Quiet Forest, Reflected Meadow Light

Posted on 05 March 2013

Quiet Forest, Reflected Meadow Light

Quiet Forest, Reflected Meadow Light

Quiet Forest, Reflected Meadow Light. Yosemite Valley, California. February 23, 2013. © Copyright 2013 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Forest trees are illuminated by soft light reflected from a nearby meadow, Yosemite Valley

This could be any number of places in Yosemite Valley where forest and meadow come together. I was walking from one photographic location to another when I passed by this clump of trees at the edge of the forest and thought about photographing them. I even set up and composed a shot… and then the light died. This was a day when the light was coming and going quickly, and this was especially true in this spot which was not far from the edge of the Valley and the boundary between partial sun and the clouds that gathered around the cliffs. So I continued on a bit and tried to find a way to photograph the other subject that had been my original goal.

Finishing that, I started back and soon came upon these trees again. This time the light was back. Off to the left of the trees was a large open area leading to an even larger meadow a bit further out toward the center of the Valley. As there was more light in the meadow and because there were clouds above, a good deal of the light reaching these trees was diffused side-light rather than the overhead light that might have been here if the weather had been clear. So, once again, I set up the tripod and framed a tight composition of these trees, a bit of the winter-dormant grass at their base, and the denser forest beyond. As I set up I could see that the light wasn’t going to last, and I had time for one decent exposure before the light died again.

G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer and visual opportunist whose subjects include the Pacific coast, redwood forests, central California oak/grasslands, the Sierra Nevada, California deserts, urban landscapes, night photography, and more.
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Text, photographs, and other media are © Copyright G Dan Mitchell (or others when indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without advance permission from G Dan Mitchell.


2 comments to Quiet Forest, Reflected Meadow Light

  • Hmm…wonder how the timing woulda worked out had you been using a view camera…..

    • Ah, interesting to think about! If I had shot this with LF, I would certainly have had to spend a lot more time waiting for the exact right combination of cloud motion and light. I would have gotten something, but likely not this.

      There would have been a second issue though, as well. I used that big ol’ 100-400mm lens to get this shot, albeit at the “short” end of its focal length range. As you know, Dave, I often shoot landscape with (oh, the horror!) very long focal lengths.

      This all reminds me of a conversation I had with Charlie Cramer a few years ago. He shoots with a digital medium format camera these days (though he has also been using a D800e recently, too) and I was musing about how that might fit with some of my photography. He pointed out – and it was obvious in retrospect – that medium format gear might not be ideal for a good portion of my work, which depends on working (sometimes) quickly with ephemeral conditions, using long lenses and even multiple lenses, and often on carrying the gear on my back.

      I can hardly imagine how those folks using LF gear got some of the photographs they got!

      Dan

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