Bodie and Mono Lake, September 2009

Field Trips

Another great trip!!! Twenty four of us had a blast photographing, and enjoying each others company.

To kick off the event, generate excitement, share information, and answer questions, a potluck was held the Sunday before at the home of Tylene and Marty Trout. After a yummy BBQ, fifteen trip takers sat around the fire pit, and David, Tylene and Sue all shared photo tips on star trail photography, sunrise/sunset, and Bodie.


Our trip officially started with a group gathering for an early dinner at the Whoa Nellie Deli in Lee Vining.

David again went over the instructions for photographing star trails over Mono Lake. He thought there would only be 4 brave souls willing to get up at 2:45am, and on the road by 3am. To his surprise, most said they were up for it, but thought… let’s see how many actually show up!

After dinner, the group headed to Mono Lake. The first thing we did was take the group to our pre-planned spot for photographing star trails. It was the perfect spot… a sandy beach, curved shoreline, with beautiful tufa on both sides, more tufa out in the water, faced north (perfect for star trails around the north star), and had room enough for all us photographers. It would be pitch black at 330am, so one needed to know how to get to the spot. In the dark, even with a flashlight, all the little bays and trails look the same.

The importance of getting there on time was stressed, as our 1 hour shot was going to start at 4am, and if late… can’t turn on a light! After getting all the reminders about how to set your camera, the group photographed sunset.

Early to bed, as we needed to be on the road at 3am!!! How many photographers do you think showed up??? David guessed we’d have 4, but we had 17!!! Our photo camp was quite the sight. 17 tripods all lined up on the shore, folding chairs on the beach, and people lying down on the soft sand. Many test shots were taken while lighting the tufa. Lighting the tufa took 3 people, and 3 lights with colored gels. Keeping with the planned schedule, at 4am we all started the 1 hour shot. 5am… the noise reduction part started for another hour. We had two hours of visiting, relaxing, looking for constellations, and watching for meteors. 6am… Ooohs and Ahhhhs as the photos popped up on the camera screens.




That same day (it was a really LONG day), we went to Bodie for “Photographer Day”. The third Saturday of the summer months, photographers (up to 50) who pay the $50 can get in before sunrise and stay till after sunset. They get the nice light!!! They also get to photograph the empty town.

Most of the group made it for the group photo at 4pm. Bill & Leslie Sutton made it extra fun for us, and dressed up in cowboy attire, complete with hat, coat, boots and spurs. We had fun trying to photograph the ghost of Bill.

Remember, our day started at 2:45am. After Mono Lake star trails, Mono Lake sunrise, and after photographing at Bodie till dark, 17 of us met for dinner at 8pm at the Tioga Lodge, shared stories, and enjoyed each others company. Afterwards, I think we all crashed into bed. No one was too interested in photographing sunrise. I wonder why???

Thank you to David and Chris for setting up a GREAT trip!!!

Check out the photos: 

Member Photos

Photo contest for pictures for next year's Friends of Bodie Calendar.
Here is the link if you are interested in entering.



Share It

Login required to comment
Be the first to comment

Coming Up...


General Meeting




LPA Breakfast


General Meeting

PSA & S4C News

Get your S4C UEN here

My Account