This was taken at around 5am At the Mono Lake in Mono County, in the Eastern Sierra region of California. This lake is instantly recognizable by its 'Tufa Towers'; Tufa is essentially common limestone. What is uncommon about this limestone is the way it forms. Typically, underwater springs rich in calcium (the stuff in your bones) mix with lakewater rich in carbonates (the stuff in baking soda). As the calcium comes in contact with carbonates in the lake, a chemical reaction occurs resulting in calcium carbonate--limestone. The calcium carbonate precipitates (settles out of solution as a solid) around the spring, and over the course of decades to centuries, a tufa tower will grow. Tufa towers grow exclusively underwater, and some grow to heights of over 30 feet. The reason visitors see so much tufa around Mono Lake today is because the lake level fell dramatically after water diversions began in 1941.
This lake is an extremely popular tourist attraction, and is highly photographed by photographers. Usually the pictures you will see of the Mono Lake is rich colors and a lot of dynamic contrasts, most times, an HDR. Not wanting to make a cliche photograph decided to give this a b&w treatment. This place is really surreal, and the colors of the lake and the tufa towers gives a feeling that you are not on earth anymore. Giving it a b&w I think seals the deal, and really makes it look like something else outside of our realm.