Thursday's Travelogue: Mono Lake, California

All photographs © Rick Sammon
This is part of a series I run here on my blog: Thursday's Travelogue. This week Mono Lake, California.

Mono lake is one of my favorite places to shoot landscapes. In fact, it will be one of the stops on my 2012 Photo Caravan, In The Footsteps of Ansel Adams.

Photo tips:
• South Tufa is the best place to shoot.
• Sunrise is the best time to shoot - but moonrise could be cool!
• Drive to South Tufa in daylight before your sunrise shoot. The gravel road leading to the parking lot has not lights.
• Get on site early. Very early. Many other photographers show up to shoot the sunrise.
• Plan more than one sunrise shoot. You just never know, as illustrated by the two sunrise pictures in this post.
• You'll need a flashlight for your early morning shoots.
• Work with reflections. Usually, the water is calmer earlier in the day.

• Shoot HDR. The opening image for this post is an HDR image. Click here for discounts on Photomatix Pro and Nik HDR Efex Pro.
• Wear waterproof sandals and shorts... as you may be walking through the water, as I did, to get to a good shooting spot.
Teva Men's Toachi 2 Outdoor Performance Sandal,Raven,9 M US
• Waders are another option for keeping dry.
• Tote a tripod, which you may be placing in the water. Rinse it off afterward.
• Pack a polarizing filter to reduce the glare on water.
Tiffen 72mm Circular Polarizer
• Mono lake is mostly wide-angle photography.

Travel Tips:
• Have dinner at the Historic Mono Lake Inn. Call in advance.
• Make your hotel reservations early.
• If you will be driving over the Tioga Pass, check to see that it's not closed due to snow - even in the late spring/early summer.
• You will be relatively close to Bodie State Historical Park, Yosemite and Alabama Hillls. Plan a trip.
• You must eat at the Whoa Nellie Deli at the Tioga Gas Mart. It's fun and fabulous! 

Bodie State Historical Park is a great place for HDR.
For more info on Mono Lake, click here.

Explore the light,

P.S. See past travelogues below:

Mt. Rainier

St. Augustine

Bosque del Apache