Mammoth Peak from Tioga Lake

Since my family didn’t want to stay in the park while I took photos at sunset (and beyond), I dropped them off at the motel in Lee Vining, ate dinner, and drove back to the park. I decided to stay just shy of Tioga Pass, right here at Tioga Lake. I thought about walking (climbing) down to the shore, but decided I’d stay up here at the vista – much safer for me…LOL!

By the time I arrived (7:15pm), the light was focused on Mammoth Peak, so that’s pretty much what I did too. I did take a few pictures of the Kuna Crest.

View of the Kuna Crest
Mammoth Peak

But for the most part, I focused my attention to Mammoth Peak and Tioga Lake.

Mammoth Peak and Tioga Lake
Mammoth Peak

When I got back and processed the pictures, I wasn’t happy with these. Don’t get my wrong, I like them, but just didn’t say “wow” to me. I decided to to convert both to a black and white.

View of the Kuna Crest in Black and White
Mammoth Peak in Black and White

Mammoth Peak and Tioga Lake in Black and White
Mammoth Peak in Black and White

Bingo!! I definitely like the black and white conversion over the color version. I especially like the last one that gives a kind of ‘S-curve’ starting from the bottom left and takes you straight to Mt Dana – at least for me!

Hope you enjoyed these and stay tune for more images from my latest trip….

Mike Matenkosky

Mike is a Central Valley California landscape and nature photographer whose subjects include scenes from Merced County, Yosemite, SeKi, and the eastern Sierra. He is currently living in Atwater, CA.

The text and photographs are © Copyright Mike Matenkosky (or others when indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without advance permission from Mike Matenkosky.


  1. Hi Mike, these look awesome. When were they taken? Thanks a ton for any info!


  2. Johannes,

    Thanks, they were taken a few days ago (6-14-2010).


  3. Mike,

    I like both ways equally. I used to shoot a lot of Plus-X; I do love B&W. And Ansel Adams would have compromised if he used color so there is absolutely a validity to the medium! But still- they are both just gorgeous. I’d have a hard time choosing. Two very different ways- different but both are wonderful.


  4. Hey, great photos. (Shot there myself on June 5.) One thing – that isn’t Mt. Dana! The snow covered peak on the other side of Tioga Pass as seen from Tioga Lake is Mammoth Peak, at the end of Kuna Crest. (Kuna Crest runs between the Lyell and Dana forks of the Tuolumne.) Mt. Dana is out of your frame to the left. If you go to the pass and look directly to your left as you enter the park, that very tall peak is Dana. Gibbs is just to the right of Dana from that location.

    Don’t worry. I can’t keep all these peaks straight either! 🙂



  5. Andrew’s reaction upon seeing the B&W after first seeing the color: “Wow!!!” Obviously he is impressed with the B&W!


  6. @Stu – Thanks Stu!

    @Dan – I knew that…LOL!!! I watched my kids play in the snow with Mammoth Peak in the background. I mis-iding those peaks from last year: Wintertime at Tioga Lake. Thanks Dan. BTW, I saw your recent trip as well. I think I commented last week.


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