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JerryP
30-Sep-2015, 12:35
I'm planning a trip to the Bishop area, as soon as a box of Velvia50 arrives from Japan in a few days. I'm also taking a box of Ektar100 and B&W, all in 4x5. 35 years ago I lived in Bishop for a few years and had the good fortune of working for the USFS as a truck driver, helping to repair campgrounds and parking lots and such. That made me able to drive around the various areas and check out the scenery. Based on that foggy memory of the Sierras, I'm thinking of looking up Bishop Creek to North Lake, South Lake and Sabrina for my fall colors. Rock Creek is another area I'm going to. Ansel seemed to like the Buttermilks quite a bit.

I'm trying to think of places for the sunrise shots and the sunset shots. There should be enough fall color for everyone for a few more weeks, based on the California Fall Color websites, although I might have to search around if I wait too much longer. I may stop for the Bristlecones and Alabama Hills on the way back, but color is my main objective on this trip.

I could really use some suggestions for locations that take advantage of the Happy Hours, (I mean Golden Hours), since this is my first trip there in decades.

If any of you happen to spot an old guy with a Crown Graphic up there, that might be me. Thanks in advance for your help.

Jerry.

vinny
30-Sep-2015, 12:46
June lake loop. Lee vining creek. Virginia creek.
The road to bristlecones is ROUGH!

Drew Wiley
30-Sep-2015, 12:46
Hard to say about the bristlecones, since snow can start falling anytime now. There will already be significant fall color at Sabrina, upper Rock Cr and analogous altitudes. McGee Creek is another spot to try. A short easy mile or two walk on the trail will give you a nice view of the color upcanyon. For distant shots under
blue sky, I'd recommend a light pink 2A skylight filter with Ektar. In shade under blue sky, you'll need something stronger, like an 81A or even 81C. Velvia is usually fine color-wise, but a relatively colorless UV filter helps with distance sharpness at high altitude. The Buttermilks will probably still be hot in the afternoon.
The cottonwoods lower down don't generally have color until late Oct. And the June Lake area recently burned. You should have plenty to do right near Bishop anyway.

richardman
30-Sep-2015, 14:51
I hope to make a trip again in Nov! I know the colors will be mostly gone by then, but...

JerryP
30-Sep-2015, 15:05
June lake loop. Lee vining creek. Virginia creek.
The road to bristlecones is ROUGH!

I recall driving a 10 yard dump truck up to near the Research Station once. Yep, it was rough, but I made it.

JerryP
30-Sep-2015, 15:11
[QUOTE=Drew Wiley;1278860] For distant shots under
blue sky, I'd recommend a light pink 2A skylight filter with Ektar. In shade under blue sky, you'll need something stronger, like an 81A or even 81C. Velvia is usually fine color-wise, but a relatively colorless UV filter helps with distance sharpness at high altitude.

I didn't think about filters. You know that if I'm shooting Velvia50, I'm going for the saturated colors. I'll look for some filters besides my ND and grads. Good advice.

Preston
30-Sep-2015, 16:32
The road to the Patriarch Grove of the Bristlecones is very rough. However, you can park at Schulman Grove and take the loop trail. It's not a difficult hike as it mostly contours around.

Another spot near Bishop is Pine Creek Canyon past the old company town of Rovanna. There's some pretty big walls with lots of interesting geology and there are aspens near the end of the road at the old tungsten mine.

If you've never done it, head up to Mosquito Flat Trailhead in Rock Creek canyon and then hike up into Little Lakes Valley. The place is stunningly beautiful. BTW: If you do go to Rock Creek, hit the Rock Creek Resort for the best pie in the Eastern Sierra.

Have a great trip, Jerry!

--P

Willie
30-Sep-2015, 16:53
Go to the Bristlecone area and let us all know if you meet Mr Technical Photo Boredom, Digilloyd.

JerryP
30-Sep-2015, 17:30
Go to the Bristlecone area and let us all know if you meet Mr Technical Photo Boredom, Digilloyd.

Digilloyd????

Jim Fitzgerald
30-Sep-2015, 19:02
We will be up in that area on the 8-12 of October. So if you see some fool with a 14 x 17 say hi!

Darren Kruger
30-Sep-2015, 20:10
I was up at Lee Vining / Mono Lake this past weekend. I took Sonora Pass over and did not see any color on the west side until around 9000' though there was color down to ~8000' on the east side. Aspens were still early at Conway Summit; some gold but still a lot of green. The road to Virigina Lakes had some nice color but near the lakes themselves the aspens were mostly bare. Not sure if you are heading that far North but it might be an indication of the current elevation where the color is at.

-Darren

DG 3313
30-Sep-2015, 20:41
All good spots but, don't forget Convict lake and Bodie.........


June lake loop. Lee vining creek. Virginia creek.
The road to bristlecones is ROUGH!

JerryP
30-Sep-2015, 21:02
We will be up in that area on the 8-12 of October. So if you see some fool with a 14 x 17 say hi!

I'll be looking for you, although I may be a few days later.
Jerry

Drew Wiley
1-Oct-2015, 09:45
This current storm should put a snap and things and a dusting of snow up high. I already had spectacular fall color clear down at Mineral King two weeks ago, which is only 7500 ft elevation, and even better up around 10,000, though that was mostly dwarf willow and ground cover golds (too high for aspen). Rock Creek
is convenient because the type of colors shift with the gradual elevation change, and Little Lakes valley itself is one of the easiest high altitude short hikes at the
end of the road. But the color gets even better if you climb uphill on either the Hilton Lakes Trail or slightly up the Mono Pass trail (not too far up, or nuthin' grows!). Likewise McGee Canyon. Convict Canyon is a short drive with a lot of interesting peaks and cliffs, but the trail itself is steep and more deserving of a committed backpack trip. North of Mammoth, everybody knows about June Lk, Lundy Canyon, and Conway Summit. There are even better road drives, but I ain't
talkin'!

JerryP
1-Oct-2015, 10:00
All good spots but, don't forget Convict lake and Bodie.........
Ahhh, Convict Lake. My first trip there was during the Watts Riots in the 60's. We lived in Orange County and my dad figured that was a good time for an impromptu vacation. So we literally headed for the hills. Had a wonderful week and The OC was still there when we got back. I just hope the water level there and at the other lakes isn't too low due to the drought.

JerryP
1-Oct-2015, 10:04
There are even better road drives, but I ain't
talkin'!
Hopefully, my memories of old Forest Service roads will come flooding back once I'm there. Don't have a USFS key to get inside locked gates any more.

JerryP
1-Oct-2015, 10:08
I'm planning a trip to the Bishop area, as soon as a box of Velvia50 arrives from Japan in a few days.
My box of Velvia50 is in Los Angeles right now being placed into the loving hands of the USPS. A few more days and I'll be as ready as I'll ever be.

Drew Wiley
1-Oct-2015, 12:10
You'd never want to be behind a locked gate anyway this time of year, unless you're interested in a Donner Party rerun. There have been several horror stories involving northern Cal people just in the past few years - not because they had keys, but because some FS bonehead did, and didn't check whether any cars were
left on the road when he locked the gate. Onboard navigating devices don't help much either - "take this shortcut, never mind the weather forecast".

JerryP
1-Oct-2015, 13:58
You'd never want to be behind a locked gate anyway this time of year, unless you're interested in a Donner Party rerun. There have been several horror stories involving northern Cal people just in the past few years - not because they had keys, but because some FS bonehead did, and didn't check whether any cars were
left on the road when he locked the gate. Onboard navigating devices don't help much either - "take this shortcut, never mind the weather forecast".

Yeah, the 70's was a different, younger and more adventurous time.

Drew Wiley
1-Oct-2015, 15:28
The drought has had little effect on lakes that rely directly upon high altitude watersheds. It's lower down in terms of ag storage water from the west slope that things appear dramatically different. There are a couple of ways into upper Convict Can, and the main route right up Convict Creek is infamously unpredictable
where the creek bottlenecks and every attempt at a bridge has washed out. No place to be in a storm! The back route requires true 4WD up the Sherwin Cr moraine, into some lovely aspen, then a trail over the top up high, with some stunning views almost straight down to Convict Lk 3500 ft below. The danger there in the fall is from deer hunters, that is, along the old 4WD mining road itself. The Watts riots are a different story. My sister was a social worker there right during that era, so it was certainly a time of anxiety for our family. Back then, I barely missed getting buried by a sudden collapse of that Convict Can slate by a sudden collapse of it from the steep walls of Red & White Mtn.

JerryP
5-Oct-2015, 07:17
Leaving tomorrow, Tuesday. Hope the current storm leaves me a few golden leafs. If not, I wanted to come back for some winter scenes anyway. We'll see.

Thank you everyone, especially Drew Wiley, you have been a wealth of information about this. Hope I'll have something to post when I get back.

Jerry.

JerryP
5-Oct-2015, 07:31
4 inches of snow at Parchers Resort yesterday. Maybe this will be more of a winter trip.

JerryP
5-Oct-2015, 20:37
We will be up in that area on the 8-12 of October. So if you see some fool with a 14 x 17 say hi!

Jim Fitzgerald, I'll look for you and your monster camera. Bishop creek canyon and Rock creek (want me some pie).

Jim Fitzgerald
6-Oct-2015, 05:22
Getting things packed and ready to go soon. I'm deciding on the 8 x 20 and 8 x 10 this trip. Need to get in better shape for the 14 x 17. Can't wait to go.

mstrickland
6-Oct-2015, 13:34
I was up by Bishop Canyon this past weekend and things were looking good, but close to being done. For my first trip out to the eastern Sierras during fall, all I can say is....it's definitely not Colorado. :)

Drew Wiley
6-Oct-2015, 16:16
It's all relative. "Fall" colors begin with the dwarf willows and corn lilies way up high late in August, typically. My favorite years are when deep snows cause a late melt and the "Spring" wildflower bloom in early Sept simultaneously with "Fall" colors. October is a wonderful month for backpacking if you love solitude and you're willing to get seriously snowed in and are packing true winter equipment, including snow-worthy real boots. But if you want bold leaf colors, time to head to Utah, Colorado, or northern Arizona instead. I actually prefers the subtly comples rusts, golds, and greiges characteristic of our hill country from late summer into winter (our "dry" season in "normal" years). It's an acquired taste and not postcardy, thank goodness. I suppose San Luis Obispo is similar to up here in the Bay Area, where coastal "fall" color extends clear thru January, typically. We have a lot of colorful maples in some of the canyons, wild grape leaves, and of course, the wonderful reds of our official state plant, poison oak! But by far the biggest and most spectacular quaking aspens I've ever encountered are in neither Colorado or the eastern Sierra, but in backcountry of the western slope of the Sierra. I will never publicly state where, for obvious
reasons.

mstrickland
6-Oct-2015, 17:37
It's all relative. "Fall" colors begin with the dwarf willows and corn lilies way up high late in August, typically. My favorite years are when deep snows cause a late melt and the "Spring" wildflower bloom in early Sept simultaneously with "Fall" colors. October is a wonderful month for backpacking if you love solitude and you're willing to get seriously snowed in and are packing true winter equipment, including snow-worthy real boots. But if you want bold leaf colors, time to head to Utah, Colorado, or northern Arizona instead. I actually prefers the subtly comples rusts, golds, and greiges characteristic of our hill country from late summer into winter (our "dry" season in "normal" years). It's an acquired taste and not postcardy, thank goodness. I suppose San Luis Obispo is similar to up here in the Bay Area, where coastal "fall" color extends clear thru January, typically. We have a lot of colorful maples in some of the canyons, wild grape leaves, and of course, the wonderful reds of our official state plant, poison oak! But by far the biggest and most spectacular quaking aspens I've ever encountered are in neither Colorado or the eastern Sierra, but in backcountry of the western slope of the Sierra. I will never publicly state where, for obvious
reasons.

Oh, by no means was I disappointed...just completely different from what I was expecting. The landscape along the eastern Sierras is incredibly inviting photographically, and I plan to return when the cottonwoods begin to change. Interesting secret you have there. Maybe I'll pry a little harder from you eventually. :)

JerryP
8-Oct-2015, 09:38
Good colors near Lake Sabrina yesterday.

Drew Wiley
8-Oct-2015, 11:55
For cottonwoods try the little pasture side road to Rovana, just north of Bishop, parallel to 395, late Oct or early Nov. Nice backdrop of Mt Humphrey. If you need
a more panoramic view overall, with a bit more distant perspective, there is a different paved side road on the opposite side of 395, somewhat higher in elevation.

JerryP
8-Oct-2015, 18:08
For cottonwoods try the little pasture side road to Rovana, just north of Bishop, parallel to 395, late Oct or early Nov. Nice backdrop of Mt Humphrey. If you need
a more panoramic view overall, with a bit more distant perspective, there is a different paved side road on the opposite side of 395, somewhat higher in elevation.
Thanks, I'll check that out in the morning. I'm staying at the Horton Creek Campground, really close.

JerryP
11-Oct-2015, 21:23
Made it back home yesterday, Saturday. Not as much color as I had expected, but just below Lake Sabrina was glorious, North Lake was ok, and Lundy Canyon to the north had some nice patches. The best thing I found at Rock Creek was the pie at the lodge near the top. Advertised as the best pie in the Sierras, it is mighty good. I'll be posting my pics when the lab gets done. Next year.

Drew Wiley
12-Oct-2015, 08:29
Pictures of the pie?

Jim Fitzgerald
12-Oct-2015, 09:00
I'll give my report when we get home later. In Lone Pine now heading home.

JerryP
12-Oct-2015, 18:17
Pictures of the pie?

I've seen too many people look silly taking 8 or 10 pics of their dinner, or pie. I'd be embarrassed. It was much tastier in my mouth than on the plate.

JerryP
30-Oct-2015, 14:39
Well, here's the first scan of the Fall Colors I found on Oct. 8, at Bishop Creek, just below Lake Sabrina.
141606

4x5 Crown Graphic, Sironar 150mm, Velvia 50.

JerryP
30-Oct-2015, 14:58
This was on the road to North Lake, 4x5 Crown Graphic, 150mm Sironar, Velvia 50, 10/8/2015.
141607

JerryP
30-Oct-2015, 15:17
The next day, 10/9/2015, was a dreary overcast morning in Lundy Canyon. On the way back from Lundy Lake, which was really pretty, but no good light, I spotted a shaft of sunshine on this patch of trees that stood out. 4x5 Crown Graphic, 90mm Super Angulon, Velvia 50.
141610

Jerry Parker

Jim Fitzgerald
30-Oct-2015, 15:26
Very nice. I hope to post some carbon prints from my trip to the area in the next couple of weeks.

We were in the area on the 12th of October.

JerryP
30-Oct-2015, 15:49
I like this composition better, but I seem to have caught some lens flare. I'm just beginning to learn about scanning with my newly-acquired Epson 4990. Maybe there's a way to get rid of the flare in "post," as they say.
141612

Jim Fitzgerald
30-Oct-2015, 16:13
Jerry, beautiful work. It was great up there wasn't it.

JerryP
30-Oct-2015, 19:51
Jerry, beautiful work. It was great up there wasn't it.

Even if I hadn't taken a single pic, it would have been great. Love the Sierras.
And thank you for the compliment.

John Kasaian
31-Oct-2015, 07:51
Thank you! That's sure a beautiful part of the world.