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Fall Colors - Aspen Grove - (The Easy Way)

Fall Colors - Aspen Grove

Along South Lake Road, Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains, California.

Taking a break in a pullout I have used many times over the years on what now had become a mostly cloudy morning.

It always amazes me how quickly things change up here in the Sierra (the weather, the flowers, the creek and stream flows as well as the leaves.) There had been zero cloud coverage for the past two days - not one single cloud in the sky! Just yesterday I joked with a Game Warden and asked if he had any influence or connections that could possibly send in some clouds. He just laughed and then looked at me a little suspiciously.

Once again, this morning started off with clear skies. As a matter of fact, I was up early this morning and photographing around Twin lakes with a cloudless star filled sky. The first clouds appeared in the southeastern sky a couple hours ago and I was hoping to be able to put them to use before they evaporated into oblivion. Pretty ornamental clouds. The kind of mid-day clouds that add that special touch to an otherwise boring blue sky. The kind of clouds that make it a lot easier for a landscape photographer to choose to include the sky in their compositions. Clouds...

Like I said earlier, things change fast up here in the Sierra (sometimes faster than one would like.) For the past couple of hours the pretty ornamental clouds have been on the war-path and have now become what looks like a threatening layer of dark gray cumulus clouds ready to drop some serious rain on all things below.

For me, the current conditions and existing cloud cover proved to be somewhat of a blessing. I was sitting on the cargo bed of my SUV enjoying a cup of coffee - taking a break - slowing down - replenishing the creative juices - pretty much sitting on my butt doing nothing but looking out across the road at a ton of wonderful aspens in various shades of autumn.

A few minutes prior, these trees were in full sun and the entire stand shined brightly. Now, with the sun mostly blocked by the dense cloud cover there was a completely different look and feel to this wonderful stand of aspens. The entire scene felt more intimate. Evenly lit, with little pops of light on the tree trunks and a good mix of different colored leaves. The strong graphical lines created by the tree trunks seem to add just the right amount of contrast and additional interest to this image. This was a very enjoyable place to be and I felt a special connection with these trees and the bonus was - these trees are right on the shoulder of the road! It don't get any easier than that.

South Lake Road

A few minutes later the light faded even more as a light rain had began to fall. With this image I wanted to show that you don't even have to leave your vehicle to enjoy the show (but what fun would that be?) The aspen grove in the previous image is just off camera to the right in this image.

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