Last year I made a fall trip to Yosemite to start a series of photo pages for The Fresno Bee on capturing images through the iPhone Instagram app. This year I came up to do a fall feature on Yosemite again, but this time I decided to bring out the big cameras – My Canon 5D Mark II’s. In fact, it really didn’t start out as a Fresno Bee assignment at all. I even went on my day off and spent all day up there – something I never get to do when I’m on deadline. My buddy – fellow pro photographer Gary Kazanjian – and I have been entertaining the idea of doing a workshop for photo students in Yosemite. So we thought it would be good to go up and scout out locations and build up a library of images that potential students can look at and decide if they want to try to learn some of our techniques.
In the end I did make a few photos for a Bee photo page on fall color, but one of my favorite photos of the day was more of a Yosemite icon moment. We got to a spot on the Merced River and waited just as the sun was dipping below the cliffs when it lit up El Capitan with a golden glow. I had planted my tripod in the very shallow water of the river and Gary had suggested I try an HDR image. I had never done it before and wasn’t keen on what I had seen from others doing it. But I gave it a try anyway. I exposed several images – a few over exposed and a few under exposed at different shutter speeds. I imported those frames into Photoshop and ran it through the HDR process. What came up was way too extreme. It was what I was used to seeing from other photographers. So I tweaked it a little bit – brought back some hard shadows and let some of the highlights go brighter. Then I was pretty happy with what I ended up with and glad I gave HDR a shot.
This iconic Yosemite in Autumn image is one that I am selling as a print or canvas. So if you are interested in purchasing, please contact me through my contact page. Thanks!