It’s been a long, long summer here–that meant good things, like the first public showing of my Owens Lake Project at the G2 Gallery here in Los Angeles (Venice, to be precise), and not-so-good things, such as decompressing from the exhibit (and the rather intense work getting it ready), and battling a summertime bout of the flu from hell.
Autumn has long been my favorite time of year, and looking forward to fall color in the Eastern Sierra and elsewhere only makes it that much better. I was able to make two trips to the “east side” this year, and the aspens didn’t disappoint (just click on the photos to see a larger version).
Bishop Canyon didn’t disappoint, which was a relief after yet another dry year. There were the usual wall-to-wall yellows and golds, and a bit more fiery orange than I’ve seen there the last couple of years.
I was able to work in a little shooting time at Mono Lake with its alien tufa landscape, and was fortunate to capture a Sierra wave cloud at sunset. The lake is showing the effects of the three-year (so far) drought, with the later level down several feet. I think we’re all crossing our fingers for a big snow year this winter to help both the landscape and our dwindling water supply.
Speaking of water, last weekend I moderated a discussion panel on California’s water issues at the G2 Gallery’s Green Earth Film Festival–a now-annual event the gallery hosts that I cannot recommend highly enough. The Muir Project’s JMT documentary “Mile, Mile & A Half” (which you may recall I reviewed last summer) opened the festival, and the rest of the weekend featured several compelling documentaries such as Dam Nation. If you’re in the LA area, you should add this event to your calendar next year.
After wrapping up the panel, I headed back to the east side for round two of fall color shooting to catch some of the more northerly canyons. The more I shoot in the Sierra generally, and the east side especially, the more I find myself looking for more intimate, less obvious scenes that characterize what makes that area so special. I’ve been fascinated by the dormant bracken ferns in the Sierra since my first autumn visit to Yosemite years ago, and was immediately drawn to this small scene along the Tioga Road, showing the soft, feathery red ferns against the hard, stark granite canyon wall. To paraphrase my favorite poet Wallace Stevens, these are the measures destined for my soul. Autumn in the Sierra is a balm to any stressed out, weary heart.
For those of you in southern California, please considering joining the NANPA nature photography Meetup group. I recently took over as co-leader/organizer of the group, and hope to see some of you in the (sometimes unexpected) wild places here in SoCal. Our first outing was at Leo Carrillo state beach north of Malibu–our group had a great time, and I’m currently soliciting suggestions for future meetups.
I’m off to the great American southwest next week for several days to get both my red rock fix and shoot some fall color there–something I’ve wanted to do for some time now. When I return, I hope to share some scenes from the remote wilderness in Arizona and Utah. Until then, be well, enjoy the changing season, and do a little rain dance while you’re at it. We need it here in California.