Happy Bear-thday

The Story Behind This Photograph:

Taken in the Bear Lakes Basin in the High Sierra, on September 2nd, 2020.

The Bear Lakes Basin is not an easy place to get to. Whether you approach from the east, west, north, or south, you are in for a serious amount of elevation gain, cross-country travel, and long distances. However, the rigors of the hike make the destination all that much sweeter. The Basin is a granite playground dotted with about a dozen lakes that follow the theme of the Basin’s name (Claw Lake, Den Lake, Little Bear Lake, Big Bear Lake, White Bear Lake, etc…). And standing sentinel at the west end of the Basin is magnificent Seven Gables, one of the most striking peaks in the Sierra.

On this particular trip my friend, Joe, and I endured the challenges of the hike in with some wildfire smoke thrown in for good measure. At times we questioned the sanity of choosing this particular destination. But when we arrived in the Basin I immediately saw the photographic potential of the place. We had timed the trip to coincide with the full moon and I knew there was a good opportunity to shoot the setting moon at sunrise at some point during the trip. That day happened to be my birthday as well. 

When I rolled out of bed on that particular morning, the moon was shining in my face like a searchlight, and I ran to the edge of some nearby cliffs to line up this shot. Happy bear-thday to me!

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Comments On This Photo

2 Responses

    1. Hey Dave, on this one I used PhotoPills to get a rough idea of where the full moon would be, and what time it would be setting. But beyond that I didn’t plan too much out. Instead, I woke up early to see where the moon was in relation to the mountains, and let inspiration strike organically. In other words, no pre-planned composition, but rather just set this up and shot it the morning of.

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