Offroading the Inyo Range, Swansea to Salt Tram to Cerro Gordo, Owens Lake, Lone Pine, Buttermilk Trail in Bishop

The Swansea to Salt Tram 4×4 offroad trail starts about nine miles east of the junction of US395 and CA136, in the Owens Valley, at the south end of Lone Pine. If you choose to come out on the Hwy 395 side, the trail ends in Keeler, CA. Specific details with maps and photos are at the two links below. You won’t need a rock crawler to complete this trail, but you’ll want a 4×4 with low gear, a full-size spare tire, and one locker if possible. As the trail goes up hill towards the New York Butte, and the iconic Burgess Mining Camp shack, there are a couple of campsites right on the trail. Elevation at the top is something like 9,600ft., so be prepared for a cold night if you are camping, even into the month of June.

http://www.everytrail.com/guide/swansea-cerro-gordo-4×4-road/map
http://www.gbr.4wdtrips.net/4×4/swansea.html

The Buttermilk Rd. going out of Bishop CA, is a popular spot with the locals, you’ll see everything from street cars to mini-vans on this road, but only until the going starts getting rough. To get there leave Hwy 395 in Bishop, and turn west on Line Street. Follow Hwy 168 approximately eight miles to Buttermilk Rd on the right. Follow Buttermilk Road 07S01(dirt) into a maze of marked roads with names that didn’t match what Google Maps calls ’em. If you are lucky and persistent you could end up on the road to Lake Horton, which comes to an abrupt stop at a locked gate. There are many signs proclaiming that this land is owned by the City of LA, no camping allowed, but that looks to be generally ignored. The short history of this area is that Los Angeles drained the Owens Lake dry, and it looks to have also bought up a bunch of land in the process. Don’t forget to stop off at the Great Basin Bakery before you start out, it’s right off Main St. at the south end of Bishop, turn on Lagoon St.

While you are in the area, take spin up to the Bristlecone Pine Forest, at 10,000ft or so elevation: http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/inyo/specialplaces/?cid=stelprdb5129900

All photos taken with a Sony a7R and Canon FDn 50/1.4 lens.

Dan Euritt

Glamis Dunes sand drags photos Thanksgiving Sony a7R Tamron 150-600mm lens

Glamis Dunes sand drags pics, Thanksgiving 2015, shot with a Sony a7R mirrorless camera, Sony LA-EA4 adapter, and Tamron 150-600mm zoom lens. The Oldsmobile Hill wide shot, with the sand truck jumping off the edge, was taken with a dusty old Pentax-M 35/2.8.

Dan Euritt

Macro photography with the Sony a7R and manual focus lenses

These macro photos were shot with the Sony a7R and a Tamron SP Adaptall-2 52BB lens, it’s 90mm f/2.5, manual focus only. Fill flash was a Sony F60M, with the diffuser on for the green spider shots.

The smaller spider is a green lynx spider. The big spider is probably a Neoscona crucifera, also known as a Hentz Orbweaver. Wolf spiders don’t generally make webs, and this spider had spun up a large web. The Hentz Orbweaver is known to eat it’s own web. You can see how this spider wrapped up what looks like a bug, or possibly even some of it’s own web. It only took a few minutes to dispose of whatever the object was. The photographer looked down to adjust the camera, then looked up, and the prey was gone. Serious business in the insect world, check out the mandibles on that spider.

Dan Euritt

Photos from the Hurley Pro surf contest at Trestles, 2015

Taking photos of surfers from the beach generally requires a long lens and a rudimentary knowledge of the sport of surfing. You can shoot it with shorter lenses, just frame the shot like it’s a landscape photo, with surfing as a minor part of the equation. In this case the photo gear was a Sony a7R, LAEA4 A-mount adapter, and Tamron 150-600mm lens. Unfortunately 600mm on a full-frame camera wasn’t enough reach for the bigger waves at Trestles, which was the location of the shoot.

The good news was that these were professional surfers, in the 2015 Hurley Pro surf contest, so there was plenty of opportunity for getting good action photos, if the weather and the surf conditions cooperated. The bad news was that the light at this location was at a side angle at it’s best, in the morning only, and one of the two days that were shot was cloudy. That made processing the photos into anything useful rather difficult, as you’ll see. The swell was also down for the last day of the shoot; good for shorter lenses, bad for big surf action shots like getting air.

Dan Euritt