Mitchell Quiring spent his childhood immersed in the wild delight of the Eastern Sierras, a treasure trove of dense pine forests, rocky desert vistas, glassy lakes and sharp granite peaks. Weekends were consumed by backpacking excursions along Rae Lakes Loop in Kings Canyon National Park or along the John Muir Trail in the Sierra National Forest, fly fishing on Kings River, and skiing at China Peak.
With so much beauty in his actual front yard, Mitchell began taking pictures to capture it.
“Nature moved me as a kid and it moves me now. I grew up backpacking, camping, skiing, and fly-fishing, I loved it. I started taking photos to share these experiences, and thanks to the epic scenery, a beautiful photo wasn’t hard to come by. It was encouraging as a novice photographer, I’d point, shoot and voila.”
Mitchell, now a photographer residing in Mammoth Lakes, California, spends significant time looking through a lens. He takes his gear seriously and like us, loves to nerd out on lenses. As an avid rock climber, mountaineer, peak bagger, and trail runner, his sunglass lenses are equally important as the lenses on his camera.
“A top-quality camera lens supports creative vision, a sunglass lens does essentially the same thing with the added value of protection. Both lenses are meant to capture a moment, they’re tools to help you achieve a specific visual experience.”
Revo sunglasses have mirror-coated polarized lenses that block and manage light, getting rid of harsh glare caused by horizontally reflected light from surface. For Mitchell, this is especially important when exploring the Eastern Sierra’s lakes, rivers, and snow-capped peaks.
We talked with Mitchell about life in the Eastern Sierras and the Revo frames he loves the most.
Walk us through your morning routine.
I’m usually up at 7, unless I’m gunning for a big ski/climb or on a photo assignment (or both!). I sleep with a darkened house, so my first pull is to open all the blinds to let in the morning light. Then I drink a couple glasses of water. Light + water get me in the right head space for the day. I’m a vegan endurance athlete so I keep my diet high and tight. Breakfast is usually a bowl of raw oats with almond milk, loaded with berries, banana, peanut butter, hemp seeds and honey. After some fuel I take care of a few tasks and then head out for a run. I like to run in the Mammoth Lakes Basin up the Mammoth Crest. How far I go depends on time, but if I can, I make the 11-mile loop from Lake George over to Duck Pass and down. For winter, a quick lap or two on the Sherwins (local range that sits directly over the town) or a lap up the Basin, best known around here for its relatively short approaches, steep line access, solid pow, and good times! Nothing better.
What is your favorite place and time of day to shoot in or around Mammoth?
Early morning or anytime when the “Sierra Wave” lenticular clouds come in like a freight train and provide the most glorious diffusion.
What would you recommend someone do with 12 hours in Mammoth?
Get yourself into the Lakes Basin. It’s the local gem and one big reason why this place is so special. Heading up to Duck Pass is incredible. Reward yourself with a spectacular Mediterranean dinner and cocktail at Jimmy’s Taverna, my favorite restaurant on the East Side.
What’s your favorite photo you ever took?
I love this photo from Kootenay National Park that came out of a marathon trip through Canada this last summer with fellow Revo Ambassador, Troy Kellenberger:
And this one of Mt. Tom and Pine Creek:
How do you select which prints you’ll have in your collection to sell?
I take special requests for anything that you see on my website (www.mitchellquiring.com), usually I go with photos that have the best initial response.
What other photographers do you most admire?
Traditional adventure greats like Jimmy Chin, Chris Burkard and locals Christian Pondella and Ken Etzel. I keep a hard eye on Joey Lawrence (Joey L.), Paul Nicklen, Joshua Cripps and related photojournalistic, landscape, and portrait photographers.
What’s on your bucket list? Top three.
1) Travel through Mexico, specifically slowing in Oaxaca for Dia De Los Muertos. 2) Skydive or Paraglide/Paramotor. 3) Visit and eat at the Golden Temple in Amritsar, Punjab, India.
More adventures on Mitchell's Instagram: @sierradescents
Special thanks to Mitchell Quiring for photography
A version of this post appears on ExpertVoice