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Dawn Light, Alkali Lake and the Minarets | by G Dan Mitchell
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Dawn Light, Alkali Lake and the Minarets

Dawn Light, Alkali Lake and the Minarets. Eastern Sierra Nevada, California. October 9, 2011.© Copyright 2011 G Dan Mitchell - all rights reserved.


Pink dawn light illuminates the surface of an Alkali Lake and the Minarets, and Mounts Ritter and Banner


Although it has been almost a year since I made this photograph, I recall the morning very well. I had stayed at a cheap motel in Mammoth Lakes the night before, and when I got up well before dawn I had no specific shooting plan other than to head in the general direction of places where I would find aspens, most likely somewhat south of Mammoth. I drove down to highway 395 from Mammoth and spotted the steam from the hot springs along with some fog in Long Valley. Figuring that I wasn't certain where I would find the aspen color I was looking for but that I was certain that interesting stuff was happening out in the valley, I changed plans and headed there instead.


I drove to small lake where I have photographed a number of times in the past, pulled off the road, grabbed my gear, and headed out to the bank of the lake opposite the still relatively dark Sierra crest. This was an unusual early October, and three relatively large winter-type storms had passed through during the previous week, dropping substantial early season snow all along the upper reaches of the Sierra. As a consequence, at a time of year when it usually looks more like summer, the range had taken on a very wintry appearance. As the first pre-dawn light came to the sky, it turned the slightly hazy atmosphere a beautiful shade of pink and this light was reflected in the surface of the small lake.


G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer whose subjects include the Pacific coast, redwood forests, central California oak/grasslands, the Sierra Nevada, California deserts, urban landscapes, night photography, and more.

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Text, photographs, and other media are © Copyright G Dan Mitchell (or others when indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without advance permission from G Dan Mitchell.

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Taken on October 9, 2011