These are called sand tufas. This area used to be under water at mono lake, but good ole Los Angeles has been slowly depleting the lake over the years. Luckily that's been brought to a stop, and the plan is to bring the water level back up to a certain level in 50 years or something. Eventually, this stuff will be underwater again. However, having depleted the lakes waters a bit has revealed some pretty other-worldly formations. These were under water fresh water springs that had a high level of calcium. As the fresh water bubbled up through the salt water of mono lake, the sand and calcium were deposited creating these tubes. Really interesting to look at.
Foreground was shot at iso 1600, f5.6, for 2 minutes. Three focus stacked shots. I also placed a light to the right for some subtle light painting. A flashlight inside of a white nalgene bottle makes for a really nice diffused light source. The sky is iso 5000, f2.8, 20 seconds. Plenty of detailed contrast work to bring out the milky way using dodging and burning and color balance.