A Long weekend in the Eastern Sierra (9 images)

Discussion in 'Scenic, Architecture, and Travel' started by siftu, Sep 10, 2015.

  1. siftu

    siftu Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Mar 26, 2015
    Bay Area, CA
    Armed with my Ansel Adams Postcard Folio Book I picked up a decade ago, we headed out to the Eastern Sierra's in California for the Labor Day long weekend. There are some cross posts here, I did that before I decided I wanted to do them in a set.

    I had a night shot planned before I left, checked the weather and Milky Way location, clouds and moon seemed to work out. Once on location I had to deal with the car headlights from the highway which is nearby. I ended up using the headlights to light up the cabin and foregound.

    21088118520_21759b2500_b.jpg Timeless by Siftu, on Flickr

    While I was out there another couple of photographers turned up and I got to talking to them and we decided to light up one of the cabins. I put my cell phone inside and put a CTO filter over the top. By this time the moon was just up and also provided some light.

    20542553624_4e3cf7a2e4_b.jpg Anyone home? by Siftu, on Flickr

    We did a day in Bodie which was good but there was nothing I hadn't captured before. So off to Lone Pine which I used as the gateway to Death Valley. But first I had to chase down a shot I had admired of Ansels for years. This was in the dying light, there was a lot of haze and the exact rocks were hard to find. But just in time we found them. I have to say just being at these rocks was the highlight of my trip. Being at the exact location, trying to replicate his photo and dealing with the same issues he would have faced was amazing. But I didn't get close to his master piece, maybe next time.

    20991840428_9c1a0e765c_b.jpg Mt Williamson by Siftu, on Flickr

    In Death Valley I had a bit of fun with the Rokinon fisheye. I'm really enjoying this lens way more than I thought I would.

    21243672561_1ee12dc206_b.jpg Mini Racetrack - Death Valley by Siftu, on Flickr

    Let the kids run around a bit.

    21225723366_1997d17dc6_b.jpg Freedom by Siftu, on Flickr

    Then off to the Mesquite Sand Dunes. These had been trampled all over. Tip: Don't head for the big dunes everyone goes to like I did. Go off in the other direction to the smaller dunes which would have no footprints.

    21176986886_d14319c2c2_b.jpg Misquite Dunes by Siftu, on Flickr

    On the way back from Badwater Basin, which is the lowest point in the US I grabbed this shot. Yep, a little cliché.

    21300037735_30b49eeb07_b.jpg Death Valley by Siftu, on Flickr

    Leaving the park we came across 4 coyotes. I guess they wanted food or something. I was driving so handed the camera to my wife.

    21112120058_aaa31f577c_b.jpg Coyote - Death Valley by Siftu, on Flickr

    The morning we left Lone Pine I wanted to try out one more Ansel Adams photo. It was very hazy probably due to some smoke for all the fires in CA. Silver Efex did a good job of adding back the contrast and structure. This is a take on his "Winter Sunrise" photo.

    21307540611_04196d1394_b.jpg Summer Sunrise by Siftu, on Flickr

    It was a great weekend. I had a lot of fun. Hope you enjoy.
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  2. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    I have found that I am also really enjoying my cheap little fisheye lens, really glad I picked it up.

    Wonderful photo series and looks like you had a great time.
    • Appreciate Appreciate x 1
  3. Hazza

    Hazza Just Clicking Subscribing Member

    Aug 10, 2013
    Huddersfield UK
    Excellent shots, we have nothing to compare in the UK (but it is very green)
    • Appreciate Appreciate x 1
  4. siftu

    siftu Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Mar 26, 2015
    Bay Area, CA
    Yeah I think the fisheye has moved into my must take bag. 12-40, 75mm and 7.5mm
  5. budeny

    budeny Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 4, 2014
    Boulder, CO
    Death Valley is very inspirational place, get back there in winter month - it's much more comfortable when temps are in 70's F.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. Baimei

    Baimei Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 15, 2011
    Hi siftu, I didn't know you were on this forum.
    On my last trip to the west, I used an 8x10 view camera. It's so much more fun with m4/3,, now!

  7. siftu

    siftu Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Mar 26, 2015
    Bay Area, CA
    Hey Baimei,

    I don't know anything about a view camera but I'm having fun with with my camera for sure.
  8. c0ldc0ne

    c0ldc0ne Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 9, 2012
    That was a stroke of genius because I imagine that the result wouldn't have been nearly as good without that splash of light on the cabin. Now you have an amazing background and foreground. Well done!

    Masterpiece schmasterpiece! I imagine that pinning down the exact vantage point in a field of rocks, just going by a post card must have been quite a feat in and of itself. And I'm sure that if the weather conditions had been the same, the end result would have been as well. So now you don't have a copy of a masterpiece, you created one yourself instead.

    Another one that can easily stand on its own. Again, given the same conditions, you would have probably come eerily close to duplicating a classic from an iconic master photographer.

    Count me impressed, good job!
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  9. TaoStory

    TaoStory Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    May 12, 2014
    Benton Harbor, Michigan
    Tom Remisoski
    Great shots. I love the nighttime cabin pictures. Inspiring!
    • Appreciate Appreciate x 1
  10. siftu

    siftu Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Mar 26, 2015
    Bay Area, CA
    Thanks for the compliments. I didn't have much hopes for that photo given the conditions. Here is the straight converted JPEG just to give you an idea of the conditions.

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  11. c0ldc0ne

    c0ldc0ne Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 9, 2012
    That looks like the sort of situation where a lesser photographer might have come away with just a run of the mill snapshot. I think it's great that you managed to not only find pretty much the exact spot where the original photo was taken, but also narrowed the gap between your result and Ansel's.

    On the other hand, it makes you wonder how Ansel's photo would have looked as an unprocessed JPEG. :)
  12. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    That first shot of the cabin is wonderful. That's a really tricky tonal range. Ansel would have approved.
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  13. Luke

    Luke Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 30, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
    they are all top flight, but that first one is HOLY WOW!
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  14. mnhoj

    mnhoj There and back again

    Dec 3, 2011
    Los Angeles
    John M
    Wonderful, wonderful set.
    We were just up there too and the haze was terrible.
    Luckily we stayed in Mammoth Lakes - right in between fires.
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  15. hartt

    hartt Mu-43 Rookie

    Mar 2, 2015
    Terrific shots, the night two are fabulous. Congrats!
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  16. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 14, 2012
    New Mexico
    Gorgeous work.
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