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Some studies in light: Yosemite

Discussion in 'General Technical Discussion' started by Ron Reznick, May 29, 2005.

  1. Yosemite Valley's waterfalls were at the highest volume I've ever seen, and most of the meadows were flooded, allowing for some exquisite reflections.
    The creeks were roiling and the valley was so green and beautiful... we had a magnificent session. Here are a few scenes I thought you might like:
    (click Landscape-images to expand)

    Half Dome and the Merced River, first light, 17-35, 28mm, f/8:

    Merced River, early morning, 17mm, f/8:

    Mossy tree, Yosemite Falls trail, 85mm, f/2.8:

    Sentinel Dome from Swinging Bridge, 17mm, f/8:

    Tenaya Creek just below Mirror Lake, 17mm, f/16:

    Yosemite Falls Reflection, 24mm, f/8:

    Yosemite Falls Reflection from Swinging Bridge, 17mm, f/11:

    Yosemite Falls vignette, 30mm, f/8:

    I hope you enjoy these...

  2. kccheers


    May 2, 2005
    Liberty, Mo
    Outstanding....Man, stuff like this takes my breath away! I hope do get to Yosemite next year, We are headed to Yellowstone and Grand Teton in 2 weeks.
  3. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    Hi there Ron,

    Longggg time no see.

    Images are fantastic. Especially the reflection. Waterfalls must have been spectacular.

    Hope you had a great session and some fun to go with it. Beautiful country for sure.

    Don't be a stranger.
  4. Phenomenal, absolutely phenomenal, Ron!!! #6 is my fav. That scenery is stunning, and you've captured it beautifully! Nothin' like a good sharp lens in the hands of a master.
  5. Absolutely stunning! You have a knack for coming away with exquisite images in the midst of other photogs all around you coming in with average images. Thanks for sharing!
  6. eng45ine


    May 11, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    Ron, words cannot adequately express how much I enjoyed the images. You nailed each capture...great composition, wonderful colors and nice DOF on the mossy tree. Awesome!!!
  7. kjoosten


    May 1, 2005
    Houston, TX
    You sure did.

    As always, some technical questions:

    1) Tripod or handheld?

    2) Autofocus or hyperfocal?

    3) Why am I not there?
  8. jkamphof

    jkamphof Guest

    I've never been there, but with the loads of shots I've been seeing in the past its on the list.

    Beautiful landscapes!!

  9. Hi everyone,

    Joel, it's one of the most beautiful scenic places on earth. You really owe it to yourself, but don't go between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Too many people.


    1. Except for the Mossy Tree, these are all shot from a tripod to get all of the fine detail. Most of the shots were long-ish to long exposure times, and while I like the spontaneity that handheld shooting gives me and very often do shoot handheld, there are limits. This sort of shooting is not the type I will generally do handheld.

    2. I use AF, but (as usual) I place the focal plane where I want the sharpest detail and select the aperture based on both the sweet spot of the lens and the depth of field desired. Hyperfocal techniques can do the job, but if there is a large region of non-critical foreground I prefer to set the focal plane further back than hyperfocal techniques place it.

    3. Because you're elsewhere.

    Good questions :^)

    Eng45ine: Thanks... I'm usually quite careful re: composition and exposure, but since I was in session I was even more careful than usual as I was showing folks how to do it.

    Hi Dave,

    Hopefully, the people with me came away with every bit of the quality I got. Of course, that was the idea (as well as making sure they knew how to achieve that sort of work on their own). Thanks for the compliment :^)

    Hi Sandy,

    #6 is on my desktop right now. I really like that one a lot too...

    The 17-35 is a perfect lens for this sort of thing, and I actually got mine after going to Yosemite with primes and realizing that the 17-35 really was the right lens. Between f/5.6 and f/16 there really is no better lens at these focal lengths.

    You've got to get to Yosemite sometime, Sandy. You'd love it!

    Gale, I've been so swamped lately I have not had time to wander around the places I usually like to go on the web. June should be a little less hectic, but I've got a book to write. I do take breaks when doing that, so I'll be around more often.

    The waterfalls were unbelievable -- maybe 5-6 times the volume I'm used to seeing at this time of year. I missed some of the fun-shooting I was going to take, as I took one of the students around the valley during my scope-out tour the afternoon I arrived and the next day, as I ran into him at Bridalveil Falls the first afternoon. That meant that the hike I was planning up to Vernal and Nevada Falls couldn't be done, but since I wasn't planning on taking people up there during the session it wasn't too much of a problem. It would have been spectacular though, even with the overcast sky we had on the day I was going to go there, but I couldn't make Rob take that hike as it was obvious that the hike up to Mirror Lake was a little much for him, and he drove in with me so I couldn't go by myself.

    Yosemite is really magnificent. No doubt.

    Hi Sam...

    You are going to love the Wyoming scenery. Make sure you head to the North end of Yellowstone when you get there. Go to Mammoth Hot Springs, make a right just before the Post Office, and head towards Roosevelt Junction. Check on your right just after you leave the last buildings -- there is a little hilly area where several herds of elk hang out. There is always at least one 7-pointer and one or more 6-pointer bulls in that area, along with numerous cows and little ones. On the way to the Junction, check out the Blacktail Lakes area for pronghorns and trumpeter swans, and also check out Floating Island Lake (esp. in the very early morning before sunrise) as there can be everything from moose to wolves. Don't forget to pull in to the Petrified Tree... in that area there are at least three black bears with cubs, and one or more boars (last fall there was a magnificent cinnamon boar working that area). Look for Rosie the Black Bear at Roosevelt Junction (she had two cubs last year -- they should be still with her). Also, look in the meadow on the left just before the Junction -- sometimes there are grey and black wolves in that area, and there are several coyotes that work that region. At the Junction, head left towards the Lamar Valley, and keep your eyes open.

    You certainly won't be disappointed.

  10. Fantastic shots, Ron. It looks like the weather cooperated too. Thanks also for the info. I 've been trying to decide between the 17-55 and 17-35. I think maybe I'll follow your example and go the 17-35 route.

    Taking in one of your sessions is definitely on my 'Things to do' list.
  11. Ken-L

    Ken-L Guest

    That's great - brings back memories - I haven't been there since 1980!
  12. Ron:

    Great images. Thanks for showing me what I missed. If my kids ever stop getting married, I will take one of these sessions with you next year.

  13. PGB


    Jan 25, 2005
    Exquisite! Ron, you are awesome. The way you work with light is just beyond comprehension to me.

    I'm amazed with every picture you post.

    With highest regards,
  14. drueter


    Apr 24, 2005
    Southeast Texas
    I'm always amazed by your photos Ron and truly enjoy each of your posts. Thanks for sharing!
  15. These are amazing. Exposure, DOF and composition are models. #6 is a celebrity by now.Thanks for the inspiration.
  16. so good I'll comment twice


    I know you've already heard this once from me on that other forum, but since the shots are so good I'll say it again here: fantastic, especially the reflection shot.

  17. Exceptional images Ron, thanks for sharing. I was there in Fall of 1995 - after VERY dry summer. The falls where trickling. :(  I remember hiking with 30+ pounds of gear up a steep incline for about a mile to find dry land where a reflective lake should have been waiting. Timing, it's all about timing. :) 
  18. dfthompson

    dfthompson Guest

    Beautiful images Ron. Thanks for sharing. It's nice to see the valley so lush and green. The last time I was there, about 10 years ago, the place was wall to wall people.
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