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Category Archives: Black and White

Sheet of Ice, Yosemite, 2012

Sheet of Ice, Yosemite, 2012

Sheet of Ice, Yosemite, 2012

A beautifully shaped sheet of ice found along the Merced close to Cathedral beach.

I usually make it a point to stop at some of the popular spots in the park, spend some time and check for any new details. I had previously stopped along the Cook’s meadow for some lunch/ browsing time at the gallery. I spent some time in Cook’s meadow photographing, but the next leg of the storm moved in and I had to pack. I moved further west, circled back on south side drive and stopped at the Cathedral Beach parking pullover. I walked towards the beach over 2ft of fallen snow with an umbrella in one hand and the tripod in another and found El Capitan was fully engulfed in clouds. But this little detail along the banks made the whole effort worthwhile.

El Capitan, Clearing Storm, Yosemite, 2012

El Capitan, Clearing Storm, Yosemite 2012

El Capitan, Clearing Storm, Yosemite 2012

This one was shot a little while after I got this earlier shot. As I had mentioned in my earlier post, I had stopped by El Capitan meadow to photograph the black oaks while it was still snowing. After a while it stopped snowing and there was a brief interruption in the storm with blue skies over El Capitan. To get a little further away from the road, I plowed through the foot deep snow into the El Capitan meadow towards the black oaks. I crossed the small group of these oaks and looked back. The clearing over the granite had moved on further east by then, but the diffused light on it was still good.

Dogwoods, Yosemite National Park

Dogwoods , Yosemite National Park

Dogwoods , Yosemite National Park, Canon5DmarkII_Canon70-200@140_F18_0.6s_ISO100

Dogwoods standout against the flowing Merced river.

I was in the Yosemite valley couple of weekends back. Although I had initially thought that the dogwood season was way past the peak bloom, I was surprised to find out that there still were lots of trees with full blooming dogwoods. Areas around curry village in particular had lots of trees fully draped with dogwoods. It looked like a fresh snow storm had dusted those trees.

The weather during my two days there was more than perfect for photographing dogwoods. It was part cloudy part sunny with periods in between which cast beautiful diffused light onto the dogwoods. In bright sunlight the dogwoods and the surrounding forest are to contrasty and it looks like a huge white mess. In the shade and when the sun  is blocked by clouds, the dogwoods now have a chance to shine against the darker foliage.

In the shot above, the dogwoods are sort of backlit and they stand out against the blurred flowing river. With the shutter speed a little too fast, the background looks a little too messy and the dogwoods are lost in the mess. With an extreme slow shutter speed, the background is too smooth and lacks texture. I had to experiment with different shutter speeds to get the right balance.

This shot looks good both in color in BW and I have a color version with a little different composition which I will share at a later date. For now do enjoy this BW.

Inrush, Seaweed and Waves, Mclures Beach, Point Reyes, CA

Inrush, Seaweed and Waves, Mclures Beach, California - Canon5DMarkII_Canon17-40mm@40mm_F11_2s_ISO100

There are these small details everywhere I like, for example, little patches of seaweed found along beaches. They sway along with the movement of the waves and each time a wave crashes and then recedes, these plants take on a new form, a new shape altogether.

I found these while I was scouting for other photo opportunities along the beach while it was still sunny. I made a mental note to return back to the this location later to create some long exposures. Once the sun went down, I setup my tripod on a rock and composed this frame while pointing my lens down. I made number of exposures, with waves rushing in, out or with water movement throughout the exposure duration. This one above was shot after a wave receded and created a beautiful pattern in the seaweed and just as the next wave came rushing into the frame.

Icy Reflections, Cooks Meadow, Yosemite

Snowy Reflections, Cooks Meadow, Yosemite

Snowy Reflections, Cooks Meadow, Yosemite - Canon_5D_MarkII-Canon_70-200mm-F11-1/50s-ISO100

Click on photo to view in light-box

Cooks meadow in winter is covered in fresh snow/ice creating beautiful mountain and valley like formations all over. Early in the morning the angled light casts beautiful highlight and shadows all over the meadow. In the photograph above, I used my long lens to concentrate on one particular formation and its reflection in the water. The calm waters in the meadow provide crystal clear reflections (I used a polarizer here to remove undesired glare on the water surface), be it of the close by details or the grand Half Dome.

Mist and Trees , Yosemite National Park, CA

Mist and Trees, Yosemite National Park, California

Mist and Trees, Yosemite National Park, California

 ”Fog moving into the Yosemite valley and hugging onto the trees on an autumn evening as seen from Tunnel View, Yosemite National Park, California

Photographers standing at tunnel view and pointing their lenses at Yosemite’s famous landmarks is something that’s predictable, but the show that nature puts on once we are there is totally unpredictable. When there are 50 other tripods at a location we have to rely on nature’s randomness and on some choice of subjects on our part to come away with some unique images.

Here, I used my long lens to capture some details in the trees when fog started rolling into the valley. Although I was at tunnel view hoping that there be some spectacular light at sunset, the thought of having no keeper shots from that shoot if the sunset failed, made me look into my long lens and pick this detail. In terms of light, it turned out to be a dull evening and hence this scene had little color. Just th green of the trees and the white of the fog. This is the reason I’ve presented this in black and white here.