Eastern Sierra Ridges, Rain. Round Valley, California. October 4, 2015. © Copyright 2015 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.
A passing squall drops rain on hills at the base of the Eastern Sierra
I first stopped here with a very different sort of photograph in mind. I pulled off US395 just north of Bishop in a spot where I knew I could overlook pastureland spotted with autumn color cottonwood trees and backed by the mighty eastern escarpment of the Sierra. But the weather was extremely changeable, and within minute a passing squall almost completely obliterated the view, leaving me looking mostly at a thick curtain of falling rain.
I waited a bit, hiding under the rear door of my vehicle with my tripod set up, and before long the conditions began to change again — I could see that the moisture-filled atmosphere was beginning to glow to the south where clouds were thinning and sun was illuminating the falling rain. As I watched, the distant low hills of the eastern Sierra gradually began to re-emerge. These conditions not only make the view opaque but they also desaturate the colors. Believe it or not… this minimalist landscape is a color photograph!
G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer and visual opportunist. His book, “California’s Fall Color: A Photographer’s Guide to Autumn in the Sierra” is available from Heyday Books and Amazon.
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