Sierra Nevada Trees And Granite. Yosemite National Park, California. July 14, 2015. © Copyright 2015 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.
Trees grow at the base of a granite face, Yosemite National Park
I originally worked up this photograph for an article on the relationship between supposed realism in photographs and post-processing. (“Photographs And Reality: A Complicated Relationship”) I selected it because the scene posted a particular common challenge, namely a dynamic range that was wider than the typical dynamic range of presentation media, and because capturing the full scene required me to make some exposure decisions that intentionally produce an original “straight out of camera” image that wasn’t lovely, but which protected the scene data I would need to work with the photograph in post.
The subject is a group of large-trunk trees growing on granite slabs at the base of a Yosemite high country granite dome. This landscape — more or less the landscape of much of Yosemite — is interesting in so many ways. Here the trees seem to somehow grow out of little more than cracks in solid granite, and shortly beyond where they stand the rock becomes too steep and too solid to support more large trees. While such scenes can be found throughout the park and in many more inaccessible areas, this one is right alongside Tioga Pass Road!
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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