13th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Altered Images
Jedi Mind Tricks

Sierra waves are a unique type of lenticular cloud in California's Eastern Sierra Nevada created by high winds lifting off the mountain range. Dirtbags, the vernacular for traveling rock climbers, are also found in the Owens Valley, there to test themselves on the massive granite blocks outside of Bishop. By and by, we find the meeting of the two: clouds and climbers, sky and rock, and a spectacular vision of humans interacting with our expansive, stunning landscapes. In the fading light, climber Matt Segal ascends a particular house-sized, granite cube, the “Jedi Boulder,” located in a boulder field known Pollen Grains in the iconic Buttermilk area of Bishop. His route to the top is a single line of weakness on an otherwise smooth-as-glass face. This weakness, little more than a thin flake of rock, is known as “Jedi Mind Tricks."

This photo is a finalist in the Altered Images category of our 13th Annual Photo Contest. See all 70 finalists here.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 01.2014
Date Uploaded: 11.2015
Photo Location: Bishop, California, United States of America
Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Copyright: © Jeff Deikis
Photo of the Day: 04.02.16