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First Major Storm Hits Northern California, Sort of Crummy Timing for Me

Well, we needed the rain badly and nature delivered quite late but with the urgency of a UPS drive dumping boxes at your door before XMAS.

I was out tonight and the wind was violent and the rain coming down about as hard as it can, hammering on my van like politicians demanding more taxes, so much that I had to slow to 10 mph due to near-zero visibility.

Huge puddles that don’t drain on I280 show the continuing incompetence of California to address basic safety with fire or water, let alone keep feces off your shoes. I could not see the puddles at night (even with high beams) and I hit them hard, and was very glad for the 16/32" tread on new BF Goodrich K02 A/T tires, and credit where credit is due to the incredible stability control system of the Mercedes Sprinter. The 2-year old tires with 34K miles might have sent me into the guardrail. I never try to get the last 10K out of a set of tires—that would be foolhardy where I go late in the season, let alone hydroplaning issues.

With the Phase One IQ4 here, I am both relieved and disappointed with the weather. Relieved that I now am under no time pressure to race away to the Eastern Sierra, and bummed that I am now frozen out of prime areas for the next 6 months, as there surely will be a meter of snow or more piled up with this first onslaught, with several stormy days yet to slam in. The passes are now closed until June or so. Thus I’ll be shooting in northern Death Valley (e.g. Eureka Dunes) or Alabama Hills or similar, which are at lower snow-free elevations year round.

Below: alas, no late-season shooting up here in the White Mountains, due to the prodigal quantity of fresh snow.

Full resolution image can be seen in Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG DN Art Examples: White Mountains.

Pre-Dawn Glow, Patriarch Grove
f8 @ 10.0 sec electronic shutter focus stack 2 frames, ISO 100; 2019-10-25 06:39:48
Sony A7R IV + Sigma FE 14-24mm f/2.8 DG DN Art @ 18mm equiv (18.2mm)
ENV: Patriarch Grove, altitude 11300 ft / 3444 m, 32°F / 0°C
RAW: LACA corrected, vignetting corrected, TopazSharpenAI {RemoveBlur=0.29 SuppressNoise=0.17 AddGrain=0}

[low-res image for bot]

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