"The most important tool in photography is the U-Turn"
Whether the late photographer said that remains to be seen (feedback anyone?) but the quote has always stuck in my head, especially when driving around California, the beautiful state I call home.
Sierra Winter was photographed a few winters ago on the drive back from Mammoth Mountain, one of my favorite snowboarding destinations. The drive is a visual feast, with sights like this bombarding your senses the entire five hour journey to and from Los Angeles.
It's truly a magical road-trip.
It was late in the afternoon on Route 395 as my friend and I drove back, exhausted in the best way after a few days on the mountain. All of a sudden, this scene appeared and - while technically there was no u-turn involved - the results were worth the delayed arrival back in Los Angeles. The sun was directly behind the mountain and the resulting brilliant light was perfectly diffused by the clouds while the sprinkling of snow gives dramatic contrast to the mountain.
Five minutes in either direction and we would have missed this.
The final image you see here is composed of two vertical frames from my trusty Pentax 67 film camera, stitched together in Photoshop. The resulting print is best viewed as large as possible...the detail must be seen to be believed.