I’ve told many people about this incredible experience, but they seem unable to comprehend or imagine the beauty of this moment, so here I attempt to share it with you.
On December 3, 2017, I drove to the town of Lone Pine, along Hwy 385, and then into The Alabama Hills, along the Whitney Portal Road, in preparation for my planned photo shoot the next morning.
My appointment with Mother Nature was at the exact moment the SUN was touching the TIP of the Sierra Nevada Mountains AND the Cold Moon which was also a Supermoon was about to SET behind them. Take a moment to think about that fully. It is one of those rare moments in time that few get to see in such a stunning location.
Above ~ Clouds gathering over the Sierra Nevada Mountains along Hwy 385.
I first set up my camp (which means I simply parked in a level spot) part way up on a hillside, as shown in the image below, but then the wind started to blow and I was rocking around to the point where my fingers were actually hitting the wrong keys on my keyboard. I had no choice but to move and park lower down, though the wind was inescapable. However, I was determined to see this through and make my morning appointment.
Above ~ My first chosen campsite, until the wind started to blow so wildly I feared it would blow Studley Van over.
Above ~ The Alabama Hills are made up of these huge boulders, carved by wind and rain into shapes that would inspire fairy tales of rocks that come to life. Indeed, many of these rocks have been in movies starring Clint Eastwood and others. These particular rocks were above my first camping spot.
Above ~ It is often difficult to get a feel for the size of a place with pictures, which is why I took this shot. Can you find the white van in this image?
Above: This image may appear washed out, but that is because it was taken just seconds before the first rays of sunlight started to turn the peaks red, and dawns light was still lingering. The play of light on these mountains is truly incredible, even in the middle of winter. Look closely, you can see the moon which appears to be hovering over Mount Williamson and the pointy mountain to the far left is Mount Whitney at 14,505 feet.
Above: The Supermoon Setting at Sunrise Over the Sierra Nevada Mountains (Mount Williamson).
It was 6:40 AM, there was a bitterly cold wind outside which froze my fingers in seconds, and I had no choice but to shelter inside my van and take my pictures from there. I couldn’t keep the camera from shaking even on a tripod, but I’d been lucky enough to get the perfect location for my shot the night before and set up there. I huddled with my side door wide open, wearing down pants, coat, and slippers, and had a sleeping bag draped around me in addition.
This image is on my web page where you can view it larger, or make a purchase if you wish – If you are only using a phone be sure to click the link so you can view it at least slightly larger.
Above ~ Just as the sun was reaching the bottom of Mount Williamson, the moon was vanishing behind the same peak. My window of opportunity was only a few minutes on this bitterly cold morning.
Above ~ As a friend put it, the mountains then started to look like big mounds of turmeric.
Above ~ Two different shots of Mount Whitney. I love how the lighting can change so much in just a few short minutes.
Above ~ The next morning, the moon was still high above the mountains at 7:30 am.
I hope you have enjoyed these images and the story behind them, and if so, please do consider visiting my web page at Tranquil Light Photography.com to look at more of my photography, and perhaps consider making a purchase the next time you need to buy a gift for that special someone in your life.
Roxy ~ A Nomad for Nature
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