Saturday, August 14, 2010

Contrasts in Sierra Nevada

Click on any photo for a larger view.

It's been two months and I've still not gotten around to posting my photos from Sequoia, Yosemite, and Kings Canyon National Parks.   There are so many I've not figured out how I want to share these.  So far I've shared photos from Bodie California and the Wildflowers of Sequoia and Yosemite, which you can find in previous blog entries.

One thing I tried to look for and pay attention to on this trip was contrasts.   There are lots of different kinds of contrast in the world of nature photography.   Some contrast is to be avoided, such as when the difference between the brightest and darkest parts of the scene are too extreme for the camera to handle.  Having contrasting colors in a photo, such as red/green or blue/yellow, can really make an image.  Sometimes you can add interest to a photo by including contrasting subjects, such as large/small, fast/slow, or immobile/moving.

Here are some images from the the parks in Sierra Nevada where I tried to make use of different kinds of contrast.

The first two photos are examples of color contrasts.   The evergreen branch contrasts with the vivid blue sky in the background.   The light colored bird and the darker background also add tonal contrast to the image without exceeding the camera's ability to capture the range of light.   The second picture has layers of contrasting colors - cool blue in the river, green of the trees, and the warm pink-orange color of Bridalveil Falls and the cliff face at sunset.

The second pair of images show contrasts in size.  The small evergreen in the foreground and the Giant Sequoia in the background tell a story of growth.   One day that sapling may be one of the largest trees on earth like the one behind it.   The Giant Sequoias can live to be over 2,000 years old so it may take some time.  The second image shows a small dead twig on a large dead stump (no, I didn't place it there).  This also has a Giant Sequoia in the background as well.   Because they are so big and there were so many I had lot of opportunities to use them as backgrounds.
This photo shows both death and new life in one image.  The dead tree stump is the remains from a forest fire that destroyed much of an area of Yosemite several years ago.  Without the tree canopy to block the sun the Lupines are thriving and spreading new life across the hillside. 

This final image show the immobile solid rock surrounded by the flowing water of a stream.   The rock is sharp and in focus, while the water is smooth and blurry, adding an interesting contrast to the image.

I'm going to continue to post images from our trip in June.  Be sure to come back or better yet subscribe for email updates .

1 comment:

  1. Have set a new goal for Retirement .. to follow in your footsteps. Would be great the next time we're together to do a photo walk or such. Would love to learn some more techniques from you!