A Surprise Journey Through The Range Of Light - Part 1 - Mammoth Lakes

So this is what was supposed to happen. My landlord’s friend has a condo up in Mammoth. He wanted new pictures of it in order to prepare rental listings for the coming winter season. It hasn’t been rented in several months, so I figured this would be a good week to go. I got the green light from him, from the landlord, and off I went, driving along the Eastern Sierras of California…the ‘Range of Light.’ A relatively painless drive to spend a few days in a part of California I’ve never been to, take some pictures, get some writing and some work done in the solitude of the Sierra Nevadas for a few days, and then head back home. Well, let’s just say, that got derailed in a big way, spontaneously turning this into much more of an adventure than I expected.

I showed up to the condo, and was immediately taken aback by how beautiful it was. How this wasn’t being rented, I’ll never know. Three immaculate bedrooms, a gorgeous living area, and it was big. I walked out the back patio door and it lie RIGHT on a river looking up at the sunset. I grabbed my tripod, slammed the camera on there, scarfed down my now cold meatball sandwich from John's Pizza Works, and started snapping away. As the sun dipped behind the Sierras, I noticed that the light was going to make for a spectacular twilight shot of the condo. It was essentially isolated, with a river running by it’s side, and the golden pink skies were beginning to turn that lust-worthy shade of deep blue. I set up my tripod for the shot, ran in the house to turn on all the lights, and…(insert record scratch sound here…) a woman was standing inside.

Apparently she had the place booked with her family, and for some reason, the owner didn’t know, and the property management company failed to notify him of that. Who knows what kind of tomfoolery is going on but, well, that’s neither here nor there. What’s here is that I was just thrown out into the streets of Mammoth with nowhere to go. As I was cursing my luck and wondering if I’d killed someone in a past life, I sat in a parking lot, debating whether or not to make the 5-hour drive back to Los Angeles. I was finally able to get a hold of my landlord, the one who helped set it all up, who was just as surprised as I was. They agreed to get me a room at the Mammoth Mountain Inn for the night so we can get things sorted in the morning.

As I checked into the hotel, I noticed a flyer for Yosemite’s Tuolomne Meadows on the front desk, so I grabbed it. I’ve been trying to make it there for years as the roads are only open a few months out of the year (they’re snowed in most of the year as it’s the high country). When I asked the desk agent how far it was from where I was standing, he said no more than an hour.


Was NOT planning on this, but I’ll be hot damned if I’m 60 minutes from a place I’ve been trying to make my way to for almost a decade and NOT turn this into an impromptu trip to Yosemite National Park’s Tuolomne Meadows.

In any case, here I sit, room 114 at the Mammoth Mountain Inn, getting more and more excited for whatever the next few days have in store for me. I forgot how nice it is to just let go and see what happens. This should be interesting. And above? The only shot I was able to snap before being sent to the streets.

For Part 2: A Surprise Journey Through The "Range of Light" Part 2 - Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite, click here.

And to find out how to get sunset and star-burst shots like the one above, click here.

All images in this series were taken with a Samsung NX30 and a Samsung 18-200mm lens.

And for more of my madness: Instagram: @wasimofnazareth Twitter: @wasimofnazareth Google+: www.Google.com/+WasimMuklashy Facebook: www.Facebook.com/WasimOfNazareth