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Tag Archives: fall season

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.

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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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Aspen Grove, Luther Pass Rd, California

Aspen, Black and White, Luther Pass Rd, California

Aspen, Black and White, Luther Pass Rd, California

Color

Plain Desaturate

Both the shots in this post were made along Luther Pass Rd (Hw89 connecting 50E and Hwy88). Visit this place at the right time of the year and you will see gorgeous colors all along this road.

(Click on the thumbnails on this post to view larger without leaving the page)

I wanted to show, the original color shot, a straight BW conversion (desaturate) and a careful BW conversion, meant to highlight the primary object in the frame. As you can see, my primary objective was to showcase the long Aspen limbs. The color version presents us with innumerable distractions that take the attention away from the tree trunks. There are different colors that we see, the clutter on the ground, some odd branches, all seek our attention. BW conversion is one way to emphasise only the thing that we want our viewers to see and feel. If we go about making a simple BW conversion (plain desaturation), along with the tree trunks being bright, the leaves are also comparatively bright, so again, the bright leaves distract us away from the trunk (this is more pronounced in the below example).

In these two frames, the distractions (leaves) are either green or derivatives of red and green(orange, yellow). So a BW conversion which is equivalent to using a Blue filter (block all but the blue component of light), darkens the leaves while emphasising and attracting our attention to the tree trunk.

Aspen Grove, Luther Pass Rd, California

Aspen Grove, Luther Pass Rd, California

Color

Plain Desaturate

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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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Tree top and the Cliff, Yosemite National Park, California

Clouds and Cliff, Yosemite National Park, California, Canon7D-Canon70-200mm-F/11-1/100s-ISO100

Clouds and Cliff, Yosemite National Park, California, Canon7D-Canon70-200mm-F/11-1/100s-ISO100

Clouds and Fog clearing up and revealing the cliff right next to upper Yosemite falls

In a rather cloudy and rainy weather I took a hike towards the base of lower Yosemite falls, leaving my camera behind fro a change. As we were returning back (still a long way from my car), I saw a glimpse of the blue sky and part of the cliff next to the upper Yosemite falls. The quality of light on the cliff face was just amazing, it was bright enough, but not so much to create harsh shadows. The sunlight was being filtered by the clouds and a very diffused quality light was hitting the cliff. Now, I had to run to my car leaving my wife behind :)

The shot above was taken while looking up right from the parking space on the road, the tree tops, I believe do not provide any size perspective, but do add some contrast in the frame. Without them, it would only be the white cliff and the light colored cliff face. With this I wanted to present the experience of looking up at the tall cliffs and feel their power.

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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.

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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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