Thursday, March 28, 2013

Contender Phillip Nicholas

American Landscape contest Contender Phillip Nicholas finds a special combination of steam and light in Yosemite Valley

This Article Features Photo Zoom

Photographer: Phillip Nicholas

Yosemite National Park, Yosemite Valley

When did you take the photograph? December 06, 2012

Canon EOS 7D, Canon EF 17-85mm lens, Manfrotto tripod

Describe how you got the photograph.
I was walking back from lower Yosemite falls on this particular morning in December after teaching an hour and a half long camera walk for the Ansel Adams Gallery. My class and I had spent the entire morning amazed at fog rolling off of the water-saturated trees as the sun hit them. I finished up the class and was walking toward the Gallery but I stopped when these silhouetted Black Oak trees caught my eye. Steaming harsh morning sun burst through the trees creating distinct lines of warm light and glowing orange ferns. I was tired after a morning of teaching but this was a shot that I just could not pass up. Just over a week later I pulled this image from the series and began to meticulously edit the details and noticed a male mule deer lying in the ferns in the center of the photograph. Just an added bonus to what has become one of my favorite images I have captured in Yosemite Valley.

Did you use any special techniques?
The only technique I used for this camera was positioning myself behind the trees so that the light did not hit my lens and flare.

Tell us why this scene of the American Landscape is special to you?
This scene is special to me for two reasons. One reason is that in the two years that I have spent teaching photography in Yosemite Valley and walking it's length repeatedly guiding and photographing, this is the first time I have ever seen anything quite like this. The joy of Yosemite is the fact that it is always changing and the light is never the same from day to day. It was also special to me because it reminded me of how special Yosemite is and how lucky and blessed I am to be living and working in such an amazing place.


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