While living here on Maui, I try and get up to the Haleakala Crater National Park every chance I get. One of my favorite things to do is to head up on the afternoon of a full moon, hike down the Sliding Sands trail at sunset, loop around the cinder cone a few miles down, and head back up the trail to the rising moon and the darkening sky. This is what I was doing a year back when I captured Stillness Speaks, and what Rebecca and I were planning on doing yesterday. With Haleakala being over 10,000 feet tall, it is often engulfed in weather. From the sea-level perspective, you can never tell for certain whether or not you’ll be able to get above the weather, so I generally just go for it and hope for the best. If it’s socked in, as was the case yesterday, then it’s a chance to enjoy a drive.
The University of Hawaii has a live webcam looking into the crater from the summit, but it hasn’t been working for quite some time. Can we get someone on this, please?
AN IMMORTAL MOMENT Mono Lake, Eastern Sierra, California
This is why you have to set the alarm to 4-something and get up out of your warm sleeping bag and get out there! It’s called Sweet Light and it is always a sight for the eyes and makes the heart giddy – or is that the sleep deprivation? Either way, it’s well worth waking for, even after a late night of cold-adult-beverages and the company of good friends. Hell, you can sleep during the day when the light sucks! and if you’re a little slow (a.k.a. hungover), there’s nothing like the Sweet Light to lift you up.
We camped at Oh Ridge Campground for a couple nights which is the perfect place to stay to shoot at Mono Lake. It overlooks the scenic June Lake and is a 20 minute drive from the campsite to the parking area at the State Natural Reserve along the north shore of Mono Lake.
I went down three times to this area over the couple days and walked away every time with shots I was happy with. Sure, I was lucky with the stormy skies, but even with clear skies, I think you could make some compositions work here – it’s just that interesting of a place! This image is looking west with the sunrise at my back. Most of my efforts during this spell were with a black and white aesthetic, but for this 10 minute period, it was impossible to ignore the color version of this amazing scene.