Big Leaf Trifecta

First up of some fall color images captured a week ago in Yosemite Valley. Yosemite isn’t really known for it’s grand autumn images, but of course there is no shortage of image making opportunities…

I think it was Edward Weston that said, “Anything more than 500 yards from the car just isn’t photogenic…” LOL!

But in Yosemite, there is so much right in front you, you don’t have to travel far. For this image, I’ve always loved these trees, but they sit on the side of the road right on top of a very busy intersection where Southside drive turns off to Highway 41 and the Bridal Veil parking lot and splits to begin the very, very popular and crowded pullout to view El Capitan and Bridal Veil Falls. I am literally standing in the triangle created at this intersection. Cars and buses whizzing by… (kind takes away from the allure of the image maybe?) The leaves literally get brushed by the big tour buses going by. Needless to say I had to wait for a lull in the wind; even still there are some leave that are soft from movement.

What technical feedback would you like if any?

As always, looking for feedback on processing, color, sat, etc.

What artistic feedback would you like if any?

Does this work for you? A forest scene creating order from chaos.

Any pertinent technical details:

Nikon D800E, Nikon 28-300mm @125mm f/11 1/6s

Thanks for any comments, feedback!

You may only download this image to demonstrate post-processing techniques.

You are supposed to act like Peter Lik and pretend you were deep in the heart of the Yosemite valley wilderness! Miles from the road, deprived of food, water and your makeup artist.

I am liking this a lot. The trunks of the maples hold this together well. I am not sure if you can, but if you could tweak some more tonal separation between those trunks and the background trees? Maybe darken the maple trunks a bit more if that doesn’t kill the detail? Not a big deal though. Processing looks real good. Nice image.

Hi Lon,

The big version has lots of micro detail of which I am quite fond. There’s some nice transitions from yellow to green going left to right. I like this one…Jim

Lon, Never would have guessed! I’m really enjoying this…even if I am hearing the cars and buses whiz by now. Really it is a wonderful image and a joy to view, especially that beautiful large version. Love the yellow leaves and how they contrast with the background greens and tree trunks. The bark on those background trees really looks interesting as well. No nits or suggestions from me on this. Excellent processing!

This is really nice Lon, I like the depth you created with the Maples and Cedar. These are hard to see and make work and this one does for me.

Harley, is Lon ever far away from his make-up artist?

Lon, this is a beauty, even if it is in the midst of a traffic jam. Yes, that does actually take away from the enjoyment a little bit. Wonderful color, and I really enjoyed looking at the details in the BG as well.

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This is very nice, Lon. Ed Weston would be proud. I agree with Harley regarding a bit more separation of the maples from the background trees. I love the composition with the leaning trees against the vertical conifers.

Honestly, I am amazed you got those leaves to stand still given the constant winds created by vehicles.

Nicely done.

Lon, excellent take on this one. The light for me makes this one sing. Just bright enough to make some sweet contrasts between the yellow leaves and the soft toned tree trunks. The amount of leaf coverage works perfectly with regard to tree trunk backdrop…:sunglasses:

Lon, to me the processing and color look good. It’s nice that I can see into the shadowed portions of the frame. I’m really liking the bark detail and the prolific number of little branches on the trunks, something I never see in my neck of the woods. As to the composition, and I know it might sound weird, for some reason the three little leaning trunks suggest to me that there’s more of the scene to the RHS they are wanting to reveal. Just a thought.

This is really nice Lon. The diagonal flow of the maple trunks makes this a more dynamic composition, and helps to separate them from the background. With these kind of woodland shots it’s often difficult to achieve separation of the maples from the background without having the background in shadow. But you have achieved separation through color contrast, this background works really well here. This would make a lovely print.

Aside from the bright leaves spread over the canvas I really like the overall design of angled trees over a layer of vertical trees. The difference in the tonality between the two also emphasizes this. There’s also the deciduous vs evergreen.

You really can’t blame Weston for not wanting to lug his 8x10 and all that gear very far. I personally am often shooting under these conditions and don’t feel it detracts at all from the viewing pleasure.

This image didn’t appear on my radar screen for 3 days even though I look at Landscape Critiques several time a day. Several comments have been made about images being harder to find in the new NPN. This was one for me. I’m still not sure how it fell between the cracks.

Wonderful image.

A very nice one. Woods are chaotic places, I always find it difficult to select a part that works well in an image. Lots of changing in position, focal length, looking through the viewfinder and discard what you see :wink:
I like the colors of this one and the diagonals of the trunks in front.

Bill, keen observation. I do have a few other views and will be sharing some. I visited here twice during my trip. There actually isn’t much more to the right but a few more cedars and no more big leaf maples. Interesting though, there is a whole garden mix of these trees to the left of this scene. And so no, your observation doesn’t sound weird! Thanks for the comment!

Another keen observation @Harley_Goldman and @Preston_Birdwell about the separation of the maple trunks from the background cedar. Interesting because I actually lightened them using TK’s older Dark’s Triple Play action. Granted it’s very subtle. But I see and appreciate the feedback. I think it’s those dark patches of moss/lichen that is common in the valley, that make them darker in many cases and so I tried to lighten them up a tad. But I like the idea of the separation.

Thanks all for taking the time to comment!

I like this image a lot but maybe you should invest in an orange safety vest if you’re going to continue to stand in the street.:grinning:

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