Frosted Leaves, Yosemite NP, California, USA by Susan Milinkovich

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Picture Story

I was in Yosemite National Park for a workshop with Charles Cramer on Fine Art Printing in November. We had a full day of heavy rain and storms, followed by dropping temperatures during the night. The next morning everything was covered with frost from all the moisture in the valley - a photographer's dream. Despite all the majestic beauty around me, I love to find the intimate scenes in nature. Walking through a field in Yosemite Valley, I found this collection of frost covered leaves in the dying grass.

The storm clouds were still moving off, so I had nice soft light to capture this image without any harsh shadows. To ensure adequate depth of field from the topmost edges of the leaves down into the depths of the grasses, I used focus stacking which allowed me to capture the sharpness I wanted for the image. Using my Canon 23-105mm lens, I took five images at f/8, 6 seconds, 105mm, and ISO 200. I used a polarizing filter to eliminate any reflections from the moisture on the leaves and grasses and a reflector to bounce a little bit of light into the scene. In post-processing, I used Helicon Focus to combine the images with final adjustments made in Photoshop.

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