I returned to this location three times before I found the light and feeling I was looking for. My first visit was on the first day of my annual "Eastern Sierra Fall Colors Photoshoot", it was later in the day (around 2PM) and the entire grove was front lit and awash in harsh light. I knew not to waste my time. My second visit was around 9AM the next morning. There was some nice side light, but again, it just didn't "feel" right. So again, I moved on without making a photograph.
After a couple of days exploring and photographing other pockets of Eastern Sierra autumn I decided to pay another visit here. This time I arrived much earlier in the morning. It wasn't dark, but details could still hide in the shadows when I arrived. The air was calm, damp and filled with strong aroma of sage. I drank hot black coffee and watched 3 deer grazing in the brush about 100 feet away. I was guessing mama, last year's daughter and this year's baby. Always a pleasant way to start ones day.
Soon the light improved. The sun was now up (sunrise had officially occurred), but in this drainage it would be a good long hour before it rose above the ridge line behind these trees. A wonderful soft diffused light caressed the trees and environment all around me. I love this time of day when I'm in the wilds. The color pallet was filled with autumn. Yellows, greens with nice hints of red and a little orange mixed in. The tree trunks added interest while the light and patterns created a sense of peacefulness. I felt as if the trees we doing a slow heartfelt dance. Hence the title I gave this photograph. Autumn Waltz.
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