Thursday, March 21, 2013

Mammoth - Alkali lake and final day

Since I only got to take a few images of the Milky Way at Convict Lake, I figured I would get up extra early the last day to give myself some more time at Alkali Lake. I woke up around 4am and headed out there, which gave me about an hour to shoot before the sun started getting too bright.

I figured that the Milky Way would have been around the same area as the morning before, but it had rotated way over to the left. I guess it was a good thing because you can see the light pollution coming from the city. Crazy how much light the camera can capture that the naked eye cannot see.

There are a lot of different areas to explore around Alkali Lake, however I stuck around the lake for the most part. Next time I will do some exploring before hand.

Not sure if the light pollution threw off the white balance here, or if the sky just got that much brighter from the sun rising...

We hit up Campo in the village for lunch. Its fairly new and the menu looked good, but the food ended up being whatever. The pizza's were ok, and the prosciutto and arugula one was probably the best of the bunch. It makes us want to go back to Seattle for Serious Pie that much more; which will happen in July when we take our summer trip back up there and to Olympic National park.


We stopped by the snow to play around a bit and stopped by the brewery before we headed home.

The extended weekend went by fast. Was nice and relaxing, yet I am always more tired after vacation from getting up for sunrise and staying out for sunset.

Going to check out Red Rock Canyon state park next month just for 1 night. Might be another good opportunity to try for some more night shots depending on how clear the weather is.

Brandon Yoshizawa
B.A.Y | photography
Landscape and Wildlife photography

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Mammoth day 2 - Convict lake

The forecast for the weekend was showing that sunrise was going to be clear every morning, so after seeing the sky filled with stars the morning before I decided to get out to Convict Lake a bit before sunrise to try out some star shots. I never really had the chance to try it, so thought this would be a good chance to practice.

Took a bit of messing around with the settings to get the exposure somewhat right. By the time I snapped a few decent ones and let the noise reduction run, the sun was already starting to wash out the stars. I left the shutter open too long, so the stars started streaking. Next time I am back in the area, I'll try to keep the shutter to 30 seconds. I ran the photo through Topaz Denoise since the image was taken at ISO-1600. Props to JJ who helped with the final touches.

Milky way over Convict Lake
All in all it came out ok. Still a bit of detail in the foreground. The Milky way was a bonus, along with a few shooting stars. I'd like to try and full silhouette of Laurel Mountain next time, as well as one that is better exposed. May have to try and blended photo.

The rest of these were taken at various times over the period of 2 days: Pre dawn at convict lake
Pre dawn.The foreground ice was painted with my headlamp

First light at convict lake, winter in the eastern sierras
First light hitting laurel Mountain

Winter reflections at Convict lake

Convict Lake, eastern sierras

Frozen convict lake in the winter
A few during the day with the various ice patterns

Icy sunset reflections at Convict lake
Close to sunset. With all the wind, all of the clouds blew away by the time sunset rolled around

I also went around the Mammoth lakes area to check out Twin lakes. I wanted to get to a spot above Twin lakes to the falls, but Lake Mary road was still closed for the winter. The falls are still frozen over anyways. Twin lakes was starting to melt, showing a bit of reflections in the water.

Twin lakes peak reflections in the ice, mammoth lakes

Twin lakes reflections, mammoth lakes

J went with the Ito's and JJ's to play in the snow. I was a bit tired from waking up and staying out so I stayed back and slept.

They also hit up Toomey's; another favorite:

I still have to process the files from Alkali lake, so I'll post those next.

Brandon Yoshizawa
B.A.Y | photography
Landscape and Wildlife photography

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Mammoth Lakes day 1 - Mono and June lake loop

Took an extended weekend trip up to Mammoth Lakes in the eastern sierras this past weekend with the JJ's and the Ito's to try and get some winter photos. We were there for 3 days so I decided to check out Mono Lake, Convict Lake, and Alkali Lake for both sunrise and sunset. The first night I headed out to the Mono south tufa area early to scope out some locations. Unfortunately it was really windy so you couldn't really see the tufa reflections in the water. I hung around and snapped a few anyway since I was going to come back the next morning for sunrise.

Headed back to the condo and we went to eat dinner at Roberto's. Still one of our favorite places in Mammoth. I had the carne asada burrito and J had the tamale. We all shared a fried ice cream. Baby Ito and Baby JJ had fun playing together.

I got to Mono the next day about 30 minutes before sunrise, and made my way down the south tufa trail towards the lake. There was little wind, but the sky was cloudless. As I walked down the path, I could see the Milky way and the entire sky filled with stars. Unfortunately by the time I got to the lake, the sun was rising and most of the visible stars were gone. I hung around for about an hour and snapped a few while the light was still good.

Since June lake loop was on the way home I checked out both June and Silver lake. I wanted to see if it was an area to come one night for sunset, but all of the lakes were mostly frozen over.

Frozen June Lake

Frozen Silver Lake

I figured Convict lake would be more interesting and possibly have some good compositions due to the ice and snow so I decided I was going to check it out next for sunset and sunrise. I'll update those on the next post.

Brandon Yoshizawa
B.A.Y | photography
Landscape and Wildlife photography