Reader Comment: “wealth of material you have accumulated over the years of shooting around Sierra Nevada/White Mountains”
re: Where to Photograph in a State Largely Veiled in Smoke?
re: forest fires
Eeraj Q writes:
Your recommendation on 2 lenses, with max of 3 being ideal for field shooting makes a lot of sense. No point carrying a boatload of gear that creates mental and physical fatigue. To this point, usability and "carriability" trumps specifications and "best quality".
On a separate note, looking forward to your next series from California and pointers on where can one go for a relatively smoke/haze free experience late Sep/Oct. It is disheartening to read the news about Lake Tahoe smelling like bottom of an ashtray these days with the smoke and haze.
One thing to highlight for potential subscribers of your site is the wealth of material you have accumulated over the years of shooting around Sierra Nevada/White Mountains. I have not seen such a combination of rigorous reviews and great landscape photography with field notes. Totally worth the price of subscription and a lot better than other review sites with random test charts and snapshots that are marketed as "reviews".
I have gathered a lot of ideas for my next TBD trip to California from your notes and pictures over the years. Whether I can make it in time before smoke and fire become a year round occurrence is uncertain.
DIGLLOYD: the fires could burn until November or even December. But there might be relief much sooner in some areas from wind patterns, with the smoke blowing away to make eyes water somehere better, like Washington DC. And we might get lucky with a rainstorm; we used to get a good snowstorm once in mid-September to early October most years—can’t rule it out. OTOH, last year we had a freakish 400-mile-swath lightning storm which started numerous fires, so it could get worse.
The Sierra Nevada IMO are the most beautiful and usable and enjoyable mountain range anywhere in the world. And nearby just to the east close to the Nevada border are the little-known White Mountains.
I used to lead personalized photo tours and still do upon request, though I am in such a weakened condition that I could not commit to any long hikes. But here are some places to consider:
- White Mountains
- Silver Canyon
- Eastern Sierra
- Mt Dana
- Rock Creek
- Pine Creek
- Twenty Lakes Basin
- Lundy Canyon
- Mt Whitney and Alabama Hills
- Death Valley and Eureka Dunes
This year’s drought is killing aspen trees (and many others species) in places with marginal soil moisture. So don’t expect expansive fall color because a lot of trees are just browning and dying. Still, there will be beautiful pockets of color in better-watered places. May/June 2021 was a sorry thing—little or no new grass at all in the White Mountains up to 8000' or so elevation—just as dead as last November.
Below, an exceptionally gorgeous evening high in the White Mountains, shot using the Sony RX1R.