First Snow

We woke up at 4:40am to leave our spot in Mammoth and chase a predicted sunrise snowfall down at North Lake. Technically the altitude gave me fits that night so I only slept for 45 minutes but the chase for a fall and Winter collision was enough for me to power through that minor setback. When we arrived, the temperature was icy and the winds were blowing, but there was no snow in sight--only watery remnants of a storm that had just passed. The sun came up illuminating a lake surrounded by beautiful fall foliage and exposing a grim and smokey aura from the fires in Sequoia that enveloped the mountains high above. We did our normal routine and explored the area, then decided to take off for breakfast

After eating, we Pulled up the radar and noticed another storm was moving in so we decided to give it a go and head back up. While driving up, we noticed cars with clumps of snow on their hoods passing by as they made their way back to the city. Moments later the flakes began to hit my own windshield and winter was officially making its presence known. Shooting the fall color with the powder white snow is one of the best experiences I’ve ever encountered. The transition from one season to the next at one single point is something that isn't very common in that area and it will always remind me how precious our seasons really are.


Michael Castaneda


Growing up, I was one of those people who really disliked going out into nature. I felt comfort in the city and had no passion to ever leave. When I moved across the country, I was exposed to what nature truly is and it completely changed my entire life. A camera somehow found its way into my hand and I decided that I wanted to start showing the world some truly amazing places in hopes of preventing anyone from ever being like my younger and very naive self. As I began to form a style, two painters were actually my inspiration, Bierstadt and Kinkade. Their ability to portray the dance of light and shadows inspired me to create images of a once hidden world to me and expose it from beyond the shadows.



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North Lake, California

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Snow storm




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