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Tag Archives: fall color

Snow Covered Trees and Fall Color, Yosemite 2012

Snow Covered Trees and Fall Color, Yosemite 2012

Snow Covered Trees and Fall Color, Yosemite 2012

 

 

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Fall, Trees and Reflection, Yosemite National Park, CA

Fall, Trees and Reflection, Yosemite National Park. CA

Fall, Trees and Reflection, Yosemite National Park. CA

I was out in search of some colorful dogwood trees along the Merced, which I remembered from my spring visit. Having photographed the colorful leaves, I was attracted to this quaint little scene along the river banks. A bright overcast day allowed for some good fall foliage shooting conditions.  Light breeze, sometimes disturbed the water surface removing the clear reflections, but there was lots of time for me to capture this scene once the water surface settled down.

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Mist and Trees, Hope Valley, California

Fall Color in Hope Valley, California

Fall Color in Hope Valley, California

“Rain and mist in Hope Valley, filled with beautiful Fall color.”

This was made at the junction of Hwy 89 (Luther Pass) and Hwy 88. The surrounding area is called Hope Valley, and it is one of the popular fall color viewing locations in California. This year (2010), fall colors appeared in 2 phases. In the first week of October there was beautiful color all along this valley. These leaves were blown away by heavy winds in the coming week, but later again there were good colors during the 3rd week of October. This image was made during my second visit on a cloudy and rainy day.

From the Hwy, I could see a patch of colored aspens on the hillside and I wanted to get close to it. Getting closer to those trees was harder than I thought. I had to drive along a dirt road for about a mile and then walk on a deserted field, what looked like a wild cattle feeding ground :) .  It started raining the moment I set my tripod. Few exposures later it started pouring heavily. My wife was holding the umbrella while I made this one last exposure, the trees along the gentle slopes and the foreground brush, I think provided some rythmic pattern that I liked in this frame.

The whole world seems to have moved forward with some exciting winter landscape imges, while I’m still processing my Fall season photographs :) . I should be back in the field in a few weeks after a brief winter hibernation.

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Autumn Morning, Yosemite National Park, California

Autumn Morning - Yosemite National Park, CA

Autumn Morning - Yosemite National Park, CA

Mirror like reflections in the Merced river on a beautiful autumn morning in Yosemite National Park, CA

Walking along the banks of the merced river can be such an exploratory experience. Every turn in the river can provide such excellent opportunities to photograph. Sometimes there could be fast rapids and other locations could provide calm waters reflecting anything thats there on its banks.

This photograph was made during my second visit to the park this fall season. I made it a point to skip the usual locations which I already knew, but instead try to walk a lot and find new and interesting subjects to photograph. I was not disappointed, a short walk from the parking area brought me to this scene with stunning reflections.

There is some clutter in this frame, mostly to the left, but I tried to darken them in in post process, so that they don’t take away from the main subject (reflections). Cropping the frame would create undesired proportions which I was not comfortable with. Getting rid of this clutter while composing would have been tough as I was already at the edge of the river, which means I would have had to get into the water to get a clean composition. In the end, I decided there was some subtle symmetry even in this clutter to add to the overall image.

Let me know what you think!

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Lake Sabrina, Bishop Canyon, California

Lake Sabrina, Fall Reflection, California

Lake Sabrina, Fall Reflection, California

#1 Brilliantly colored trees reflected in Lake Sabrina, California; #2 Bright orange colored aspens on Lake Sabrina’s shore; A small detail from the huge landscape singled out using a long lens

I had posted a shot on Flickr earlier and wrote about my first visit to the Eastern Sierra’s and about the fine morinig here at Lake Sabrina, check it out. This shot that I have here was shot on the same day. I must have made 100′s of photos that day, changing lenses, picking details, changing orientation, shooting panorama’s. This is just split in half compared to my earlier post, here I have use two exposure, manually blended together, one exposure for the sky and the other for the hillside in the shadows.

As I always do, I focussed my long lens at the grove of orange aspens on the middle left of this frame. I stitched 3 vertically oriented shots to get this. By doing so I did increase the number of pixels I have in a frame with same aspect ratio as a single frame, not bad ah?

Lake Sabrina, Fall Reflection - Detail, California

Lake Sabrina, Fall Reflection - Detail, California

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Mist and trees, Ahwahnee Medow, Yosemite National Park, CA

Rising Mist, Ahwahnee Medow, Yosemte National Park,CA

Rising Mist, Ahwahnee Medow, Yosemte National Park,CA Canon_7D-Canon70-200mm-F11_1/20s-ISO100

#1 Mist rising from Ahwahnee Medow, and the soft morning light backlighting the almost turned fall leaves. #2 First light hitting uper yosemite falls as a burst of water glides down the granite

I vividly remember the morning I made this photo. When I woke up early and looked up outside the tent, there was not a single cloud to be seen. Whereas the previuos two days that I was there, it was rather more interesting than that. But instead of sleeping in late, we decided to go out anyways before sunrise towards Tunnel View and see what we end up getting. Surpisingly as I was passing though Ahwahnee medow, there was this (very) thin layer of mist that was rising up and I decided to just wait it out here in the medow until the sun crept into the valley.

I ended up keeping two images from this mornings shoot.

First Light on Upper Yosemite Falls, Yosemite, California

First Light on Upper Yosemite Falls, Yosemite, California - Canon_7D-Canon70-200mm-F11-1/100-ISO100

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Fall Impressions, Aspens and Camera Motion

Aspens and Camera Motion, Hope Valley, California

Aspens and Camera Motion, Hope Valley, California - Canon-7D-16-35mm-F22-0.5s-ISO100

A collection of impression photographs of Aspens, achieved by controlled camera motion.

This is a very addictive technique that I learnt this fall. There are number of blogs/websites where they discuss this technique and the different ways to get good results, but none can give you the exact recipe for success. This is mainly because the technique itself depends on random camera motion and hence trying this out in the field and failing many number of times is the only way to get some decent results.

There are many names to this technique, “impressions”, “impression of light”, “in camera painting” etc. All of these refer to the end result, an abstract painting like finish to a photo.  I know that something similar may be achieved using Photoshop, but what’s the fun in doing that?

There are two crucial ingredients, I think to a decent looking impression. The subject itself and the type of camera motion (this also involves the choice of shutter speed), either vertical,, horizontal or a simple shake. I have not extensively studied the wide variety of subject that could benefit from this technique, but I found tall aspens respond very well. All of the impressions in this post involve aspens and almost all of them have vertical camera motion.

Let me know which one you like the most.

Aspens and Camera Motion, Hope Valley, California

Aspens and Camera Motion, Hope Valley, California - Canon-7D-16-35mm-F22-0.5s-ISO100

Aspens and Camera Motion, Hope Valley, California

Aspens and Camera Motion, Hope Valley, California - Canon-7D-70-200mm-F20-0.303s-ISO100

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Reflected Trees, Yosemite National Park, CA

Reflected Trees, Yosemite National Park, California

Reflected Trees, Yosemite National Park, California

Isolated trees with some fall color, reflected in the stillness of the Merced river in Yosemite National Park, California

As you can see from my recent posts, I like to pick out details in the landscape. These details are not visible while driving in a car, so taking a hike along the river was what I did on this autumn morning. With walking you tend to spend more time with a subject, exploring all different possibilites, taking in all the details in the grand landscape.

I was attracted to this scene by the brightly backlit trees. The leaves were shimmering in the morning light and the reflections in this part of the park was just outstanding. I have one more photograph from this short walk that I want to share, but that’s for later. With reflections, the tendency would be to get a perfect symmetrical composition, but here I felt that a little more room in the bottom half would work better. 

The fall color with the dark background is something that is working very well in this photogrpah, but the quality of the light and the natural contrast, both made me wonder how this would look in black and white. So I’ve included the BW version below, let me know which one you like.

Black and White

Black and White

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Fall color along the Merced, Yosemite National Park, CA

Fall color along the Merced River Yosemite California

Fall color along the Merced River Yosemite California

Brightly colored fall leaves along the Merced river in Yosemite National Park, California. The river with it’s silky water flow provides a beautiful background for the leaves

Many things should fall into place to get this kind of shot. First, I had to find beautifully colored leaves along the banks of the river which was easy. But they cannot be at eye level since then, we cannot have the river in the background. So ideally we should be looking down at the leaves with the river flowing behind the leaves.

Next, the framing. It helps a lot if there is not much clutter around the hanging branches, like the one I found here. I looked through my 70-200 lens and isolated the branch. The river ws flowing from the lower right of the frame to the upper left, giving some diagonal movement.

It was an overcast day, with good diffused light all around, but the water did have some reflected glare on it. I used a circular polarizer to reduce that glare, which also enhanced the color in the leaves and gave the water a darkish color. I was fortunate enough to find a rough patch in the river, which while using a slow shutter speed provided the much needed texture in the water. Without it I think the water would be dull and dark.

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Layered Aspens – South Lake Road, Bishop Canyon, CA

Layered Aspens - South Lake Road, Bishop Canyon, CA

Layered Aspens - South Lake Road, Bishop Canyon, CA

 ”Layers of colorful aspen, adorn the hill sides in the Bishop Canyon, California on a  beautiful overcast day

My first visit to the eastern sierras on Oct 2nd 2010 and I was greeted with a carpet of colors. The carpets were laid out on the hill sides and all I had to do was compose and shoot. The entire stretch of the road leading to South Lake was just beautiful. The weather too cooperated and remained overcast and rainy throughout the day. Overcast weather helped because it provided soft diffused light all day long and the rains made the leaves look fresh and vibrant.

As in my previous post, I used my 70-200mm lens to pick out details in the distant hills to get this shot. Things can get pretty exciting when we see complete hill sides draped with exotic colors. The normal tendency would be to include everything in the frame, which can hide true patterns and we may end up not publishing those at all. Looking with a long lens can completely change your perspective and bring out some cool patterns for the viewers eyes to latch on to.

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