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Category Archives: California

Merced River Canyon, Clearing Storm, CA

Merced River Canyon, Clearing Storm, CA

Merced River Canyon, Clearing Storm, CA

This photograph was made during the same fall trip to Yosemite when an early snow storm had all the photographers excited for some beautiful weather in the valley. I had started driving from home, well aware that I would not make it into the Yosemite valley in time for sunrise. I had hoped that the storm would clear a little, but a quick look at the webcams on the way indicated otherwise.

I usually stop in Mariposa for refueling and some stretching after a 3 hr drive, and that’s when I checked the webcams. Now that there was no real rush to reach the valley, I decided to make the most of whatever existed between Mariposa and the valley, instead of gunning straight to the valley. Just outside of Midpines, the above scene was just unfolding, with patches of sunlight, clouds and the snow on the hills. I made a few other stops along the way that day, before finally reaching the valley.

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.

Snowy Banks, Yosemite, 2012

Snowy Banks, Yosemite, CA

Snowy Banks, Yosemite, CA

Visiting places in the park you are already familiar with can be very rewarding. Since you already know the location, you are not anxious and that can lead to you seeing new opportunities not seen by you before.

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.

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.

Clearing Storm and El Capitan, Yosemite, 2012

Clearing Storm, El Capitan, Yosemite 2012

Clearing Storm, El Capitan, Yosemite 2012

I made a day trip to Yosemite as a late snow storm moved through the park. I was a able to catch 2 breaks in the storm, one from noon to 2pm and then a very short one at 5. As I drove back west well before sunset, I went through some heavy snowfall and then rain which would eventually head towards the valley blocking any light around sunset.

I had stopped near El Capitan meadow to photograph some black oaks while it was still snowing. After a while, suddenly I saw some sunlight filter through the oaks. When I turned around and looked up at the towering El Capitan, I saw a little patch of blue sky drift fast above it.  I was too close to the action and I ended up tilting my wide angle lens a little up, which is very evident from this frame (you can see the trees on the edge of the frame bent towards the center).

I tried correcting the perspective distortion in Photoshop, but after a while decided to stick with the original. I like the trees bent I guess.

Trees and Reflections, Tenaya Lake, Yosemite

Trees and Reflections, Tenaya Lake, Yosemite

Trees and Reflections, Tenaya Lake, Yosemite

This frame was made on the same morning as my previous post along the Tenaya lake shores. The sun was up for quite some time sneaked up above the ridge (top and left of this frame) and was side lighting the trees. Brief pauses in the wind provided momentary clear reflections on the lake surface clearing out all surface ripples. Once the winds picked up, the ripples would appear once again and blur out the reflections. As you can see, this frame was made while there was still some surface ripples left. I think, that way, the picture is more dynamic with some neat texture in the water surface.