Friday, October 31, 2014

Travel: Yosemite National Park In Autumn - Photography Notes

Arches From Glacier Point - Yosemite National Park, California
I tilted the camera a little to make the composition more interesting. There are several areas of high contrast on the granite to draw the viewer's eyes. Because this image is about light contrast and not color, I converted it to black-and-white.

In this post I've included a bunch of photographs from my recent trip to Yosemite National Park. Some of these are my favorite images from that trip. Others are photographs that I wanted to comment about.

I used a Nikon D3300 DSLR with a Nikkor 40mm AF-S DX F/2.8G Micro lens for most of the photographs. The other camera I used was a Nokia Lumia 1020. I used a vintage Sunset aluminum tripod a couple of times. I screwed a circular polarizer filter onto the end of the lens for many of the images.

All of the post-processing was accomplished using Alien Skin Exposure 6 software. I love Exposure because it gives me the look that I want quickly. My workflow has become much more efficient since I began using this software, and I'm able to more accurately achieve the desired results.
Half Dome & Pine Tree - Yosemite National Park, California
I'd like to say that this image is an original idea, but it is not. I've seen an almost identical photograph somewhere before. I think the deep shadow at bottom-right is a bit distracting.
Two Photographers At Glacier Point - Yosemite National Park, California
I liked the balance of this scene. You have repeated lines and elements, a leading line, contrast, positive and negative spaces, scale, and a human element.
Evening At Tunnel View - Yosemite National Park, California
This was captured at dusk. It's a one-second exposure. I put the camera on a tripod, but just to ensure no camera shake I used "Live View" (which raises the mirror) and set the self timer.
Autumn Leaves In Fern Spring - Yosemite National Park, California
I like this image and the one below together. The water is so still in Fern Spring, and yet it is really flowing in the Merced River. These two scenes were found close together and the images captured nine minutes apart, and thematically they are similar, but the feeling is completely different between the two.
The Merced River - Yosemite National Park, California
This photograph is about an overall feeling more than any one element. The 1/125 shutter speed was just slow enough to show so movement in the water.
El Capitan From Bridalveil Creek - Yosemite National Park, California
I pulled over and exposed this frame standing next to the car. It's about contrast, and since color wasn't important I converted it to monochrome.
El Capitan Reflection - Yosemite National Park, California
I like this photograph a lot. The base of the trees blend right into the rocky shore. The little ripple and the leaves in the sky give it away that it is a reflection. I flipped it so that you wouldn't have to view it upside-down.
El Capitan From Cathedral Beach - Yosemite National Park, California
I digitally used a "red filter" to darken the sky, which made the granite rock stand out more.
Rainbows Over Cathedral Rocks - Yosemite National Park, California
This is a cool natural effect called cloud iridescence. The circular polarizer filter helped enhance it.
Cathedral Spire Veiled - Yosemite National Park, California
This took a few tries to get just right. The sun was going behind the clouds, and the wind was blowing the tree branches a little. I had to dial the exposure compensation down a couple of stops. 
Columbia Rock - Yosemite National Park, California
I needed a wide-angle lens to effectively capture this scene, so that meant using my cell phone.
Trees At Swinging Bridge - Yosemite National Park, California
This scene was back-lit, but that helped to make it stand out against the shaded mountain in the background.
John Muir - Yosemite National Park, California
This statue is in the visitor's center museum. I wanted to make a portrait out of it, as if it were John Muir himself sitting in the park.
Royal Arches From Curry Village - Yosemite National Park, California
This image was cropped square because there were distracting elements on the left side that needed to be removed.
Two Bikes - Yosemite National Park, California
This photograph is about color contrast between the red and green.
Autumn Colors - Yosemite National Park, California
Same thing--red and green color contrast. This was captured in Curry Village.
Cathedral Spires From Cook's Meadow - Yosemite National Park, California
This might be my favorite photograph of the trip. It seems to have the right balance of elements, and the lighting just worked out so well. It looks like an old-school black-and-white landscape photograph captured on film.
Valley View - Yosemite National Park, California
A wide-angle lens was needed so I used my cell phone. I darkened the sky to simulate using an orange filter.
Cathedral Spires From Valley View - Yosemite National Park, California
There is a good balance of elements and positive/negative space. I digitally used an "orange filter" to darken the sky.
Tunnel View - Yosemite National Park, California
This isn't quite as good as "Evening At Tunnel View" but I still like it. 

2 comments:

  1. These are all my favorites! Great job. You got some amazing shots in a short trip!

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    1. Thank you, Sarah! Those were kind words. I think I did alright, but I'm already looking forward to doing better next time.

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