Tagsarches aspens balloons barn boat california clouds color deer valley desert dubrovnik fall fall color faves fog forest fun golden gate hayward hdr idaho kids moab mountains nature night oregon park city People rainbow redrock san francisco scenic sea sky snow sunrise sunset travel trees utah waves weather winter wisconsin
- March 2013
- February 2013
- December 2012
- November 2012
- October 2012
- August 2012
- June 2012
- May 2012
- April 2012
- February 2012
- December 2011
- November 2011
- October 2011
- September 2011
- August 2011
- July 2011
- June 2011
- May 2011
- April 2011
- February 2011
- January 2011
- December 2010
- October 2010
- September 2010
- August 2010
- July 2010
- June 2010
- May 2010
- October 2009
- August 2009
- May 2009
- April 2009
- March 2009
- October 2008
- August 2008
- May 2008
Tag Archives: fall color
I’ve put a lot of miles on the Jeeps this fall color season. In peak week, I was spoiled with sunshine every evening. Since then, it’s been spotty. But that only enhances the challenge and gets you to think a little harder.
Snake Creek Canyon, west of Midway, Utah, has always been a great go-to spot for photography (and Jeeping). Sadly, we missed the bright sky morning and headed out with afternoon clouds rolling in. As we began the approach up to the ridgeline, the sun was dancing through some holes here and there, but never in the appropriate place.
As a photographer, you need to always be watching the light – where is the sun in the sky, where are the holes in the clouds, what’s dancing on the mountain tops?
We came around a corner and I saw a potential scene. The rocky mountaintops overlooking Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons on the other side were shrouded in fog, with new fallen snow on the rocks. A quarter mile or so in the foreground was a hillside of yellow aspens and red oak, mixed with some dark evergreens – a typical Wasatch scene.
Framing the shot with the colors on the diagonal was easy – the composition simply screamed out. But there was little or no sun.
There’s an amazing brilliance to fall leaves when they are backlit. But even without that enhancement, their rainbow tones still shine through. I waited, waited and waited. But the sun never really came. But the colors of the hillside still struck a stark contrast to the windswept, snowy mountainside behind.
The key to this shot technically is a seven-shot HDR spaced .7 stops each.
While it didn’t have the backlit pop of some of my earlier aspen shots in Guardsman Pass, this Snake Creek Canyon scene will rank as one of my favorites for the fall season.
The evening fall color drive started poorly. After four straight nights of powerful evening sunlight, the clouds moved in an hour before sunset wiping out all direct light. But instead of heading home, I sought out some new subjects – and was amazed at what you can do without direct light.
While the white birch of the aspens could have benefited from some rays of light, the surrounding foliage was alive with color.
This stand of aspens was on a scenic backway between Midway, Utah and Guardsman Pass, high above Park City. The route is nice as it includes massive growth of oak (think red) at the mid elevations before you hit the aspens (think yellow) a bit higher.
This HDR captured the brilliant colors of the forest literally coming alive in the diffused evening light.
Camera: Nikon D700
Lens Nikkor 24-120 (at 24mm)
I had been scouting this photo for several nights. I missed it a night earlier by seconds – just couldn’t get the tripod setup quickly enough.
The challenge here was huge sun flare from the left. I ended up ditching the 24-120 and went with the 70-300 to make use of a more solid lens hood. That pretty much did the trick.
It’s also an HDR, but going with the normal exposure plus two over exposures by a stop each – didn’t use the two under exposures.
This is a look at The Montage Deer Valley, an amazing resort in Empire Pass. It’s my favorite place to ski at Deer Valley Resort.
It’s fall color season in Utah – one of the most amazing I can ever remember. Everyone has their theory on what causes color or when it appears. We’re definitely late this year, probably a week or two. Our first bursts came a week ago. Now, it’s just blazing!
My “go-to” spot for short evenings after work is Empire Pass and Guardsman Pass above Deer Valley and Park City Mountain Resort. The drive up Empire last night was unimpressive – nothing really on fire yet. But the top of Guardsman was impressive.
Tonight, though, just 24 hours later, it was almost a different scene. The entire roadway up Empire was ablaze. And Guardsman Pass was going off like never before!
It’s hard to really capture the detail in leaves with fall color, especially the backlit shots. And with evening winds, HDR is virtually impossible.
Tonight I focused on faster shutter speeds and larger lens openings. Last night’s shots were all a bit soft with the wind. The best shots are backlit, including this one shooting directly into the sun – which was shaded by the trees. Metering was really pretty straightforward, just measuring off one of the highlights and punching in another half top to full stop to compensate.
Watch for more in coming days.