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Snow in Yosemite is always a treat, and capturing it with fall colors is special. But first we needed to get there, and that meant crossing Tioga Pass before the road closed for the season. So we arrived about 36 hours before the storm, and spent a full day enjoying fall in Yosemite. It was our first time there at this time of year. We usually go to the Eastern Sierra or Colorado, but in 2020 we opted to stay closer to home.
For this shot I walked from our room at the Lodge and meandered through the meadow, eventually reaching Berg Bridge over the Merced River. The river was running low, and leaves collected in the pool at my feet. I wanted to get the detail of the leaves, and the three yellow trees contrasted against the blue-hued granite of the Valley walls. To get the perspective I needed I went medium-wide (35mm) and to avoid the diffraction of a small aperture I shot multiple frames and used focus-stacking to blend them.
My camera was set low to the ground and framing through the viewfinder was precarious, so I shot a little wider than needed in order to leave room for leveling the horizon and a judicious crop. I didn't notice it at the time, but the Yosemite Valley Chapel is just visible under the tree bough; it's a nice detail that shows the location without being obvious.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor