Posts Tagged ‘Yosemite’

Half Dome’s North Face

November 20, 2011

Half Dome's North Face from Olmstead Point

Half Dome is no doubt the most heavily photographed icon in Yosemite Valley. It can be seen from so many vantage points through out the national park. This particular view is photographed very often and has a popular pull out parking called Olmstead Point. You’ll find many photographers and families shooting portraits up there. For us landscape photographers wanting the good light we can get a great view of Half Dome’s North Face from here. In this photograph it’s late light in the afternoon hitting the face of the icon with enough mixture of light and shadows to give it a three dimensional effect. Olmstead Point is located off highway 120 also known as the Tioga Pass road, it’s high elevation makes it’s easy access only available in the very late, early fall and summer months. In the winter you’ll need to snowshoe or cross country ski to access it, there is at least on company out there that will help you if you’re coming up from the bottom of the Tioga Pass on the East Side of the Sierra during winter.

Marmot at Olmstead Point Yosemite

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Yosemite’s Sky Islands

September 17, 2011

Yosemite’s Sky Islands!!!

The video is a fine example of the high plateaus in the Sierra Nevada. It’s also a great source to identify what wildflowers we are shooting way up in the high country!!

If you haven’t experienced one of the high plateaus, you can find them with a topo map or by using Google Earth to place your viewpoint on top of some of the highest peaks to look down on the plateaus. Look for easy access places such as the Saddlebag Lake area and near the west entrance of Yosemite.

Sky Pilots growing in talous

You won’t find anything growing higher then a sky pilot!

Interpreting the Landscape

January 15, 2011

The Three Brothers reflecting in the calm winter Merced 2007

Some of the best landscape photographs are not created from the luck of being in the right place at the right the time. They are sculpted from the raw landscapes that we see time and time again. Our experienced eye helps us compose the scenes we stand in front of right before the light begins to get at it’s best.

Our photographic vision is developed each and everytime we are out. Have you ever not just settled on any composition? Struggling with composition is completely normal. Everytime we head out and the light is mediocre, we have the opportunity to exercise our composition skills and get more closely in tune with the ecosystem we are visiting. In light that isn’t so luring we can practice refining our technical skills so when the light is great we can photograph subconsciously and not think so much about the technical aspects of how to work the camera in the field.

Our imagination generates beautiful well composed scenes worthy of any landscape photography prize but it’s how we connect our imagination and composing skills in the moment of being there. We need to check to see if we have the light we need for our subjects in mind or do we need to make adjustments, maybe change our subjects completely and adjust to the quickly changing light. Other questions that may arrise could be, does our specific land forms follow a cadence from front to back or how will exposure affect the balance of light in the histogram? Are blocked up shadows more powerful to the scene?

Developing a clear mental picture in your mind and precisely connecting with it through the lens is only part of interpreting the landscape.

The scene above was taken years ago after I had recently upgraded cameras, wanting to have the same scene as I had previously photographed with one of the first very popular digital SLR cameras, the scene I had come home with was completely different due to nothing more then varied clouds.

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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
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Finding New Icons Next to Old Icons

January 6, 2010

Old Icon

It is always nice to visit that beautiful iconic scene and come back with something that just makes you proud but we always want a little more don’t we? I have noticed while standing in these famous spots my head wants to pull a 360 like an owl, looking for more rodents to eat. When you are visiting an iconic location always look for prominant object such as mountains or certain rock formations. Some places you might have to go searching further than others but you can eventually find a nice viewpoint. This El Capitan photograph from the snowy winter banks of the Merced in Yosemite is one location in particular. You can find two newer iconic scenes over either of your shoulders, I’m not kidding the second photo is the Three Brothers over my right shoulder and over the left shoulder is the Cathedral Spires in the last photo. Both scenes are very worthy of being called iconic and you won’t have to go far to get them. Just put them on your to do list while there in Yosemite.

New Icon - Three Brothers reflecting in the Merced, Yosemite National Park I’m not kidding, literally right over my right shoulder when looking directly at El Capitan along the Merced.


The Cathedral Spires over my left shoulder.

This is some of my older work, I hope to share some of my newer Yosemite winter shots soon… .. .

Winter in Yosemite

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