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It was the middle of October and the leaves started to turn yellow. Winter was in the air, yet a calm atmosphere and a fresh breeze hovered over the lake. Patches of snow adorned the tops of Eastern Sierra mountains. In the evening, I could hear the howling of the coyotes somewhere in the distance as if they warned everyone this was their territory.
I arrived at the lake early afternoon to do some extra scouting. There were so many things to photograph. Tufa are geological formations that resemble stalagmites. One tufa formation looked like a palace, another like a medieval tower, some resembled elves, dragon spines, mushrooms, columns, or mythological creatures. Walking around the southern part of lake was enchanting and felt like a true discovery trip.
I was hoping for less people, but that evening was a full moon, an event that attracted a lot of photographers. All of a sudden, it became very hard to find a good spot for the tripod on the south shore of the lake. I had to negotiate with two other fellows the spot that I had found long before the crowds started to arrive.
Some smoke from the fires near Yosemite started to roll in. The wind picked up and brought in a few clouds. At first, the sunset did not seem very promising. But as the sun neared the horizon, a soft golden light lit up the tufa. Everyone seemed to be waiting for the moonrise. I took this image right before the sun set behind the mountains. Then I moved on, as the light gradually turned pink-purple over the mountains on the other side.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor