A quick trip to Yosemite

Started Oct 9, 2010 | Discussions thread
Dave_Anderson Senior Member • Posts: 1,471
It was a great trip!

It was a bit of a hike to be sure, would have been a shorter outbound trip if I hadn't missed a turn. We were using the time to chat about everything under the sun and I wasn't paying enough attention.

When we arrived in Yosemite Valley though, I could see that it was worth every minute on the road, every drop of gas -- even though the skies were a bit boring for my taste, the light was pretty good and the landscape was just stunning.

Tony, that first shot of the falls came out gorgeous. Good eye, seeing that angle. My first shot was just off the path in the other direction. Lacking a PC lens, I tend to embrace the perspective distortion. I kept the 20mm on all day, and while I do regret not playing with the fisheye a bit I'm pleased with the captures I brought home. Here is my first shot of the falls:

I love the texture in what I like to think of as the "Bones of the Earth" and the late afternoon light was very cooperative in bringing that out. Here is another from the same spot -- I couldn't quite catch the glow that I saw on the peak to the right:

Nobody is immune from making stupid mistakes, I am no exception. I have been using a DSLR for over a year, and sometimes I just forget things that I never had to care about with film. I have finally trained myself to do the right thing with the SSS switch when going from tripod to handheld and back, but I still forget about ISO. The first shot above is ISO 250 -- I shoot 250 or 320 by preference -- but I had dropped to ISO 100 to try to get a long enough shutter speed to blur the water, then forgot to set it back for the rest of the day. It's hard to remember your own name, let alone ISO settings when in the presence of such magnificence. At least, that's the excuse I'm going to use for this shoot.

In this next shot, the WB is a bit more "corrected"(I used "Daylight" WB for all shots, and mostly used the "Daylight" setting in LR):

Tony chasing the light... I'm not sure either of us managed to quite capture the amazing light on these trees.

The lens flare on this shot was intentional, the intent being to lead the eye down the valley instead of down the path. Some people hate lens flare and toss all pics that exhibit it. I occasionally like to play with it.

"The Prow" and HalfDome:

Like Tony was saying, when you get a lemon you make B&W lemonade... I actually have a B&W process that I think I can use to bring more out of this, but I just desaturated in LR for now. This was an east face that was in shade.

Finally, a couple of El Capitan:

This is the first time Tony and I have ever shot the same subject at the same time(except for some lens tests) so it's very interesting to me to note our differing preferences in post. Of course we are two completely different people and "saw" and composed differently, even the one time we were standing almost shoulder-to-shoulder at Bridal Veil Falls. I found it mildly entertaining that for the most part, when we saw something we wanted to shoot and stopped the car, we often grabbed our gear and took off in opposite directions.

I look forward to doing a lot more shooting in Yosemite Valley. Probably no "Dead O Winter" shots till next winter, but as Tony says Spring/Summer should be amazing. Hopefully we can get out there again this year before the snow takes over. BTW Tony, you left a rear lens cap in my car. I'll try to drop it in the mail before I go on my next trip, next week.

Took me a bit to get these up as I had a list of honey-dos yesterday including fixing the clothes washer, also I put a bit of work into some WB test results for another thread. Hopefully it was worth the wait.

NOTE: All pics shot RAW with a900 and processed with LR 3.2, NR/sharpening @ defaults. Some sharpening applied by SmugMug upon resize. All EXIF should be intact.

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