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Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Seek more creative and unique imagery and break free from the past

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Winter, Yosemite Valley, California
Yes, indeed, Yosemite is an amazing place to photograph. Living in or next to the park for the past 31 years has given me many blessings and taught me many lessons. When winter comes, I watch the weather patterns and hope to catch a great day with fresh snow, dramatic clouds and lighting that takes your breath away.

Last winter, I spent a wonderful Sunday making images, right after a snowstorm passed through. I visited some of my favorite locations for intimate landscapes, some unvisited for many years, and some to which I always return. I also visited some of the “landmark” locations where the classic views remind us of Ansel Adams’ photographs.

Top among those views has to be Tunnel View. I visited there, along with many other photographers, watching the light ebb and flow, waiting for some magic light. While watching and waiting, I fooled around with making multiple frames for Photomerge panoramic images, and bracketed frames for possible extended range imagery. I tried wide-angle views, and zoomed in for more detailed views of trees and cliffs, shadows and light. I also made some fun impressionistic “blurs.” One thing about living here is that I don’t feel pressed to make the traditional Yosemite photographs.

By late afternoon, after making several rounds through the Valley, I ended up in the Turtleback Dome area, which offers a different view looking back east into the Valley. The light looked great, and so I went to work. I started out making some panoramic “sets” of frames, so I could convey the grandness and breadth of the scene. I also bracketed many of my compositions for possible exposure blending in postprocessing.


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