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Category Archives: Intimate Landscapes

Black Oak and Snow, Yosemite, Fall 2012

Black Oaks, Fall and Snow, Yosemite 2012

Black Oaks, Fall and Snow, Yosemite 2012

I drove into Yosemite just as a snow storm cleared, in fact it had already cleared and apparently all good photos were made that morning around sunrise :)

But, there were other opportunities, mainly the details, throughout the day. It snowed on and off all day, ending with a decent sunset.

This photograph was made in the El Capitan meadow. The meadow, that day was beautiful with brightly colored trees and snow mixed together.

Desert Brush Details, Mono Lake, 2012

 

Desert Brush Details, Mono Lake, 2012

Desert Brush Details, Mono Lake, 2012

Just prior to making this photo, I had shot a beautiful sunset over the Mono Lake. When all the light from the high clouds had disappeared, I turned around to scene lit by beautiful dispersed light, one that usually occurs after the sun has set.

Well, I went to the Eastern Sierras in late Sept to get some of the fall colors while they still lasted, but this evening, looking at the weather reports, there was some promise of a late evening storm clearing up around sunset, so I decided to go to Mono Lake, souther shore instead. The sunset was good, with some brightly lit high clouds over a ripple free reflecting lake, and to add to that, it was the full moon that night. While at the southern shores of the lake, it can be challenging to get the moon and the lake together, I did get a shot of the rising moon over the eastern ranges.

When all that was done, I found this little detail in the desert brush, not far from the shoreline. I used a long lens to pick some patterns in the tall grass and since it was already dark, to keep noise as low as possible, I resorted to a very long exposure (10s in this case). Lucky me, there was no wind to disturb these grasses.

 

 

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.

Ripples and Distortion, Yosemite, 2012

Ripples and Distortion, Yosemite, 2012

Ripples and Distortion, Yosemite, 2012

A light wind was wiping out any clear reflection on the Merced, but the constantly changing direction of the wind, created some interesting unique patterns every instant.

Black Oaks, El Capitan Meadow, Yosemite 2012

Black Oaks, El Capitan Meadow, Yosemite 2012

Black Oaks, El Capitan Meadow, Yosemite 2012

Just after a snow storm, a wee bit of sunlight filters through the clouds to light up the scene.

Fisherman, Amerirican River Parkway, Sacramento, CA

Fisherman, Amerirican River Parkway, Sacramento, CA

Fisherman, Amerirican River Parkway, Sacramento, CA

Living close to a place with potential has a definite advantage. For one, you don;t have to set the alarm too early to catch good light, which is a good thing during the winter :)

This location is about 15mins drive for me and on this particular day, I could reach here early, before sunrise to scope out potential subjects. The rising mist from the river was a pleasant surprise, so was the fisherman in blue. I saw him before sunrise, made some shots (without the bright saturated colors on the opposite banks) and made a mental note to return back to him when the light was rite.

This place is surrounded by urban landscape, with houses on the cliffs (above this frame) and the challenge for me here was to exclude them from the natural beauty. Had I been too stringent in not including anything human, I would have lost that focal point which emphasizes the scale in this image and also makes this image work.

Sunset Reflections, Folsom, CA

Sunset Reflections, Folsom, CA

Sunset Reflections, Folsom, CA

I witnessed a gorgeous sunset a while back and since traveling long distance after work was not an option, I managed to spend some time at a seasonal pond here in Folsom.

Morning Reflections, American River Parkway, Sacramento, CA

Morning Reflections, American River Parkway, Sacramento, CA

Morning Reflections, American River Parkway, Sacramento, CA

A Great White Heron basking in the warm early morning light along the American River.

Sculpted by Water, Pescadero State Beach

Sculpted by Water, Pescadero State Beach

Sculpted by Water, Pescadero State Beach

The plan was to head towards the coast to do some beach photoshoot, but while I was driving I could see the coastal fog just over the top of the ridges. I usually take Hwy 84 to reach ca-1 from Sunnyvale which puts me very close to Pescadero State Beach. On the way ther is a small diversion one could take(Skyline Blvd) to reach Russian Ridge. Having seen some beautiful coastal fog photos from this location, I headed towards it, but soon the fog was above me and I had no view of the coast line. I drove back and headed towards the coast anyways. Being totally under the fog, there was obviously no direct sunlight, but I decided to walk along the beach anyways.

With the sky completely covered by fog, I turned my attention to the sand and found some patterns. These patterns, at first glance looked like colored streaks left behind by the waves. But upon closer inspection they turned out to be little groves made in the sand by the waves.

Pre-Dawn Colors and Ripples, Tenaya Lake, Yosemite

Pre-Dawn Colors and Ripples, Tenaya Lake, Yosemite

Pre-Dawn Colors and Ripples, Tenaya Lake, Yosemite

Small waves reaching the shores of a lake distort whatever they reflect, creating unique patterns every moment. In this frame, they were reflecting a small group of clouds, colored by the pre-dawn light. The trick here, I think is to pay close attention to the shutter speed. The amount of light in such situations can be low, and a slow shutter speed can blur out the reflections and remove any color saturation. I used a relatively fast shutter speed 1/30s to freeze the waves and the reflections.