Mono Lake is one of my favorite places that I’ve visited in my short photography career. It’s what I imagine a landscape on another planet would be like. It’s a large, shallow saline soda lake in Mono County, California, formed at least 760,000 years ago as a terminal lake in an endorheic basin. The lack of an outlet causes high levels of salts to accumulate in the lake. These salts also make the lake water alkaline.

This desert lake has an unusually productive ecosystem based on brine shrimp that thrive in its waters, and provides critical nesting habitat for two million annual migratory birds that feed on the shrimp and blackflies (that also feed on the shrimp).

Mono Lake is best known for its’ unique ‘tuftas’ that rise up out of the water. These make incredible subjects for photography and is visited by thousands of landscape photographers each year, as well as other tourists. During this time while I was there, the sky erupted into a colorful show, and completed what was already an exciting composition. I was running around like a madman trying to get as many different compositions as possible.

For this shot I used the Nikon 14-24mm wide angle lens and got down really low. I love that thing. It’s bulbous nature really lets in mega light while keeping it sharp around the edges. This lens does give me a little chromatic abberations on the edges sometimes, but it’s never anything a single click in ACR can’t fix.

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