Aspens, Early Autumn Snow. Eastern Sierra Nevada, California. October 4, 2015. © Copyright 2015 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.
Snow from an early autumn storm dusts the high peaks above Eastern Sierra aspen trees
I made this photograph on an early autumn morning, on a day with conditions that were either difficult or special, depending on your point of view. After several days of photographing aspen color in the Eastern Sierra, this was my final morning of this particular trip. The weather had mostly been “nice” — perhaps a bit unusually so for this time of year, but in line with the pattern of California drought that was now in its fourth year. But on my last night of this trip an early fall storm blew in, and overnight it snowed lightly on my camp.
Looking at this as an opportunity, I was up early in the morning. I headed up higher into the mountains where I knew there would be plenty of the aspen color that I had photographed during the past few days, but now altered in appearance by this “interesting” weather. It was cold enough that light snow was sticking on the higher peaks, and at my elevation it was that raw kind of weather that is windy and just cold enough to “try to snow.” The overcast softened the light, bringing more illumination to shadows and intensifying the autumn colors.
G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer and visual opportunist. His book, “California’s Fall Color: A Photographer’s Guide to Autumn in the Sierra” is available from Heyday Books and Amazon.
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