Whitney Portal 2012

Hello everyone!

My Mom and nephew came to visit at the beginning of August, and I took them on a tour of the Sierra. My 15 year old nephew, David, had never been out this way…even after living two hours from it for a few years…

He seemed pretty excited.

Most of the first day consisted of driving to our first destination, Mt Whitney. We drove up to the trail head and campgrounds and walked around a bit.

Hearing the water flowing and smelling the fresh pine in the air seemed to be relaxing for everyone after 6 hrs in the truck! We stuck around for a while, exploring, and then started to head back down Whitney Portal Rd. Our final destination for today was Mammoth Lakes and that was still a couple hours away.

Anyone that’s ever been there knows that late afternoon is about the most difficult time to shoot Mt Whitney. You’re looking right into the sun to get the shot.

Well, today we got pretty lucky.

We got some shots of the vast landscape coming down and then once at the bottom, there were clouds forming behind the mountains that blocked out the direct sunlight!

You can follow the Portal Rd all the way back to Lone Pine!

Mt Whitney was posing like a fortress straight out of a medieval setting. The clouds were boiling up behind it and the sun was lighting everything from behind, indirectly.

There were still some shots that turned out overexposed, but I was able to work with some of those by converting them to black and white and making a few other adjustments to help bring out the detail.

Follow the road to the switchbacks in the distance. That leads to the trail head that will take you to the top of Mt Whitney, in the distance to the left.

While this was going on, we turned around and saw the full moon rising out of the clouds…that was an unexpected bonus…and the clouds were turning a nice pink color around the moon.

Now I was shooting back and forth, moon and mountain, hoping the sunset colors would spread over Whitney.

The clouds over Mt Whitney started to dissipate, but before they were gone completely, the sun cast a golden reflection on their underside that helped light up the front side of the mountain.

There were some nice sunset colors, but they didn’t extend to cover Whitney.

Overall, I would consider this visit to the Portal a success… not only because the lighting kind of cooperated… but because my nephew, after being able to see all of the fish in the ponds and creeks, asked if when he comes back, he can bring his fishing pole!

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10 thoughts on “Whitney Portal 2012

  1. Absolutely jaw dropping! Beautiful! I can’t wait to read more. Meanwhile, I’m moving this trip to the top of our list. Thank you for sharing!

    • Thanks Linda!
      Mother Nature gets the credit in this shoot…I’m just glad I was around to push the buttons on the camera. ;)

      If you let me know what you guys would like to do on your trip out west, I may be able to help maximize your itinerary. There’s a lot to see, and it can be made a car trip, or a trail trip…or a little of both.

      Mid June to the middle of September will almost guarantee access to everything.

      It’s been so much fun watching you and your family grow into the outdoors and I really look forward to your future adventures!

      • Ah, Joe, you are too humble! I’ll agree with you that Mother Nature has a great touch, but I know how hard it is to get a shot I can live with. These are spectacular!

        Thank you, we’ve had a lot of fun so far and everyone seems ready to take it up a notch, or two. You’ll be the first I consult with when we decide to make the trip! Probably no sooner than next summer. I’m glad to know that’s a good time of year to visit. I’m guessing it would be a little of both (car and trail). I have aspirations of someday hitting the trail for a week, but have so much to learn and need to work up to it! :) How long was your trip this time? I think it’s great you are sharing this with your nephew! What a great experience for him!

    • This trip started 7-31 and ended 8-6…we drove a little over 1500 miles in all.
      My nephew really enjoyed Yosemite, the North Lake area and Hume Lake.
      If I can get him back out here next summer, we’ll probably start from North Lake and end up in Pine Creek, spending over a week in the back country. There’s a few spots back there that I’m itching to return to…and a few I haven’t discovered yet!

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