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!
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.
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!