Devil\’s Postpile NM

Devil\’s Postpile NM, by Suprada on Flickr.

Devil\’s Postpile National Monument, California.

Devil\’s Postpile is one of the finest examples of columnar basalt in the world. Quoting from the National Park Services website, \”Approximately 100,000 years ago, a lava flow erupted two miles upstream from the location of today\’s Monument. As it flowed down the Valley, it eventually ran into an obstruction which served as a dam to the lava\’s path. Pooling up to as deep as 400 feet behind the natural dam, the lava cooled. Conditions were such that the lava–that was incredibly uniform in its mineral composition–cooled at a very slow rate. As it cooled, it contracted and cracked, forming hexagonal columns. 80,000 years later, a glacier flowed through the same valley, overriding the formation and eventually revealing the sides and tops of the columns. Glacial polish can still be seen today at the top of the formation.\”

Technical Details:
Exposure: 1/15sec at f 8.0
Focal Length: 109mm
ISO: 200
WB: Daylight
Lens: Sigma 18.0-125.0 mm f3.5-5.6 DC
Time: 7:14 am
Camera: Canon Rebel XT

4 thoughts on “Devil\’s Postpile NM

  1. must have been a difficult shot to compose .. at 109mm .. I am guessing you could not actually get closer to the columns physically.. which is what would have helped this more perhaps
    reading the description .. would have been great if you could actually get the hexagonal shape to come through .. these look more square-ish .. which is still great .. to see such symmetry in nature ..
    Colors are nice .. but a tad too saturated .. robs the stones off textures .. but then again .. the yellows and blues are whats keeping my interest in the frame.
    There seems to be no focal point .. its all tilts and the top right where a bit of the sky peeps in .. makes the frame a bit irregular.
    A bit more front on .. with the entire frame having only the pillars might be another angle to try .. would be all lines .. and textures .. abstractish ..

  2. I do “not” feel this is over saturated! This is exactly what it should look like at that “early” hour in the shadows with no direct light. I have done the same technique at Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone. With daylight ON it , it looks yellow & gray & white, but in that “quiet light” before the sun hits it, you get the blue cast in the shadows and the greens pop. Looks like a totally different place. I can see how you framed it to crop off the sun at the top right. So Kudos for getting that early light!

    Don’t know what current restrictions that have in the area, but when I use to go there as a kid, not only could we drive down into the valley, but we could climb up onto the columns…as dangerous as that is even w/o camera equipment…do they have it roped off now? Even if accessible someone to help you balance, or to be totally hands-free and literally climb on all-fours would be must! I should go back!!

    For me personally, I like the slightly diagonal tension created by this composition. The focal point is the visual triangle in the center created by the 3 columns that stand away from the wall and are NOT totally connected…With them being erect and the rest tilted to the left…it helps add to the tension..
    Also, the San Joaquin River that floods in the Central Valley in winter…starts up there near Rainbow Falls.

    Very nice rendition Sups! Looking forward to where you take us next…… in gratitude,

  3. Amazing!
    Seen pics of this place before and Nature never fails to amaze me 🙂

    Looks very chalky- but that could be just because it looks like a stack of chalks (balpes?)?

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