Mono Lake Tufas inspire me to try new photo processing techniques

Mono Lake is an ancient  65 square miles lake located 13 miles east of Yosemite National Park. It has no outlet, and continues to become increasingly salty. Amazing limestone rock formations called tufas form from fresh water springs interacting with alkaline lake water.

Mono Lake Tufas

Mono Lake Tufas

Tufa spires start underwater. Thirty foot formations become more visible as the lake levels decrease due to water diversions to Southern California.

Tufa Watches Over Mono Lake

Tufa Watches Over Mono Lake

In 1994 the State Water Resource Control Board in an effort to protect Mono Lake set limits on amount of water that could be diverted.

Gently Floating Along

Gently Floating Along

All kind of objects spring to mind when I look at a tufa rock formation.

Kissing Lambs

Kissing Lambs

It is so easy to imagine faces, and animals.

Animal Look-A-Like Tufa

Animal Look-A-Like Tufa

Serious Tufa

Serious Tufa

I spend time in the late afternoon watching birds around the lake. Some nest on the tufa. Later I photograph a sunset on the South Tufa side of Mono Lake.

Sunset over Tufas

Sunset over Tufas

Tufa Sunset

Tufa Sunset

Dramatic Sunset Over Mono Lake

Dramatic Sunset Over Mono Lake

Getting up early provides photographic rewards.

Sunrise Over Mono Lake

Sunrise Over Mono Lake

Summer Sunrise Over Watchful Tufas

Summer Sunrise Over Watchful Tufas

Early Morning at Mono Lake

Early Morning at Mono Lake

The tufas on Mono Lake are somewhat other worldly, and my photo processing skills felt free to experiment. I used Adobe Lightroom 5.7, Photomatrix Pro 5 and Topaz Plug-Ins: Detail and Adjust.

I semi reluctantly returned to Bodie and Mono Lake with my photography friends Anne and Laura.  My first experience had been clouded by altitude sickness. I am so glad that I set aside my trepidations and I came away with some good photographic memories. Note to self, always set aside initial reservations, and get out and make new memories.

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My Photo Adventure in Bodie

The abandoned ghost town of Bodie is located in the Eastern Sierra Mountains at an elevation of 8,375 feet. I carefully planned my day of photography. From previous experience, I knew about altitude sickness, and I didn’t want a repeat. I kept my camera gear to 2 lenses, and I brought plenty of water to help keep hydrated, sunblock and a hat. This State Historic Park is located 7 miles outside of Bridgeport. The last 3 miles are on an unpaved dirt road. Along with Laura and Anne we headed to Bodie early.

Paved road ends. Bodie ahead.

Paved road ends. Bodie ahead.

In 1859 gold discovered and the rush was on.

Gold Miner

Gold Miner

Bodie Historic Plaque

Bodie Historic Plaque

The Standard Mining Company in the 1870’s made mining profitable and the boom was on.

Bodie Methodist Church in Monochrome

Bodie Methodist Church

The town’s population reached 8,500 and there were more than 2,000 buildings. Mining brought other businesses and the town grew.

Bodie Hotel in Monochrome

Bodie Hotel

Filler Up in Bodie

Filler Up in Bodie

As an old telephone operator I enjoyed see this switchboard located in the Bodie Hotel.

Reflection in Bodie Hotel Window

Reflection in Bodie Hotel Window

Decline of profits happened quickly, and by 1886 the population dwindled to 1,500 people. In 1932 a fire destroyed much of the town and only 10 percent remained.

“Arrested decay” is the description for the town of Bodie.

Boomtown in Bodie started in 1877. Population of 8,500 and more than 2000 buildings. 1886 population was 1,500. 1932 fire left only 10 percent of the town.

One of the few buildings you can enter.

"Arrested Decay" gives a snapshot of what life was like before town was abandoned in the 1940's.

A snapshot of what life was like

Town of Bodie in 2015

Town of Bodie in 2015

This is part 1 of my photo journey into the California high desert.