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Aspens and Snowberry Bushes in Bishop Canyon

Posted by
Don Smith (California, United States) on 4 September 2010 in Landscape & Rural.


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Hard to believe that summer is almost behind us and the fall season is just around the corner! To celebrate the upcoming change of seasons, I am posting one of my fall images I captured in October 2008 in Bishop Canyon above Bishop, California.

I spotted this scene on an early morning drive through what is arguably one of the most beautiful canyons in the entire eastern-Sierra range during the peak of fall color. Perhaps what caught my eye first was the red snowberry bushes at the base of the colorful aspens. Fall color in California is generally relegated to shades of yellows and oranges unlike the northeast portion of the country where red leaves abound.

Another aspect of the image that I really liked was the harsh nature of these trees and bushes surviving within the enclave of layered granite. I played with various compositions in both vertical and horizontal frames. Similar to bracketing one's exposure, I like to think of bracketing compositions as well. In fact, if one is properly trained in reading histograms, bracketing for exposure is really not a necessity.

Becasue this scene fell completely in shadow, the exposure was very even throughout the entire frame. I did use a polarizer to enhance the color a bit. I used a Canon 70-200mmL at f/11 because there was no foreground that would have required any greater depth-of-field and I knew through tests that the lens was at its sharpest at that aperture (I encourage you to run your own tests with your lenses). There was not a hint of wind so the leaves were perfectly calm.

I have returned to this location each fall since I made this image only to find pines in the foreground obscuring the view. It is one of the few locations I have found where the yellows of the aspens and the reds of the snowberry bushes form a perfect union. I'm certain other locations exist, I'll just have to continue to search!

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III 1/6 second F/11.0 ISO 200 155 mm

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