adventure, camera, sierra nevada, travel

First Snow of 2017


Watching the storm role in. Snow transforms everything, turning dry dusty ground into a white winter wonderland. Snow allows the almost desert like conditions of the Eastern Sierras to thrive with life, Aspens and Evergreens, Wildflower and Wild Berries. While California certainly does have some beautiful mountains all year long, I think that snow really puts the finishing touches on them and brings them to the level of some of the more lush mountain ranges to the north. Can’t wait till more snow falls here…maybe be out in it, maybe get stuck on the wrong side of a closed pass again as I did last fall during the first snow (that I recall) when I took this photo of my friend shooting near June Lake. What’s your favorite thing about winter?

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camera, sierra nevada, travel

Reminders of the Past


I’ve always wanted to shoot thud dilapidated old cabin on the side of the highway. It’s given way to long years of wind and weather with both snowy winters and dry summers taking their toll. Just before sunset, whispy white clouds began pouring over the Eastern end of the Sierra Nevadas setting the perfect backdrop for the seen. Weathered and beaten. I wonder what the story is. Did someone live here? Were they farmers or gold rushers? Do you have a favorite weathered old building to shoot? Care to share it?

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camera, hiking, travel

Caples Lake in Winter


As promised, here is a lovely photo of my partner and fellow adventurer with a frozen Caples Lake for the background. We were crossing the mountain pass to the Eastern Sierras when we came upon this lovely seen and ended up staying till sunset to watch the mountains change from white to orange to blue in the fading light. The lake’s ice was ominously cracking and creaking but we saw people skate across the whole this without incident.  Would you skate across this lake if you saw someone else do it or would you want more reassurance?

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adventure, camera, hiking, photography, sierra nevada, travel

Setting Sun from Bridgeport


One thing I love about the Eastern Sierra mountains is how different they can look depending on the clouds, the weather, the time of the year. Fall colors change the landscape from yellow, to gold, to orange and brown. Add a few clouds and a sunset and you get even more spectacular tones. The windswept grassy fields around Bridgeport create a beautiful foreground to the stunning Sierra Crags that rise above the Twin Lakes Region off in the distance. A light dusting of snow has coated the peaks. I imagine now they are completely covered in snow. Can’t wait to get back up here and explore some more. What is your favorite spot to hike around Bridgeport, California?

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adventure, hiking, ice climbing, travel

Temple Crag in Winter


Self portrait in Lake 2 of the Big Pine Lakes. Towering above is the 13k foot Temple Crag, one of my all time favorite mountains in the Sierras. Have you climbed it or at least seen it? I think its a class 4 scramble but might by a lot more technical than that. I’m not a true mountaineer, just an avid hiker. The lake (Lake 2 again) was beautifully frozen with most of the snow blown off. The trail itself was a bit icy but with crampons was no problem. Do you like to hike with crampons? They add so much security to climbing on ice that you feel like no climb is impossible. Almost 10 miles round trip to this spot but so worth it. This was shot with the Fujifilm X-T2 which I rented for a few weeks in December 2017. I loved it except that being a cropped sensor it didn’t perform quite so well in low light as my full frame Nikon D810.

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adventure, hiking, sierra nevada, travel

Ice skating on Big Pine Lakes


Sometimes the best views on out on thin ice. Lake Two of the Big Pine Lakes (there are 7 total) reflects the majestic beauty of Temple Crag just after sunset. While I didn’t actually have ice skates on, the ice was smooth enough from the sun melting it over the daytime, that I could slide quite well in even my hiking boots. One of my favorite hikes in the Eastern Sierras. Where is yours?

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hiking, sierra nevada, travel

The Bridge to Reserve Reservoir


Hiking in the Stanislaus National Forest. This is part of the trail from Kennedy Meadows to Reserve Reservoir. It is currently the last hike still open on the Sonora Pass before the road is closed for the winter. From here the mountain rivers begin, obtaining snow melt from high looming peaks many over 10k feet tall. I want to go back and scramble those mighty peaks. Sadly the reservoirs up here are quite low as California is slipping back into drought. I’m always surprised at the amazingly beautiful spots that I’ve never heard of or seen photos of before when I’m hiking in California. We get so caught up as photographers with chasing that Instagram popular location that we miss so many just as beautiful spots that are much more unique and secluded. That’s one of my goals for 2018…see more rare places and spend less time chasing popular spots. By the way, who would climb on the edge of that bridge like that?

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adventure, hiking, ice climbing, travel

Caples Lake Anyone?


This is a self portrait I took while traveling over the Carson Pass Highway that crosses California’s Sierra Nevada mountains. This lake is called Caples Lake and is near the Kirkwood Ski Resort. Just wait till you see the winter photos I got here once the lake froze! I want to try to post more photos from places that aren’t overly photographed in Instagram. There are certain places we all like to photograph because they are stunning and popular for a reason. However, I really enjoy seeing and hear about new places and want to contribute to that with my travels and creativity. Honestly this lake and it’s surroundings with some early fall snow are just as beautiful as many more popular destinations. And the best part is that I could explore and even take some self portraits without anyone else around. Do you have a favorite secret spot?

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adventure, hiking, photography, travel, travel tips

Watching Lake Sabrina Freeze


The ice was blue. The umbrella red. My new favorite prop. I know it’s been done many times before but I haven’t seen a lot lately. Yellow raincoats can only be beat by red umbrellas. Self portrait at Lake Sabrina about a month ago. I’ve been here a couple times but my favorite was this visit with the lake starting to freeze and no people or boats around. This lake is located up past Aspendell outside of Bishop California. To get here you must walk up a 2 mile closed road (but its not a bad hike at all).

This is a self portrait by the way. Any tips on capturing awesome photos of yourself when it’s just you and the camera?


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