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Autumn Morning, Rush Creek

Rush Creek, Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains, California

My plan for this day was to spend the first half of the day making photographs along the June Lake Loop. My experiences and results would help guide me as to how and where I would spend the remainder of the day.

This was my second stop of the morning. It was a damp, frosty and cold morning. A down jacket, wool beanie and gloves were a must.

As I hiked through the knee-high brush that covered the gently rolling hills a coyote called out from behind me high up on the mountainside. That warmed my soul and brought a smile to my face. The mysterious howl of the coyote reminded me of just how much I love this time of year. In mid to late autumn everything seems to slow down. The softer light feels more relaxing. I enjoy layering up and wandering through the wild places that I frequent looking to make new photographs or sometimes to re-make old photographs with hopes of better or at least different results.

I was on the opposite side of a dense thicket made up of impassible willows and aspens when I heard the unmistakable trickle of the creek that I was working my way towards. This was my first time exploring this exact location and I found myself moving at a little more of a slower pace – taking my time – unraveling the new discoveries – subconsciously memorizing important details of my surroundings for future use.

After a short while I found my way around the thicket, and I was caught off guard by the most wonderful autumn scene that was before me. The sun was still below the eastern ridge that was the backdrop to my current perspective. The morning light was soft, evenly distributed with no harsh shadows or hot spots. The air was calm and still had a sneaky bite to it. The creek made its way down canyon from right to left at a pace and level one would expect to experience this time of year.

I loved the light and the scene before me, so I quickly set up my tripod, mounted my camera and framed up this composition. I chose a longer exposure in order to exaggerate the movement of the fallen leaves drifting by in the creek.


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