Photographing Remote Arches at Sunrise in the Alabama Hills (Owens Valley Adventure, Part 3)

Now it is one fantastic day for chasing arches. I found this clue, this tree, last time I was up here, I think I made a fatal miscalculation. And I’m pretty sure that where the arches is not here at all, but way over on the next rise. I can see that tree right there. It’s only about 300 yards away. Ah, it’s here, so let’s get down to it.

So here’s the arch right here. As you can see, it’s in a really cool location, but as I’m starting to scout with my camera, a huge problem is immediately evident in order to actually see lone pine peak through the eye of this arch. My camera has to be positioned about just like this. Now my tripod doesn’t go up anywhere near that high. So it’s going to be a lot of creative tripod wrangling to try to get it into place. If I want to shoot anything with a shutter speed of longer than about a 16th of a second. See how it goes.

Welcome to another episode of Josh Cripps on the struggle bus.

That might just work. The only question is how do I get my camera up there now? And do I trust it?

I think we might be in business thankfully night. Guns have built in Bluetooth and wifi connection so I can, Oh crap. I spoke too soon and I tempted the fates. Here we go. Again. Three hours later. All right. Now that feels okay. It’s actually pretty perfect. All right. Well, at this point it’s been quite a successful outing, found the hearts. I scouted a good composition and I got something lined up. I think it’s going to work nicely. And I got a lot of great footage with the drone. That’s pretty much all I needed to do today. It’s time to head back down to the car, figure out the most direct route between here and where I parked and then figure out what time I need to get up in the morning to get up here.

Let’s hit it next day.

Oh, good morning, everybody. It’s a little bit after 5:00 AM the sunrises at six 15 and yesterday, that would be roughly 30 minutes to get down from the arch back to the car. It turns out it’s really not that far at all in terms of distance, but there are a hell of a lot of rocks in between the arch and rote. And so I wanted to give myself plenty of time to get back up there this morning. I’m giving myself 45, 50 minutes to get all the way back up to the arch here. That’s why I started hiking so early this morning at about five Oh five, but man, does it feel good to be back out here? It’s fairly calm. It’s fairly mild. The temperatures are just lovely and I’m hoping as you can see, it’s still totally dark out. Uh, we still have just about another hour till sunrise.

You can see just a little bit of color out there on the, the Southeastern horizon starting to brew. And I’m really hoping the forecast called for cloudy skies today. And so far, it is completely crystal clear up there, except for those little bit of clouds out there on the horizon. So I’m hoping in the next 45 minutes or so, it’s going to keep clouding up to give me that little bit of extra juice to make this morning. Even more special than it already is going to be otherwise. But sunrise waits for no man. So I can’t talk for too long, got to keep moving up through this jigsaw puzzle of boulders up to the arch. I’ve just topped out here on the summit plateau. The arch is just right over there, but I wanted to show you something pretty cool. All that warm glow up there. That’s true. Alpenglow not a whole lot of time for monkeying around. It’s only about 12 minutes before the sunrise now. So I’ve got to get my composition set up. Cause as soon as that sun breaks, the horizon is peak is going to ignite with that direct Ruby morning light

Speaker 2: (05:39)
Connection to the camera has failed. Try again. After reading the online help information about how the problem can be addressed. Well, that would be great if I add any service or just worked good Lord. Sometimes I just hate these technologies. They don’t work a little lie blade. 

In a situation where you need it to work, like that’s the thing that drives me the most crazy is this stuff works in ideal conditions, you know, lab conditions or whatever. Like when you set up in your desk at home, it’s great. But out here, this is where I need it to work. Like I don’t need it to work from my desk in a perfect setting. I need it to work here. God what is going on here? Come on Lord, who would have thought the Nailbiter problem in this situation was getting the fork and wifi connection to establish, give me a boring when I do this, the old fashioned way.


Okay, come on now. Deep breaths.

So in my opinion, this is the most annoying kind of light that you can get in the mountains. Now on a totally clear day, on a beautifully crystal day it’s okay, because then you get this absolute laser beam of light that splashes across the peaks and makes us really fiery Ruby, beautiful glow on the mountains. And that’s wonderful. But as you can see, that is absolutely not happening this morning because we’re already about 10 or 15 minutes past the sunrise. And it is dead as can be up there. It’s just this flat dull Elmer Fudd crap light because what’s happening is all the cloud that does exist in this sky. This morning is over there. It’s to the East, it’s blocking the sun. So not only am I not getting into interesting, cool dynamic light in the sky, but it’s also preventing that interesting dynamic light from hitting the mountain.

So I’m really just swinging and missing and weapon and try to get something and just all these it’s not happening for me today. There is a little bit of thin wispy clouds starting to fill this Western sky over here and maybe in about five or 10 minutes, that sun is going to break free of the layer of cloud that I can see blocking it out there to the East. And so I think what’s going to happen at that point is the mountains are gonna light up. They’re not going to be Ruby, but they might be a nice glowing orange and the sky, that little bit of cloud that’s up there in the sky right now might just catch that light. And I think we’re going to get something a little bit more interesting and what we’ve got right now. That’s probably going to be the time to shoot the time to go. So I’m going to get ready for that. Oh, look at that. As I’m yakking it’s happening, let’s get to it.

Well, to be honest, the light didn’t quite materialize way that

I was hoping it might this morning. That’s all right. With the little bit of wispy thin textured clouds in the sky and all of the gritty detail here in the arts. I think this one might work pretty well as a black and white. So I’m going to do the conversion and I’ll throw it up on the screen right here.

Now, am I done with this arch now? Not even by a long shot. This whole experience has just got me excited to come back. Try again. When the lighting conditions are a little bit more dynamic, perhaps in the late afternoon during a thunderstorm or something like that, I’m going to keep trying until I really nail a cool shot from here that I’m happy with. But in any case, it’s hard to complain about spending time in such a magical place as this, with this golden light, glowing across the foreground, these mayor’s tail clouds filling the sky. And of course the grandiose Sierra in the background, it’s not a bad way to start the day. That’s going to do it for this video. I’ll see you guys in another one soon until then have been happy shooting.

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