June 02, 2011

Location: Yosemite

Canon 1Ds Mark II 17-40 mm f/4L
ISO 100 40mm f/22 1/4 sec
Favorite shot of the trip.

Yosemite.  Words such as grandeur, breathtaking, dramatic come to my mind.  A photographer's Mecca.  Ansel Adams' playground.  Rainy.  Crowded.  Snowed in.  On Memorial Day weekend?  Yes.  Unfortunately, everyone else decided to go to Yosemite for their three day weekend, too.  And the weather was good and bad, but mostly bad.  At first, the white cloudy skies were ruining great pictures of falls and El Capitan.  Being a little discouraged of the skies, I turned to the ground.  The mossy trees glowed green and water shots could be captured with a slow shutter speed without using a ND filter.

ISO 100 40mm f/7.1 3.2 sec
Long exposures give water a milky look often resulting in a more pleasing photo.  Note: a tripod is a must for long exposures.  

ISO 100 40mm f/4 1/8 sec
Using a low f number (large aperture) allowed me to really focus on the mossy tree in the center and leave the other layers of trees slightly out of focus, giving the photo depth and focus.

After a painful two hours of traffic, a hike to the nearest falls looked promising, and after a much needed pep talk, sledging through the rain ended up paying off.  The skies were breaking just enough to get some definition in the clouds.  Some clouds hugged the cliffs and skirted around the top just enough to give photos some drama.  Then the sun was gone and the rain poured on.  To be honest, Yosemite is the kind of place where anyone can take good photographs, even if only graced in it's presence for a few hours.

ISO 100 17mm f/10 1.6 sec
3 stop reverse graduated ND Singh-Ray filter
The 3 stop reverse graduated ND Singh-Ray filter holds back the bright clouds and actually gives them definition, the way they were meant to be seen in this magical scene.

ISO 100 17mm f/8 1/30 sec
I love how the clouds look like they are bursting out of the top of this peak.  The clouds bring an emphasis to the grand mountain peak and the trees keep it grounded.

More unfortunate events presented themselves the next morning when snow fall forced anyone without chains to turn back.  You never know what an adventure might bring, whether it's weather, traffic, or incident.  All we can do is roll with the punches and make the best out of what we get.

ISO 100 40mm f/7.1 1/6 sec 
A fresh dusting of snow on the Sequoias in Mariposa Grove.

1 comment:

  1. Ok, it's time to start a photgraphy wall. Maybe 16-20 pictures, same size, same frame and start with all of these, please!