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Mono Lake Sunset - Lee Vining, California | by Jim Patterson Photography
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Mono Lake Sunset - Lee Vining, California

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It's been just a few days since I returned from eight days in the eastern Sierras (mostly Mono Lake and a pit stop at Convict Lake) and Yosemite. Tioga Pass was still open and Dr. Kendra Karr (just finished her PhD in marine conservation and ecology...know anyone who needs a highly qualified biologist?) and I took full advantage of it. We saw some amazing sunrises and sunsets as well as a few duds, but the entire experience was incredible.


This image is from the South Tufa area of Mono Lake. Sunset on the first night was nice with a gradient glow, but this sunset from the second night blew up in almost all directions. These structures form from mixing of fresh spring water rich in calcium and the carbonates in the saline lake water (yes, Mono Lake is saltier than the ocean). These form into a calcium-carbonate limestone. When the Los Angeles area started draining water for human consumption, these structures came into view. Now the lake is being restored and every year, the water level rises.


Nikon D7000

Nikkor 12-24mm @ 22mm

2 sec, f11, ISO 100

Lee .9 and .6 Soft GND Filters


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Taken on December 27, 2011