The Eastern Sierra region is well-known for its rugged topography and sagebrush-covered slopes, and this photo represents better than any other I’ve made what I love about the Eastern Sierra colorful flowers, rocks, and snowy peaks.
I had joined a group of botanist friends to search for Father Crowley’s lupine, (Lupinus padre-crowleyi), a rare plant known from only a few places on the Inyo National Forest. We found the lupine down-slope from this spot in Big Pine Canyon, but what excited me was the prospect of getting a panorama view with the Palisades and scads of colorful wildflowers in the foreground. The flowers were not quite at their peak, so I waited about a week, drove back up the rough road to the Coyote Plateau and camped near Baker Creek. Then in the morning, I walked for about 3 miles through a dark, lodgepole pine forest with my Fuji 617 panorama film camera, and found this composition a few minutes before the sun rose. High clouds scattered the light like a giant diffuser and this soft light helped make the colors pop on the red paintbrush and yellow buckwheat.
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View from High Meadows Panorama Print