Chasing Fall Colors, Yes, California has fall too

Road Near  Rock Creek Lake

So I visited the Eastern Sierra mountains the previous weekend, and tried out the new Sony for the first time. Click here to see what I liked and disliked. But I don’t feel like I had had enough shots of the beautiful California fall. And yes, California has fall colors too.

Hot Creek Geological Site

Hot Creek Geological Site

I decided to drive on Thursday night with my friend Brian. We drove straight through the mountains and arrived at our first spot, the Hot Creek Geological Site, click on the name for location. It was a good start for the day.

Next we went straight to our main spot. We wanted to hit some lakes near Bishop, CA, so we began searching.


As you can see, there are so many varieties of shots from this place, and I don’t regret one second shooting there, on the other hand, I wish I would’ve stayed longer.

Bishop Creek Valley  Fall Colors

Brian and I ended up meeting up with Cody, Collin, Carter, and Bill. They are absolutely amazing photographers, please check them out. We decided to go back to our lake, and honestly how can someone ever say no to such a beautiful place. We shot sunset and decided to check out if the milky way was visible, thanks to our friend Bill, check him out, who told us that the Milky Way would line up perfectly at Lake Sabrina, and as you can see, it did not disappoint, notice the yellow foliage on the mountain side.

Milky way over Lake Sabrina.  Special thanks to  Bill @surfnsnowboard  for letting me use the tracker.

Milky way over Lake Sabrina.

Special thanks to Bill @surfnsnowboard for letting me use the tracker.

After shooting milky way we were so cold and starving, so we headed out back to the town of Bishop for some food and to set up camp near by the lake. We did not want to set up camp at the lake because it was so incredibly cold at 10,000 feet that it would be tough to sleep.

The next sunrise was the most epic thing I have witnessed, we had great clouds, and it eventually began raining…. That is when most of the tourists started leaving, but we decided to weather the storm, just In case…. And this is what we saw.

Sierra Nevada Lake sunrise reflection with a rainbow  This was the third time we had shot at this lake in 24 hours, and as you can see, we were Kindly rewarded for it.

Sierra Nevada Lake sunrise reflection with a rainbow

This was the third time we had shot at this lake in 24 hours, and as you can see, we were Kindly rewarded for it.

Our level of euphoria was pretty high after experiencing that scenery. But we knew we had to keep going. The entire time we were following a weather system coming in from the North, we had a strong feeling that it was going to snow in the mountains. So what would any smart photographer do? We drove directly into the storm. As soon as we reached 10,000 feet, we began seeing snow. With the snow, everyone hiking Little Lakes Valley was on their way out, everyone. So we felt it was the perfect time to go explore.

And there it was, the first snow of the season. We were hungry, tired, and very cold, but we kept on exploring for the next couple of hours running on pure excitement.

Snowy  Marsh Lake , CA.

Snowy Marsh Lake, CA.

Though we were very excited to be shooting in the snow, I was facing a predicament. I had to decide if I would continue to shoot, or put the Sony away. I have shot in rain, snow, and even a severe snow storm with my Nikon, but I knew I could trust it - and it never had any issues. But mirrorless cameras are by far more sensitive than DSLRs by nature. I chose to keep on shooting but trying my best not to keep it exposed the entire time. There were no issues, except for one thing that happens when there is water or snow on the EVF (Electronic View Finder). The camera registers the water/snow as if someone is looking through the EVF, therefore the LCD stays dark. Once I grabbed my lens cloth and dried it, it was working just fine. Here is how wet it was, thanks Cody for the cell phone shot. As you can see, it was decently wet, but thankfully it handled the weather just fine.

Sony a7iii with snow/water

Our trip was coming to an end, but having fresh snow with fall colors in the Sierra Nevada was such a rewarding experience.

Snowy Sierra Nevada

Before heading home, we stopped at Convict Lake for a Milky Way shot, but unfortunately we did not get that lucky again. We were not disappointed by it, for we have had perfect conditions the entire trip.

Convict Lake, CA.

Convict Lake, CA.

The next morning we stopped at June Lake, one of my favorite places in California, where we camped and shot sunrise. That was the first night Brian and I got to sleep more than 5 hours on this trip.

Fall sunrise at June Lake Loop, CA.

Fall sunrise at June Lake Loop, CA.

This was the last location, before we started heading home. I had a book to read and write a report on, and Brian had family things to take care of. But something that dawned on me on the way home, is how lucky we are to live in this beautiful state, and how grateful I am that I am just a short drive away from the beauty the mountains have to offer.

Questions or comments? Leave them underneath, thanks for reading.

Felipe Silva2 Comments