On the Road is a weekday feature spotlighting reader photo submissions. From the exotic to the familiar, whether you’re traveling or in your own backyard, we would love to see the world through your eyes.
This series was created by Alain Chamot (1971-2020).
In June of last year in my post on these pages of the Palisades, commenter BishopBag recommended that I should shoot in Little Lakes Valley northwest of Bishop. I looked at the location and thought it would be a good site for a Milky Way shot with the stars reflected in one of the lakes, Long Lake being the best candidate. Unfortunately, the California wildfires of late summer and early fall made the trip impossible last year. UncleEbeneezer brought us photos from Little Lakes Valley last November.
I made the journey up to Little Lakes Valley earlier this month with several other photographers from the local photography Facebook page. The goal was to photograph the Milky Way in it’s vertical position, reflected in Long Lake. While getting that shot was a failure due to increasing cloud cover drifting in from the south and a slight breeze disturbing the reflection, I did get a couple of photos of the Milky Way as it swept across the southern skies of Long Lake. The hike to Long Lake was a reward in and of itself, with a number of lakes along the way with some amazing views.
Before you reach Heart Lake, you pass Mack Lake(which is barley visible from the trail) and Marsh Lake(which is more of a marsh). Heart Lake has a easily approachable shoreline and was great for shots of the mountain peaks just poking up over the trees lining the lake.
The trees surrounding Heart Lake make for a good subject for an infrared photo in this case using the IRChrome filter.
About a 1/4 mile from Heart Lake the trail passes above Box Lake, this time with a better view of the mountain peaks to the south.
Portrait shot of Box Lake.
Infrared panorama of Box Lake.
A bit over another quarter mile down the trail, we arrived at Long Lake. We crossed Rock Creek on some logs at the northern side of Long Lake and set up our cameras for shots of the Milky Way. This shot was taken as the last rays of the sun were reflecting off the tops of the peaks south of the lake.
As the light of the sun faded into darkness, we began to see the Milky Way’s galactic core rise over the mountains to the southeast. This was shot just after the end astronomical twilight as a test shot.
With the clouds beginning to increase, I started my primary shots a bit early. After a few shots, the clouds began to cover the galactic core and a breeze began blowing across Long Lake disturbing it’s mirror like surface.