Posts Tagged ‘Fall color’

Fall Color in Southern California December 2013

December 19, 2013

Fall Color in Southern California December 2013

For anyone interested in autumn color in Southern California right now 12/18/2013, you can easily find it in just about any creek below a 1,000 ft elevation. Creeks with some flow will have more vibrant trees, sycamore trees vary in color from gold to bright rusty reds. Even a dull tree can become illuminated by backlight so you be surprised what you’ll find close to home. Some of the creeks that are known to more water then others may still be green such as many of the springs in the local mountains.

The creek shown here is located in the Front Range of the San Gabriel Mountains near Santa Clarita, California. Just how long will these colorful leaves stay on the trees? It really depends and can change from one canyon to the next. Temperature, exposure to wind, and the amount of water are big factors of how long the leaves linger into January. There are too many canyons to name in Southern California so I encourage you to keep an eye out as drive through any canyons or going out exploring for local gems you never really knew about!!

Under the Bridge at Zion

November 30, 2011

Under the Watchman Bridge at Zion National Park

“Life isn’t worth living unless you’re willing to take some big chances and go for broke.”

– Eliot Wiggington

Earlier that day I was scouting for my Zion workshop further up the main canyon so I got here at the last minute and the huge mob was already 5 layers deep and in rows of 40 to 60 people across the famous bridge where everyone shoots the Watchman over the Virgin River.

I tried and tried to squeeze in to catch a view and maybe clone out a few ear lobes on the edges of my composition but it wasn’t going to happen. It was a game of tripod twister and I was surely losing. The mob wouldn’t let me in and I kept trying so they became angry and hurled me up and over the edge of the bridge towards the river bottom. After the impact from the fall I realized I was temporarily paralyzed from the pain and couldn’t try for another bridge shot so I just sadly shot from where I landed, knowing I wish I had the same old bridge composition. A minute later I was hit in the head with my cable release “ouch”, I must of dropped it and at least someone was nice enough to give it back. It’s better to be immobile for a minute then have the crowd of zombies on auto pilot eat my fresh brains!

All though this story didn’t really happen, the message is use your legs people. You shouldn’t take them for granted while they’re there working for you. You don’t need to do exactly what everyone else is doing. It isn’t necessary to go for broke but a small almost effortless deviation can change things dramatically.

Website: Portfolio
Workshop info: Scenic Photo Workshops
Private or small group workshop info: Learn.
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Wild Light Fall Color Reflection – Eastern Sierra

October 24, 2011

Wild light and fall color reflection at North Lake in the Eastern Sierra

Maybe this is my perception but I feel most photographers go nuts over a sunset reflection, if it’s in front of them. Maybe even prefer it over the golden hour when the best light hits the land and creates interesting light and shadows on the subjects that are important in our photographs. Most of the time I think these sunset colored clouds are just background decor to add a little something extra to a scene that doesn’t have the greatest light. Something to just accent an image. Am I the only one that feels this way?

Field notes: Early that morning at North Lake in the Eastern Sierra, as soon as light of dawn revealed there was cloud cover and we could see that the holes in the clouds would likely let some good light through in a few a places. I was with a couple of friends but we all had different agendas, one of them did not want to go into the mess of crowded photographers at the creek outlet of North Lake so he went of into the aspen groves and we never saw him again until we were ready to leave hours later. We had parked on the north side of the lake where it’s a longer walk to the popular spot there. I chatted with a few strangers but kept it short. I took a photo looking towards the White Mountains and figured I’d at least better get into a position where I could at least shoot into multiple directions. There is a creek you must cross or take the long way around, it was at least 32 degrees out and I didn’t want to get my feet wet but I had a change of pants, shoes, and socks in the car if needed. Before I knew it I was crossing the creek to take a couple of different shots in both directions.

North Lake Eastern Sierra in the fall.

The light was good and I was only spending between 30 seconds and a couple of minutes composing scenes, usually I take longer then. There was a sense of rush but I still very calm in between exposures.

This photo does't really show how crowded it gets in this one spot here at North Lake but I'm sure you could imagine.

This photo does’t really show how crowded it gets in this one spot here at North Lake but I’m sure you could imagine.

Workshop info: Scenic Photo Workshops
Website: Portfolio
Private or small group workshop info: Learn.
Steve’s Photo Tips and How To Page
Steve’s Landscape Photographer Tools Page

Fall Color Photo Tips; Part II

November 19, 2010

• Certain iconic scenes haven’t been photographed to death in certain seasons. A little bit of seasonal touch can go along way. The scene here was made famous by Ansel Adams black and white photography.

Ansel Adams famous Fern Spring with a touch of autumn.

• Everyone will tell you use a polarizer, but why use a polarizer? Without a polarizer these 3 images would be exactly the same. The first image is at full strength of polarization, the last is without any polaration and the middle image could of been created in two different ways. Gets you thinking doesn’t it?

What exactly do you want out of your polarizer?

• If you miss the fall color in the mountains don’t forget about other types of foliage that may change weeks and months later in different locations. You’ll be surprised at what you were missing and overlooked. Fall color is so much more then just aspen and maple trees or whatever first comes to mind.

In California we have the Sierra Nevada that is plentiful in early fall but you can find fall color in many other locations.

• Somethings are easily forgotten so don’t forget to check below your feet. Try to vary your scenes by taking the large expansive landscape vistas, detailed close ups and much more in between these two vastly different views.

Big leaf maples on Yosemite Valley's floor.

Website: Portfolio
Workshop info: Scenic Photo Workshops
Private or small group workshop info: Learn.
Steve’s Photo Tips and How To Page
Steve’s Landscape Photographer Tools Page

A Golden Path Into Winter.

September 20, 2010

White River National Forest

It’s that time again and the brisk autumn air is cooling at the higher elevations. No matter where you go in search of fall color you can always find something if you are there a week before or after the main peak. If you feel you are too soon or too late just remember the color changes with elevation and temperature. While you’re following your fall color reports don’t forget to listen to your own intuitions, you might just find what you’re looking for.

These beautiful leaves reminded of brand new fluttering gold coins falling to the ground. This photograph was taken a week after the main peak in the White River National Forest in Colorado.