Bubble Bath Basin, Mono Lake County, California by PatrickMarsonOng

**Best viewed on black**

Foam, foam, and foam! Foam everywhere!! First time in my life to see so much foam. Lol! It has something to do with the lake’s chemical composition plus the wind factor making the entire lake like a foam machine!!

On with the gummy boots, used the foam to my advantage and make the best out of the condition that was given to us. Surely you can’t go wrong with that kind of light, rrrright? Cheers guys! Feel free to share!

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Vermilion Colors of Horseshoe Bend, Arizona by PatrickMarsonOng

A must stop on our IT, the famous Horseshoe bend. Spent a couple of days in Page Arizona for antelope canyon and this iconic location. Horseshoe bend is located along HW89, just few minutes south of Page AZ. Thirty minute walk from the parking lot, a grand and majestic view awaits!

Classic sunburst sunset shot, nailed it! 😉 First time to see so much visitors plus a looooot of photographers with tripods lined up on the edges of the lookout point waiting for the sun to set. Amazing!!

We decided to check this place out again on a sunrise. Strange that we were the only ones there morning. Either this place is not known to be shot on sunrise or everybody’s still enjoying their beauty sleep. lol!

The 25% cloud cover forecast turned into 80% Woooot! So here’s something from that awesome morning, enjoy!

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Morning Spectacle of Kofa Mountain Range, Arizona by PatrickMarsonOng

Really had an awesome time capturing these peculiar cacti backed by the stunning Kofa spires! Must say that one night in this amazing location is not enough. If you’ve checked out my previous dawn shot, I was shooting this when I accidentally brushed up my leg against one of the jumping cholla. I’ll never forget that excruciating pain as I limped towards my comp, felt each of the tiny needles pierced into my skin as I try to finish my exposures. Muscle memory must have kicked in, didn’t know how I managed to pull this off.

You might be wondering why its called jumping cholla? It was named that way because the stems can easily detach from the main plant and attach itself to whatever it was brushed up against. Those needle-like individual spines are made out of sharp scales that makes extraction very very very painful!!!!!! So when you see one, do not touch!! Lol!

Thanks for looking! Cheers!

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Curvy Ripples of Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, DVNP by PatrickMarsonOng

Death Valley National Park, third location in our itinerary, a 200 miles drive down South of the amazing Mono Lake.
That sucky feeling where exhaustion and fatigue kicks in during the first few days of your trip and what made it worst, it’s accompanied by extreme coughs and colds! Ha bummer! The reason behind it? Our foolishness of spending 2 nights in Yosemite’s unheated tents!! !@#$%!!!! Lesson learned!

Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, a definite must see place in DVNP. Dunes can get as high as 100 feet and it’s way bigger than what they seem! Lol! It’s constantly changing landscape that gets more interesting on different light conditions. Gets tricky tho as you need to hike in to the middle part of the dunes to escape those footprints.

Got an amazing tip from buddy Paul (owe you big time man!). Take it during sunrise, stop a few km before the parking area and walk into the dunes from there. Fewer footprints and the dunes are half the size so it’s easier. Well, it’s easy if your not sick at all :-((. I was already feeling dizzy halfway in and the continuous hike up and down on soft sand, took 3x the effort!! Not good, not good at all. So I told myself enough for that day since we still have the next day’s sunrise. Took a couple of shots on twilight and golden hour, then hiked back at a slower pace. Barely made it but happy with what I got. Woooot! For the love of this hobby! Hope you enjoy this image! Cheers!

***Best viewed on black***

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Gateway To Oasis, Mono Lake, California by PatrickMarsonOng

One of the oldest lakes in North America and a gateway to the Eastern Sierra – Mono Lake.

A giant salty basin! They say it’s twice as salty as the ocean. Learned that this lake was formed through time
where “salts and minerals have washed into the lake from the Eastern Sierra streams and as freshwater evaporates from the lake, it has has left the salts and minerals behind so the lake is now about 2 1/2 times as salty as the ocean and very alkaline.”

Located east of Yosemite, this gem is also famous for it’s sand tufa. These are unique formations that came from calcium carbonate deposits and can be found on the mouth of the lake.

Our second stop after Yosemite National Park. Mono Lake was supposed to be a 2 hour drive through the scenic Tioga Pass but the weather didn’t gave way. In order to reach this place, we had to take the looooong 6 hour drive around just to get there. Reached the lake pass sunset. Missed it. Good thing it was cloudless haha!

Next day sunrise was quite ok, well the clouds came later than we expected. Sad to see the water level of Mono basin was way way low. Not much rain this year i suppose. Anyway, we opted to be on the other side for sunset to get a different perspective. So far the clouds did not disappoint! So I hope you enjoy the view! Cheers guys!

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Colored Hoodoos of Coal Mine Canyon, Arizona by PatrickMarsonOng

Coal Mine Canyon is a lesser known gem tucked in between the border of Hopi and Navajo Indian Reservations, Arizona. A place greatly inspired by jaw-dropping images of Paul Rojas, Guy Schmickle, Joseph Rossbach and Dave McEllistrum. This became one of my must see and visit place because of them and Paul was kind enough to give all the directions on how to reach this place plus a creepy ghost story too! hahaha! You rock man! Owe you one!

Driving down the dirt road, away from the highway made us wonder if it was the right turn-off. No sign of any canyon, just a plain flat and boring field. Then after a few more seconds, there it is!!!!! Mini canyon with multiple layered ravines, cliffs and pyramid-like formations imaginable. Mix of red, orange, grey, brown and black colors complimenting each other. What an awesome view!!

Without the presence of any guard-rails, you are free to roam around and explore the area. Finding a spot to shoot from was easy, well for a person who’s not afraid of heights. It’s always been an awkward feeling for me shooting in such terrain haha! With soft and crumbly edges all over the canyon, it was a crazy-scary experience. No luck with the clouds, went for that intense red-orange glow after sunset.

What intrigues me the most are the ghost stories told by both Native Americans and Anglos about this place. “They claim that on certain nights, when the moonlight dances across the hoodoos, a white mist rises from the bottom of the canyon and forms the shape of a beautiful young woman. The stories say the apparition is that of a young Navajo wife who once walked along the rim of the canyon with her husband and small child, who both fell to their deaths. The grief-stricken wife returned to the spot every night until she died, and now her ghost returns when the moon is full. Miners have also reported they hear “knocking sounds” after dark. Another bit of folklore deals with the Eagle Woman who fell into the canyon and was buried there, but climbed out of her grave and now appears occasionally to frolic in the moonlight. Others believe the ghost is Masaw, an omen of death.”

So……. Night shoot anyone?!? LOL!

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Kofa Mountains and the Jumping Chollas by PatrickMarsonOng

My 17-day vacation comes to a close. it was a crazy 3000 mile road trip chasing sunrise and sunsets through mountains, lakes, canyons, bends, snow, sand dunes, and the crazy jumping cacti. Lucky to have done this with two of my best buds Raymond Santiago and Glen Pono, my sister and my better half.

So inspired by Peter James Coskun’s magnificent showcase of this playground plus the outstanding images of MA d’ great, Ted Gore and Miles Morgan, I have been wanting to visit this place for a long time. Out of luck in search on how to get there, I turn to Peter for directions. Owe you big time man! Thanks so much for all the tips. You rock!

Kofa Mountains is a hidden gem tucked miles away from civilization and home of the most feared and hated cacti in the southwestern desert, the jumping cholla (pronounced as choy-a). Had a first hand experience with it, more of that later. 😉

So we decided to drive there for sunset, mainly just to scout the place for the next day sunrise. Good thing that we upgraded to a Suburban. Half way the road gets worst, wrong move and you definitely get a flat tire. Raymond and I were already arguing either we need to park the car, walk from there or drive all the way at 5kph and hope for the best. After an hour and as we make our final turn, there it was, a mini SUV. We were like, WTH, AMAZING. Lol!
Parked the car, got our gear and as I walk over the small hill, there this guy waving in a blue jacket! What an amazing place to shake hands with Dustin Wong!!!! A hardcore professional photographer, it’s his 6th day camping by himself, extreme to the next level man! Hope to bump into him somewhere epic again.

Went back the next day for sunrise, after getting this twilight shot, I was going kookoo all over finding the comp that would suit my taste for a sunburst shot. And with the sun already peeking on the spires, I know I have to settle for one. Pumped with adrenaline, I forgot about the jumping cholla and accidentally brushed up against one. !@#$!!!!!!!! No words to describe the pain!!! I froze and blanked out. After a few secs, said to myself, I need to get that shot. Continued to my composition, believe it or not, I managed to get one. Then there came Dustin, telling me “I got tweezers”. Hahaha! I was literally pulling needles out of my skin! Whew!

My humble share of this majestic location, hope you enjoy it guys! Cheers and have a great week ahead!

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Red Classics by PatrickMarsonOng

A timeless classic shot of Kirkjufell mountain, located at the north coast region of Iceland. A must stop spot when you get the chance to visit this place.

Hope you enjoy the view guys! Cheers!

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Wharariki Drift at Nelson, New Zealand by PatrickMarsonOng

A huge playground for photographers. Take your pick from waves, tide-pools, reflections or sand dunes. There’s even a cave not far from here where you can perfectly frame the sea stacks.

I opted for that classic wave shot, hope you like it! Cheers guys!

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Gold Hues of Breiðamerkursandur by PatrickMarsonOng

I guess it’s safe to say that there is ice at the end of the rainbow! Agree???? Lol!

The amazing ice beach, a definite must see place when you visit Iceland. Diggin that ice and wave combo all the time. Hope you don’t get tired of seeing it. Have a great week! Cheers guys!

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