Nestled at the foot of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, these two structures are known as the "Sam House", named after the owners of the property. They haven't been lived in for years and are a favorite among photographers who visit the area, just south of Lee Vining, California. I travel here often as it's a magical place and often free from the clutter of people, who mostly head for nearby Yosemite. There is much preserved from days past, and many places of interest to photographers and non-shooters alike. A hiking and camping paradise all year round.
In this scene we see a winter storm descending onto the houses. The sun is making a valiant effort to shine through the clouds, but it will soon be covered. It's a scene right out of the Old West, of which these two buildings are a living testament. However, I was standing next to a modern highway. U.S. 395 winds down the backside of the Sierra from Susanville, California down through Reno and Carson City, Nevada and back into California connecting many small towns to each other and the world.
What captured my attention was the shape of the incoming clouds along with the sun still peeking through, creating those beautiful but subtle beams. The dichotomy of the clear blue sky with the clouds of the approaching storm creates a powerful contrast. In the mountains the weather can change in an instant.
Unfortunately, time has not been soft on these structures and the building on the left has since been destroyed. I'm glad to have had the opportunity to capture these reminders of a prior way of life, and sad that they will soon be swallowed up and returned to Mother Earth. It is the fate of everything.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor