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Tips for shooting Lake Tahoe, Mono Lake, Pfeiffer Beach B...
  
 
FullHousePhoto
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p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · Tips for shooting Lake Tahoe, Mono Lake, Pfeiffer Beach Big Sur


I haven't been to Tahoe since I was a kid, and I don't know any details about the Big Sur situation, but I do know Mono. In fact, I just got done with a week vacation in the June Lakes Loop. And what I know is that the area is consistently windy during the afternoons and evenings. it MIGHT be calm for sunset pics, but I think sunrise pics would be a much better bet... Good luck!


Jun 14, 2017 at 04:42 AM
photoin.nyc
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p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · Tips for shooting Lake Tahoe, Mono Lake, Pfeiffer Beach Big Sur


Oh boy, I've been a littbe busy and it looks like I got a lot of feedback. I'll replay to each of them, one by one.

jforkner wrote:
As I said before you might want to consider Yosemite. And since you'll be on the east side of the Sierras, you might want to checkout the Alabama Hills, near Lone Pine or even Death Valley.

Jack


Alabama Hills looks promising. The only "issue" is that this location would be the last location to visit (sunrise) after which we'll have to return to SF airport for our flight (around 2 PM) back to NYC. Based on google maps it will take us around 7h to get back to the airport which is quite a hike Thank you!


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DonH wrote:
I definitely second the Alabama Hills. I'd also check out Galen Rowell's gallery in Bishop (Mountain Light Photography) and the Buttermilk Hills to the west of Bishop.


Looks amazing, but again as above, it's a bit too far unless we go down there first then we start climbing north and we'll be closer to the airport. Do you know anything on the west side of Yosemite or closert to SF airport?

Thanks!
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dakel wrote:
Sand Harbor and Bonsai Rock are in the NE area of the Lake. Other popular areas in Tahoe for landscape photography are the overlook at Emerald Bay and Eagle Falls. The view towards Mt Tallac through the meadows in nice. If you are lucky the wildflowers might be showing. My favourite area for this is Carsons Pass and the hikes in that area.

Good luck
Derrick


Never head of Eagle Falls nor Carsons Pass. It looks interesting. Thanks!

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jdc562 wrote:
You didn't say how you plan to get to CA. Flying in? Airport? Driving cross-country? Or? This would make a big difference in recommendations.

Even though I'm a California native, I'll sound like a grinchy troll, and say I think most of California in mid-summer is photographically dull. Tahoe and Mono lake are ok. Summer Yosemite might be special this year because of lots of water going over the falls. Other places in the Sierras might be ok if summer storms take the boring out of the mostly snowless landscapes. Same goes for Death Valley, but temperatures there will most
...Show more

Great spots and definitelly something to consider, but I'll have to see how and if it can fit with the schedule we have so far.
Thanks and much appreciated!

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Paul Gardner wrote:
Try Bing. "Big Sur slides" Lots of current info.


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elkhornsun wrote:
I would want focal lengths from 24mm to 200mm and a good tripod and a cable release and a collection of ND filters and an alarm clock (to get up before the sun).

I would also look for images taken in these areas by the top landscape photographers of which there are many. Then you can get an idea of what compositions worked for these areas and how often less is more, much more in terms of the final image.


I personally will bring a 15mm, 24-70, 70-200 all 2.8 or lower and probably a 160-600, cable release and some 100mm filters.

That's exactly what we did so far. Google Earth, Maps, 500px, Flickr, etc., but you can't compare that with the experience of the locals.

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billsamuels wrote:
You want to check out Mono Lake's tufa towers especially if you get afternoon thunderstorms and especially at sunset. Bodie State Park will challenge you in photographing old buildings, cars, and gold mining equipment. Also check out the ghost town of Masonic near Bridgeport Lake and the town by the same name. Unlike Bodie which is also a ghost town, there aren't a million people there trying to get the photo of a lifetime. Further south are the White mountains and the magnificent dwarfed Bristlecone trees that are the oldest living things- some are 5,000 years old yet they are
...Show more

Thank you Bill!

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FullHousePhoto wrote:
I haven't been to Tahoe since I was a kid, and I don't know any details about the Big Sur situation, but I do know Mono. In fact, I just got done with a week vacation in the June Lakes Loop. And what I know is that the area is consistently windy during the afternoons and evenings. it MIGHT be calm for sunset pics, but I think sunrise pics would be a much better bet... Good luck!


Hopefully our tripods can hold

Thanks!

---------------------------------------------


Once again, thank you all for your help so far! Much appreciated!



Jun 14, 2017 at 04:54 PM
mdude85
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p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · Tips for shooting Lake Tahoe, Mono Lake, Pfeiffer Beach Big Sur


I believe you can still get to Pfieffer Beach by car, if you take one of the local roads before the Rt 1 closure. Last I read, Pfieffer Big Sur State Park was only partially open, meaning possibly lots of demand for limited campsites.

Anyway, maybe you already know this but just be mindful about trying to recreate photos on 500px et al because often those photos are captured after many attempts, waiting hours for the perfect light to hit and trekking to remote areas that are not correctly geotagged. These landscapes are beautiful but they don't always make themselves easy to photograph. Luckily summer in Big Sur should be good weather although it can also be very erratic.




Jun 14, 2017 at 07:34 PM
Craig Gillette
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p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · Tips for shooting Lake Tahoe, Mono Lake, Pfeiffer Beach Big Sur


Mammoth Mountain, Mammoth Lakes is the route into Devil's Postpile and it's still snow impacted, still, so checking the websites/local info could be important there, too. But it's also an interesting area.

I heard this morning(?) on the radio that there was a slide on the "El Portal Road" which may be 140 into Yosemite from Mariposa. That's just another reminder to keep up with current road conditions. One of the problems with the unusually heavy rains is that as the ground water soaks deeper and deeper, it can loosen up slick layers, etc., and lead to slides even now months after the rains.



Jun 15, 2017 at 03:59 AM
photoin.nyc
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p.2 #5 · p.2 #5 · Tips for shooting Lake Tahoe, Mono Lake, Pfeiffer Beach Big Sur


mdude85 wrote:
I believe you can still get to Pfieffer Beach by car, if you take one of the local roads before the Rt 1 closure. Last I read, Pfieffer Big Sur State Park was only partially open, meaning possibly lots of demand for limited campsites.

Anyway, maybe you already know this but just be mindful about trying to recreate photos on 500px et al because often those photos are captured after many attempts, waiting hours for the perfect light to hit and trekking to remote areas that are not correctly geotagged. These landscapes are beautiful but they don't always make themselves easy
...Show more

I checkedsome local sites and the road leading to the beach is closed and I wouldn't take chances to drive down there and being to take a single shot.

Personally, I use online resources for inspiration and information only. How else would I "scout" for places? I'm not going to fly over to Cali and look for pittoresque sites for a month, then come back and shoot, even though I wish I could do that.

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Craig Gillette wrote:
Mammoth Mountain, Mammoth Lakes is the route into Devil's Postpile and it's still snow impacted, still, so checking the websites/local info could be important there, too. But it's also an interesting area.

I heard this morning(?) on the radio that there was a slide on the "El Portal Road" which may be 140 into Yosemite from Mariposa. That's just another reminder to keep up with current road conditions. One of the problems with the unusually heavy rains is that as the ground water soaks deeper and deeper, it can loosen up slick layers, etc., and lead to slides even now
...Show more

I saw this video yesterday http://bit.ly/2rzg25J and honestly I think I'll skip the keyhole. It's​ just unsafe to be in that area.





Jun 15, 2017 at 11:11 AM
mdude85
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p.2 #6 · p.2 #6 · Tips for shooting Lake Tahoe, Mono Lake, Pfeiffer Beach Big Sur


photoin.nyc wrote:
Personally, I use online resources for inspiration and information only. How else would I "scout" for places? I'm not going to fly over to Cali and look for pittoresque sites for a month, then come back and shoot, even though I wish I could do that.



Oh I do that all the time as well. I'm not criticizing your method of scouting locations.



Jun 15, 2017 at 03:06 PM
Abbott Schindl
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p.2 #7 · p.2 #7 · Tips for shooting Lake Tahoe, Mono Lake, Pfeiffer Beach Big Sur


There's so much to photograph around Mono Lake/Bishop/Mammoth/etc. that unless you're spending a number of weeks on your trip, it's going to be hard to really "shoot" those areas well. Adding Bodie was a very good suggestion—get there early or late. You said you're into landscapes, and Bodie has some nice opps for shooting the old town against the surrounding hills. The suggestion to try Yosemite was also good, although the park might be extremely busy. Same for Crater Lake, which I think is pretty far off your planned path.

You could easily spend a lot of time shooting the tufa at Mono Lake. But you didn't mention the Mammoth and June Lake areas, which can be really nice. What about the Bristlecone Pine forest near Bishop? You might also check on wildflower conditions in the areas you plan to visit.

Also, depending on your travel plans, you might find parts of Central Oregon interesting and fairly close to Tahoe/Reno area. Just north of the border the road passes through a pass that can be very nice, and the high deserts in the area offer lots of good landscape opportunities. The Steens mountains should be fairly accessible at the end of the month and offer a good contrast to the High Sierras where you'll be starting.

Do try some landscapes with 2-400mm lenses. "Landscape" doesn't necessarily mean "wide-angle view", and longer FLs often provide wonderful landscape/scenic images. Also, you said you'll have 600mm FLs, but didn't mention bird/wildlife photography. I didn't notice a short extension tube in your kit, and that could be very useful for interesting photos when coupled with longer FL lenses.



Jun 15, 2017 at 05:48 PM
 

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photoin.nyc
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p.2 #8 · p.2 #8 · Tips for shooting Lake Tahoe, Mono Lake, Pfeiffer Beach Big Sur


mdude85 wrote:
Oh I do that all the time as well. I'm not criticizing your method of scouting locations.


No offence taken mdude85, I was just saying that I'm not the type of person looking to recreate images made by other photographers.

Anyway, I can't wait to get there, I think it's going to be a heck of a trip. I just pray for proper weather lol.



Jun 16, 2017 at 04:17 PM
photoin.nyc
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p.2 #9 · p.2 #9 · Tips for shooting Lake Tahoe, Mono Lake, Pfeiffer Beach Big Sur


Abbott Schindl wrote:
There's so much to photograph around Mono Lake/Bishop/Mammoth/etc. that unless you're spending a number of weeks on your trip, it's going to be hard to really "shoot" those areas well. Adding Bodie was a very good suggestion—get there early or late. You said you're into landscapes, and Bodie has some nice opps for shooting the old town against the surrounding hills. The suggestion to try Yosemite was also good, although the park might be extremely busy. Same for Crater Lake, which I think is pretty far off your planned path.

You could easily spend a lot of time shooting the
...Show more

I totally agree and I bet these places are very resourceful when it comes to photography options, but not being a local, I'd prefer to get a variety of scenes rather than having multiple shots from the same location.
Bristlecone Pine forest sounds great and it's relatively close to our area so we may visit that.
I was trying to find that pass you're talking about close to Tahoe/Reno but can't really "see" it on google maps.

I have the 70-200mm 2.8 II which I'll use the most when it comes to longer FL for landscape, because of it's great IQ, while the 160-600 will be there "just in case" I need longer FL than 200mm. I'm not really into wildlife, that game is over my budget



Jun 16, 2017 at 05:18 PM
buthurt
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p.2 #10 · p.2 #10 · Tips for shooting Lake Tahoe, Mono Lake, Pfeiffer Beach Big Sur


photoin.nyc wrote:
So you're saying I can't reach this https://goo.gl/maps/YnQKrh5L1jz by car?

The priority is landscape. Telephoto is just in case I want to make the sun larger or have more reach if needed.


I was in that area a few weeks back, can verify you won't be able to reach the park/beach going south on CA-1.



Jun 21, 2017 at 06:59 AM
photoin.nyc
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p.2 #11 · p.2 #11 · Tips for shooting Lake Tahoe, Mono Lake, Pfeiffer Beach Big Sur


buthurt wrote:
I was in that area a few weeks back, can verify you won't be able to reach the park/beach going south on CA-1.


Thank you! It's off the list



Jun 21, 2017 at 12:33 PM
buthurt
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p.2 #12 · p.2 #12 · Tips for shooting Lake Tahoe, Mono Lake, Pfeiffer Beach Big Sur


photoin.nyc wrote:
Thank you! It's off the list


The stretch of CA-1 going south to the beach was amazing though. I actually made the trip knowing I would not be able to get to the park just for the scene.



Jun 22, 2017 at 02:13 AM
photoin.nyc
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p.2 #13 · p.2 #13 · Tips for shooting Lake Tahoe, Mono Lake, Pfeiffer Beach Big Sur


I'd like to thank everyone for your suggestions and help!
The trip was amazing but too short. I really loved these parts of the country.

The weather wasn't the greatest, too much fog/clouds by the shore and not even a cloud inland.

Below are a few shots that I managed to take:


This was at Mono Lake - clear sky and new moon, great for astro, this was my first time stitching astro shots. - There are two Tufa locations, the South Tufa is the best. I haven't tried but I'm wondering if the other Tufa could give you nice Milky way reflection in the lake.



Another shot at Mono Lake, South Tufa at sunset.



This shot was taken at Bonsai Rock, Lake Tahoe - a piece of advice if you ever want to shoot that rock keep in mind that you have to park your car on the side of the road and you have to walk down to the lake through bushes and slippery terrain - careful!



I shot this at Martin's Beach - to get to the rocks, we had to take a private road for 15 minutes down to the water. - another advice, keep in mind that at one point the shore is pretty slim and at high tide, you could get trapped or walk through the water.



This was at Walton Light House in Santa Cruz


I have more shots but I didn't get the chance to go over everything. I hope you enjoy it.



Jul 08, 2017 at 07:34 PM
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