Every Last Drop A Newsletter From the Keep Long Valley Green Coalition

Above A Long Valley cattle pen against the night sky, as seen by Jonathan Hyla, director of the film about the fight to Keep Long Valley Green, "Without Water."

Volume 3 - Issue 11 | November 2023

Thank you for reading, sharing, and supporting Every Last Drop. Help us grow and continue to publish by encouraging your family and friends to sign up or by donating on our website.

You might have noticed this issue of Every Last Drop, which is usually sent out at the end of the month, is a little earlier than usual. This is because we want to share a special PRIZE GIVEAWAY opportunity with you for tomorrow, November 28th, also known as "Giving Tuesday."

Giving Tuesday is an annual international day of charitable giving which falls on the Tuesday following the United States' Thanksgiving holiday and Native American Heritage Day. Stylized as #GivingTuesday on social media, it is aimed at mobilizing people and organizations to transform their communities. Last year, we hosted our first Giving Tuesday campaign ever and managed to raise over $1,000 from folks like you who care about Long Valley. This year, we want to give back to those who donate!


The three largest donors who donate on our website between 12:00 AM November 28th and 12:00 AM November 29th will receive the following works of art featured in the Every Last Drop newsletter. The largest donor will receive the BEAUTIFUL Keep Long Valley Green quilt by Ruby Hoyng, featured in the October Every Last Drop and the second and third largest donors will receive a framed copy of the follwing photos of Long Valley, both taken by Coalition Member Friends of the Inyo’s Desert Lands Organizer and skilled photographer Jaime Lopez-Wolters.

Above This beautiful quilt was crafted and donated to the Keep Long Valley Green Coalition by Ruby Hoyng and you can see more of it in the last edition of "Every Last Drop." It will be awarded to the person who donates the most on Giving Tuesday.
Above A framed copy of this photo will be awarded to the second highest donor to our Giving Tuesday campaign.
Above A framed copy of this photo will be awarded to the third highest donor to our Giving Tuesday campaign.

Through the Lens

Photography in Long Valley, Part 2 of Our "The Arts in Long Valley" Series

by Allison Weber

The Eastern Sierra is a mecca for photographers, given its immense natural beauty. Long Valley, although not well known by name, is as popular a subject as any. For the average visitor, and sometimes even local residents, “Long Valley” is not a household name, but the physical place certainly is. The ever popular social media hashtags #mammothhotsprings, #hotcreek, #crowleylake or #crowleylakecolumns, and even #mammothlakes all reveal beautiful photos taken in Long Valley. The steam rising off hot springs at dawn, the dark and starry night sky, the Sherwin Range of the Sierra Nevada Mountains rising in stony splendor over grassy fields... it is all just a photo away. In this issue we will feature 3 different local artists setting up their cameras to take the photos we know and love in Long Valley.

Behind A photo of Long Valley by Jonathan Hyla, director of the film on Keep Long Valley Green, "Without Water."

Jaime Lopez-Wolters

The photographer for the two prize giveaway photos that will go to the second and third highest donors to this year's Giving Tuesday campaign, Jaime began photography as many have, receiving an old camera from a relation and beginning to play around.

Jaime has always favored landscape photography, making Long Valley and the Eastern Sierra the best place to be, but he also dabbles in portraiture, whether out of necessity or as personal challenge. His favorite type of photo, however, is some combination of the two: including living subjects such as people or animals in conveying the grandeur and beauty of the natural landscape.

Left The not-so-little species known as the cow is dwarfed by the eastern escarpment of the Sierra Nevada in this photo by Jaime.

Above Cattle bring the green fields of Long Valley and the summertime bedecked Glass Mountain Ridge to life in these photos taken by Jaime after the record breaking water year of 2022-2023. 

While Jaime has been a photographer for some time, he did not begin professionally practicing the art, however, until he began his work with Metabolic Studio, the artists' behind the the initial creation of Keep Long Valley Green’s film Without Water.

It was the production of Without Water that also first brought Jaime to spend time in Long Valley. Although Jaime is now the Desert Lands Organizer for Keep Long Valley Green Coalition member Friends of the Inyo, he was integral in the early artistic process of the film, coming out to take photos alongside the film process and working with director Jonathan Hyla. Spending this extended time in Long Valley opened his eyes to the special nature of this place.

Left Water abounds and weaves through alkali meadows and wetlands in Long Valley.

Before that, his work with Metabolic Studio brought him not to far from Long Valley, in nearby Rock Creek. It was there that he first began experimenting with time lapse photography while working on Metabolic Studio’s film 100 Mules Walking the Los Angeles Aqueduct.

Time-lapse photography, a technique in which frames are taken over a period of time and then played at a higher speed, is another preferred choice for Jaime. He is not afraid to do what is required to see the sun transform the landscape across the day or see the stars stream across the night sky in a minute or two. Willing to sacrifice an hour or 12 to watching over a camera, and then the many further hours editing the footage together to make a smooth finished project in Lightroom, Jaime is able to catch some of those special "in-between" moments photographers search for so often in their completion: sunrises and sunsets, dawns and dusks, golden hour, etc. all on video.

Left A sunset in Long Valley, captured by Jaime.

Above An aerial photo of water spreading across the valley and into Owens Lake taken this last spring by Jaime via drone.
Above Another photo of Owens Lake by Jaime, showing a great deal of water in the dry lake.

Today, Jaime lives in Lone Pine and is more likely to be seen shooting the effects of water on the lowermost portion of the Owens River, where it poors into Owens Lake, which, after a huge water year, is now the not-so-dry (at-least-for-now) lake, famously drained by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

The August issue of Every Last Drop brought Jaime from the Lower Owens River side of the Eastern Sierra to the Upper Owens River side, here in Long Valley. The issue featured a photo tour of the effects of the 2022-2023 water year on the summer foliage of our beloved Long Valley and was all shot by Jaime, who graciously agreed to make the drive up and send the day setting up his cameras to capture the Valley in a beautiful, and very green, state.

It is two of his photos from that photo tour edition that we have decided to giveaway as part of Keep Long Valley Green’s second ever Giving Tuesday campaign, taking place TOMORROW!

Right The Upper Owens River winds through the happy green grasses of Long Valley.

Above We should have included sailing in our list of activities to do in Long Valley! This beautiful summer shot by Justin shows a water filled alkali lake.
Above A captivating view of a wintery Crowley Lake shows off Long Valley's beauty in this photo of Justin's.

Justin Lawrence

Justin, on Facebook and Instagram, now lives on a 20 acre property that overlooks Mono Lake, but has been living in the Eastern Sierra since 1999 and originally came to the Eastside after living in Yosemite National Park for 3 years. He got into photography after discovering the work of famed rock climber and photographer Galen Rowell. And though Justin did not know it at the time, the David Lee Roth climbing music video “Just Like Paradise,” the reason Justin himself got into rock climbing and originally moved to Yosemite, was contributed to by the very same man.

He was shooting film photography and as he put it “slowly following in Galen Rowell's tracks," but at the time did not know that Galen himself lived in the Eastern Sierra. When he moved to the Eastside, he ended up befriending Galen’s son and meeting Galen himself a handful of times, ultimately coming “full circle” with the person who inspired his photography and his passion for rock climbing as well.

Above Alex Honnold climbs in Yosemite National Park during his free ascent of El Nino on El Capitan with Brad Gobright, shot by Justin Lawrence.

Today, adventure photography, the fusion between these two passions, is Justin's favorite form of photography, and Yosemite Valley his favorite photography locale. When he is not out adventuring however, Long Valley provides the other side of the spectrum, the quiet side of the Sierra.

Above A wild iris growing in Long Valley, shot by Justin.

Headed out to the natural hot springs in Long Valley or simply soaking up the sun, Justin is happy to whip out his camera, whether a more formal camera set up, or that constant companion sitting in his pocket: his iPhone. The best camera is after all, the one you have with you, and true to that little bit of wisdom he shared with me this: "if you know about photography and how to actually use the tools in your smartphone camera and how to adjust them to get the shot you want, you can do about anything."

Above Boardwalks at the hot springs in Long Valley look dramatic, shot by Justin in black and white on his iPhone.

Justin says he is obsessive about the right shot and his favorite part about the art form is the infinite ways you can create photos. When he isn't in the field pursuing his own photography, he gets to share this desire to experiment and find what makes the right shot by teaching photography to the next generation at Sierra High School. He just started teaching photography this year but loves it and it feels he will be doing it for a long time to come.

Above The night sky over the Long Valley caldera, captured by Justin.
Above Clouds above Mammoth Mountain and the Minarets, shot by Justin in Long Valley.

Justin is currently working on building a website to house his photography and business, but for now can be reached via email at steeppathpro@gmail.com for inquiries. 

Danilo Chacon

The Eastern Sierra looks beautiful by day but anyone willing to brave cold nights knows that these rural lands offer amazing starry night skies. Clear nights, storms rolling in, and even the aurora borealis (the northern lights!) can all make for amazing photos above the mountains and meadows of these lands. Danilo Chacon is one Mammoth Lakes based photographer taking it all in.

Originally from Central America, Danilo is now an astral and landscape photographer shooting all across the Eastern Sierra, from Lone Pine to Yosemite and beyond.

Right Not far from Benton Crossing Road, Danilo sets up his camera for a beautiful shot of the starry sky in Long Valley.

Long Valley, one of the closest spots for large, open skies for this Mammoth dweller, and just far enough away from light pollution, plays a big role in his photography. While it is not a secret that the Aurora Borealis, or the Northern Lights as they are often called, can be seen from the Eastern Sierra and are best viewed in Long Valley, for most people they seem impossible to catch, or at least, unlikely. It is usually thought that the Aurora Borealis can be seen from 40 degrees latitude and over, while Mammoth Lakes is only at 37 degrees latitude. For the trained eye, and the patient photographer, however, much can be revealed. Danihlo caught this shot by following the chance of solar storms with NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Above The Aurora Borealis and the Milky Way arch as seen in Long Valley.

Geomagnetic storms are a temporary disturbance of the Earth's magnetic field caused by a solar wind shock wave. These shock waves occur when holes open up in the sun's upper atmosphere, or corona, allowing hot plasma to spill into space and send out gusts of solar wind. This wind sends charged particles along the Earth's magnetic field lines and toward the poles. The incoming charged particles energize air molecules in the atmosphere, and auroras, blooming across the night sky, are born, ready to reveal hues across the spectrum of light through an awaiting camera's lens.

Right Another shot by Danilo: Hot Creek at the bottom of the photo and the night sky at the top, with a layer of clouds in between providing contrast between the two bold subjects.

Hot Creek, with the beautiful Sierra Nevada in the background, is a popular photo for many. Danilo's astral view provides an undeniably awe-inspiring take on this classic shot.

Below Long Valley even made it onto @bbcearth’s Instagram via a beautiful shot of Danilo’s featuring the night sky over a steaming Hot Creek Geological Site.

Left "Cygnus Region of the Milky Way Over Owens River" by Danilo, taken in Long Valley.

If you are interested in purchasing a piece of the night sky through Danilo’s photography, you can check out the gallery online. These awesome shots taken in Long Valley of the stars over the Upper Owens River are for sale on Danilo’s website right now. All pieces are 35% off today for Cyber Monday, the marketing name for the Monday after Thanksgiving in which e-commerce is typically on sale.

Above "Winter Constellations Over the Owens River" taken by Danilo in Long Valley

This is the second in a multiple part series on Long Valley’s ability to inspire artists and their craft.

Have you ever made art inspired by Long Valley? Paintings, pottery, poetry, prose– you name it, we want to see it! Reach out to us to have your creativity featured in future editions of the Every Last Drop art series

Help us keep long valley green by showing the community who cares for this land! Send us your pictures to be featured on the Keep Long Valley Green Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter/X.


Watch Our Film: "Without Water"

Still haven't seen Without Water?! Good news: You can now watch our film for FREE, online, anytime.

Help us in a big way by doing something small: Spread the message of Keep Long Valley Green by simply sending people in your contacts (and especially Los Angeles residents) the link to Without Water: https://youtu.be/ThJ9HW9yf-w

Get Engaged!

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