Work With What You Got!


November 9, 2016 - Cooks Meadow, Yosemite Valley

A crisp November morning. Not a cloud in the sky! Not what I was hoping for. I decided to get a little creative.

The sun was still below the eastern ridge so I was working with low intensity soft light which I felt would work well to create a more graphic looking image.

Normally when I photograph here (and the light and sky are more dramatic) I shoot wide and from farther back in the meadow. But, for this photograph, I moved in closer and switched to my 70-200mm lens because I wanted the compression. I wanted Half Dome to look like it was only a few feet behind the elm tree. The exposure was a little tricky, but with my desired end result in mind I watched my histogram and bracketed my exposures hoping this would give me a good starting point in post.

Looking at my final product. It is very much what I visualized before I released the shutter (maybe even better.) I know it's not your typical Yosemite/Half Dome photograph. But, that was my intention from the very beginning. The lines are inky black and rather bold. The flatness seems to create somewhat of an industrial feel and the graphic simplicity is almost mesmerizing. A photograph of Yosemite with an "industrial" feel - who would have thought.

What I like the most is that it's just... different.

Lesson Learned: Accept the challenge, be creative and work with what you got.

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