Wednesday, March 2, 2011

New Winter in Yosemite Prints


I was fortunate to be able to get to Yosemite right before a winter storm that hit the region a few weeks ago. Winter is one of the most spectacular times to photograph this National Park, but the snow melts quickly at the lower 4000 ft elevation so you have to be in the park during the storm and start photographing as soon as it clears. We were definitely not the only photographers there - I ran into fellow photographers from a number of other workshops including a workshop sponsored by Hasselblad. Here is a shot from the scene at Tunnel view:



Out of the hundreds of images I took I selected 9 to include in my New Releases and Yosemite portfolios. All of the snowy images I selected were taken in a 3 hour window the morning after the storm cleared, starting immediately at sunrise. When working a weather event like this there is no time to dawdle in one location - you have to get the shot and keep moving to the next location. Definitely do not waste time having a nice leisurely breakfast - by 10 AM this snow event was more or less over for photography - the light was getting too harsh and the snow was melting.

Yosemite Print - Full Moon Over Yosemite Valley

This image was taken the night before the storm came in - it was clear enough to see the full moon over the valley. I used a split neutral density filter to get the exposure correct in both the sky and foreground. All the images I took are of well known iconic locations. It was a goal of mine on this trip to capture the iconic snow covered scenes - I did not really have time to focus on the more abstract or close up shots, which I have gotten in the past when the grand landscapes were not in peak form.

Most of the images were processed with a small amount of HDR - I will usually use different raw exposures of the exact same frame to create an HDR exposure, which I then layer over a good exposure - then I reduce opacity of HDR layer to make the effect more subtle. I have found that merging 2 different frames can lead to ghosting of the images and does not really work well in landscape shots. Below is the classic snow covered rock foreground and El Cap background shot taken at valley view. The entire series can be seen in the New Releases portfolio on my website. Prints are available for anyone who wants to experience this spectacular event in the comfort of their home or office.

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