Fall Colors, Eastern Sierra Style

It seems like forever since I’ve been able to do anything on my website.  Unfortunately, I have to make my living in the conventional way and sometimes it takes priority.  Having just spent several days in the desert, I really miss being in the Eastern Sierra.

While the desert is ok, it’s not my first choice of places to be.  For one thing, there were no Fall colors, or at least nothing like what I experienced in the Eastern Sierra.  Now, if anyone is reading this from the East Coast, I do understand that nature puts on a magnificent show.  But the Eastern Sierra provides a very worthy display as well.

If you’ve never seen it for yourself, then perhaps it’s time to change that.  There are Yahoo groups and various other sources of information available online, you just have to do a little research.  Enthusiastic color chasers provide up-to-the hour reports with all of the detail anyone could want or need.  I participate in one group – Calphoto, and shared some day-to-day details for those interested.

It’s too late this year, since most of the color is past prime or is gone completely.  Having made quite a few trips just for the turning of the trees, I’d say that the last couple of weeks in September, and the first 2 to 3 weeks of October are your best bet.

Where to start is a good question.  I happened to be in about the middle of the area, camped at Silver Lake on the June Lake Loop.  It wasn’t too much trouble to head south to the Bishop Creek area or go north as far as Bridgeport.

What kind of gear to bring is also a good question.  I overdid it this year, and brought 5 cameras, 3 tripods, and all of the other associated crap.  Yes, I did say crap!  In the end, I would have been better off with 2 cameras, with one as my main and the other as backup.

Thinking more about carrying my heavier DSLR’s made me appreciate my little Sony NEX3 even more.  If you’ve read some of my previous posts, you know how much I enjoy using the NEX3.  It’s small, has the same size sensor as my DSLR and excellent picture quality (in my opinion).  And going for a hike is some much more enjoyable when I take the NEX3, rather than it feeling like a chore when lugging around my DSLR.

Back to the fall colors!  They were simply amazing in some areas, and just ok in others.  One of my favorite places for color is the Bishop Creek area, above the little town of Bishop, California.  As you head up Line St. towards either South Lake or Sabrina and get to the 7000 foot marker, you start to notice the trees.  It was subtle at first, then became more and more striking the further I went.  All of sudden there are trees that are yellow, gold, orange, and even red!  You want to pull over every 10 feet.  ‘Had to be careful not to get hit by other photographers also looking everywhere but where they are supposed to while driving.  There are so many photo possibilities everywhere you look that I had to slow down, take a breath, and just take it all in.

Once I started composing and shooting I lost track of time.  A couple of hours can go by so fast and you may not even notice.  I ended up with memory cards full and about 75 miles to drive back to camp.

Here are some of the photos from the Bishop Creek area.  Maybe next year you’ll consider heading up yourself and see what I mean.  The Eastern Sierra in the Fall shouldn’t be missed!

Until next time, Happy Shooting!