A few summers ago, I took an excursion to one of my favorite locations in California: the spectacular Eastern Sierras. Driving along Highway 395 in any direction leads to a plethora of photographic opportunities, including famous locations such as Death Valley, the Alabama Hills, Manzanar, the Owens Valley near Bishop, the Bristlecone Pine Forest, Mammoth Lakes, Mono Lake, and the old ghost mining town of Bodie, to name just a few. Just south of Bishop lies the Owens Valley Radio Observatory, which is operated by Caltech, the academic home of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a wonderful place to photograph in the evening hours.
The cloud formations that evening were incredible, due in part to the massive wildfires that were burning in Santa Barbara that summer. The sunset was just gorgeous. There are many of these radio dishes scattered around the observatory, which make for fantastic photographs, especially at night. These images were taken just after sunset and are bracketed HDR sequences. They were processed in Photomatix 4, Lightroom 3, Photoshop CS5, and with onOne’s PhotoTools 2.6.