Not a Luxury but a Necessity

winter snow shelter shack abandon easternsierra easternnevada california photofool
Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit – Edward Abbey

Every time I drove home from Mammoth Mountain after an exhausting weekend on the slopes, I always wanted to stop and photograph this little abandoned shack, but a six hours drive home deterred my shooting inspiration. Those who travel frequently on US 395 South might recognize this little shelter just North of Lake Crowley.

This trip, I decided to spend an early morning to capture this image. The snow storms a few weeks ago brought much needed snow to the area, but there wasn’t enough snow to cover all the rocks on the hill behind the shack. I cloned out all the distracting background elements and boosted contrast via curve adjustment to get a cleaner background.

I shot the same subject with different angles showing the early morning light on the snow, but found the side light and shadows too distracting; they eliminated the negative space encompassing the main subject and reduced the the feel of isolation and abandonment.

Thinking about getting your own version of this shelter? Bring a long lens to shoot from the road or snow shoes to get closer. My 200mm + 1.4x extender was a little short from the side of the road.