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From Lone Pine to Manzanar

Posted on December 8, 2010 by Panikos under Uncategorized
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Getting up when it is still dark is never easy, however you do get to see the world differently at that time. The opportunity to see the sunrise is there for all of us, but we do it so rarely. On the 2nd October, that’s exactly what I did though, and it was so rewarding. We travelled west out of Lone Pine, a town where hundreds of Westerns were filmed from the mid 1930’s onwards. In fact, the most famous cowboy of them all Marion Mitchell Morrison (also known as John Wayne) shot 13 films there! We went to an area where we could get a view of the Sierra Nevada bathed with the first sunlight of the day. This is what gradually came out of the darkness. As with some of my other images, I’ve had this printed on Hahnemule (fine art) paper, and it looks fantastic. Contact me for prices if you’d like one for your home or office.

Quite a sight, I’m sure you’ll agree. And yes, that peak on the left of the photo is Mount Whitney.

The following morning we went further on from the previous day to get some sunrise shots of Mobius Arch against the Sierras. This time though the sunrise wasn’t quite as spectacular as the previous day, but still well worthy of an entry here.

As you can see, the closest we got to ideal dawn colours was the splash of pink light just above the mountaintops in the distance. But a little while later, the sun did come out and illuminated the arch handsomely.

This is really a BIG country, everything about it is so grand in scale, the mountains are huge, the plains go on forever. This next photo captures that feeling I think. You could just imagine John Wayne riding through, chasing a load of baddies on horseback!

The rock formations were also beautiful in their own way. I thought a bit of “spot colour” worked quite well in this next shot.

I found it amazing that those plants could grow and thrive with their roots IN the rocks.

After this we went on further up the Owens Valley to a place called “Manzanar” – which means apple orchard in Spanish. I knew nothing about this area before, but having read up on it, I found it quite moving. Clearly this monument is such an important part of American history. Check it out & do some research on it, its worth a read. Here’s my rendition of the monument:

Further on from Manzanar we found a spot where one of the “founding fathers” of photography, Ansell Adams took one of his most famous shots. Of course he waited for the light, and got it. Genuine reproductions of his, from the same vantage point sell for in excess of $20,000! They are hand printed, in black & white, and do look absolutely amazing. Ok, so the light wasn’t that great for me that day, and again, it had just started to rain, but hey, at least I can say I was there!

Later that day we arrived in Bishop after a drive of a couple of hours and after checking in to our hotel, we went up into the foothills to capture the sunset. The skies and cloud formations were fantastic, and once again, the sheer scale of everything hits you. Here are the final couple of shots of the day:

The above shot was looking across towards the White Mountains, with the evening sunlight brushing against the mountaintops. The town of Bishop lies in the valley just beneath the mountains. The most WONDERFUL shop in Bishop has to be Erik Schat’s Bakkery, they make the best cakes, biscuits, breads, sandwiches and sweets. Sorry no photos of it (signs inside forbid you from taking photos!) but if you’re in Bishop GO THERE, its great!

A few minutes after the shot above, the sun hid beneath the horizon, but the sky above us was still breathtaking. All in all, a very beautiful day & the pizza we enjoyed afterwards was scrumptious!

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