rules!" Majority might agree that the tree is a redwood, but that doesn't make them right. We had a little laugh over that.

Rock Creek Canyon
Mack Lake
The sunset over Mack Lake was a cloud bust just like the morning at Convict Lake. Maybe shooting with Jeff is back luck for clouds. I enjoyed a {cold} peaceful night fall while Lukas unsuccessfully scampered around the rocks trying to capture the bit of color that got caught in the clouds away from the lake. And though the sunset wasn't as hoped for the awesome beauty of the landscape didn't disappoint.

Mack Lake
We got mostly packed up that night in anticipation of hitting the road before the sun came up. And that's just what we did... up at 5am, out by 5:30am. It was early and dark as we drove into Yosemite. It was hard to find the right spot for sunrise and we almost missed it standing in the wrong spot.

Tuolumne River
Then the sun came up and we loaded back into the car. West of Groveland we stopped on the side of the highway to switch drivers and have breakfast. We enjoyed a couple bowls of frosted flakes.

the photographer eats
And now for what I'm most excited about sharing... It started in Lundy Canyon and continued throughout our little trip. After coming home I had fun learning how to put all the little movie clips together. Just like with sewing it's all about the attention to details. {It also never hurts to have a plan before you start it all.}

{if the video doesn't work - click here}

Other little bits of my life...


  1. Haha, love the vid! Fantastic heel click. :)

  2. Hehe. Thanks! I surprised myself being able to do that. Totally thought I'd fall flat on my face trying to attempt something with so much coordination.