Friday, April 7, 2017

Millerton Lake: Views Along The Madera Side

Dale Matson

Click On Photographs To Enlarge

This is really an ‘unofficial’ hike with no trails along the Madera County side of Millerton Lake in the area I hiked. There is an area to park across the road from where you begin. My hike began on the paved, steep and gated service road just before the boat ramp. The road initially climbs to a fenced water tank utility area. My hike was about 2.5 miles round trip with 840’ of ascent. The highest point was 1,102’ in elevation. This was a slow 3-hour hike with lots of ups and downs with good views of the lake. The lake is very low, having been intentionally lowered to make room for the snowmelt in the spring. There has been about 500” of snowfall above 9,000’ in the Sierra thus season with more expected. Millerton Lake is fed primarily by surrounding runoff and the San Joaquin River, which should be quite a raging torrent once the three branches merge above Mammoth Pool reservoir. The grass has grown to above knee height in many places, which slowed down my walking. There were no bugs and no water available for purified resupply.
I was trying out my new Sony A6000 (APS-C sensor) camera with the kit 16-50mm lens. Sony also has a “clear zoom” feature that allows an additional digital zoom that doubles the optical 50mm to 100mm. Although I was amazed at the photo IQ of this camera and lens combination, the clear zoom seemed to suck the color and life out of the photographs where I used it. I restored some of the color in Photoshop but don’t recommend the clear zoom unless a particular feature needs to appear larger. I ordered a used Sony/Zeiss 16-70mm f4 lens, which has a good reputation and will replace my kit lens when it arrives. It won’t add a lot of weight but will improve reach and photo quality.

I had taken a similar hike but shorter route previously and took some shots with my Canon 400mm f4 lens. It was a terrible day for photographs on the earlier hike but I saved three shots so I could include them with this longer hike.  

 Friant Dam At Top Of Photograph With Low Waterline

 Mckenzie Lava Table Top Right

 Quite A Bit Of Dry Lake Bed Here
 Millerton Lake Begins Bend Around Pincushion Mountain

 Mountains With Snow At Top Of Photograph
 Pincushion Mountain 100mm
 Lava Table Above Sky Harbor Road

 My Vehicle Below
 Winchell Cove Marina
Winchell Point
Hikers On Top Of Pincushion Mountain 400mm

Western Bluebird

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