Looking out the window and seeing fresh snow isn't always a good thing. However, if you're in Yosemite Valley and have a camera handy, it's pure magic.
And, on a recent excursion to this classic location, our workshop group found ourselves surrounded with snow-covered subject matter....trees, rivers, peaks, and granite cliffs. It was breathtaking.
We had been in the valley for a couple days already. And, even without the fresh snow, it's pretty much a no-brainer, as far as picking out suitable subjects for making large prints. But, waking up to this freshly painted canvas was an experience that's hard to describe.
I've included a few of my favorite images from this trip. Even though this place has been photographed millions of times, it always feels like I'm discovering something new, through the lens.
This late afternoon image was taken from what's referred to as "Tunnel View"....certainly one of the top couple vantage points. And, standing around waiting for good light paid off in this case. Just seconds before the sun dropped behind the hills, we got a final shot of warm light and a good batch of clouds in the distance. Even though Half Dome was obscured, it didn't seem to matter, with all the other great things happening in the scene.
Shot at f/11 at 1/2 second. The white balance was manually shifted to 9,500 degrees to eliminate all the excess blue in the light.
There's a bridge over the Merced River, near the stables. An often overlooked place to shoot.....but, absolutely perfect on this freezing morning.
I was drawn to the mix of colors...warm and cool. The warmer reflections are a result of the early sunlight hitting a huge granite wall in the distance. And, the nice cool tones in the foreground, are a result of the high elevation shade, which was loaded with a ton of UV.
The image at the top was converted to B&W with NIK Silver Efex Pro software. This amazing plug-in allows me to replicate the tonal characteristics of my favorite B&W films, and to top it off, the grain structure and size can also be modified !