One scene that Willie and I knew we wanted to photograph in the Eastern Sierras was sunrise at Mt. Tom. One of the most iconic and largest peaks in the Owens Valley region, there are many ways to photograph Mt. Tom but we felt this angle showed off its best side. The combination of trees, meadow, and mountains, along with the line running up Mt. Tom, make for a spectacular scene.
It was freezing when we woke up. Let me correct myself ... it was *well* below freezing. It was barely over 5°F when we set out and on that day we didn’t see above freezing temperatures for many hours. This morning was also cloudy and as we drove to our spot we started to get really excited — there was going to be a ton of color in the sky.
Willie and Alan had scouted this location a month or two previously but Willie’s GPS unit somehow deleted the coordinates. Alan’s attempt to remind us of the spot resulted in the wrong location. I think we did 4 U-Turns on CA-395 before finally getting to the spot we wanted! The light to our east was going crazy and as soon as I put the car in “Park” we were grabbing our gear and running through the snow to setup our tripods.
To the east the color in the sky looked like a giant explosion — massive oranges filled the sky and slowly faded to pink. To the east, in the direction we were shooting, the sky filled up with wonderful streaks of pink. The clouds provided a nice amount of layers to contrast the sky with pink and purple lines. We came home cold, but happy campers!
Nikon D800 w/Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8D ED AF:
80mm, f/11, ISO 100, 0.4 sec