I was in the Eastern Sierra mountains of California in October to run a photo workshop with a great group of folks. When I arrived a few days before the workshop, there were signs of color coming, but it was far from peak color. Lots of green with a bit of yellow sprinkled throughout the alders and cottonwoods. I had scouted several locations around the North Lake and South Lake areas, just outside Bishop, where we were based for the first couple of days.
As the workshop began, the temperatures started to drop, and I knew that would affect the trees and the potential for some great fall color. After a freezing night, we visited this area along the road to South Lake and photographed a waterfall amongst the granite rocks of the mountains. Nearby, a stand of trees had just erupted in color.
I switched out lenses for a longer telephoto lens to isolate the color and tree trunks. I brought others from the group, and we spent an hour creating different compositions of this stand of trees. Horizontal, vertical, 1 trunk, 3 trunks, etc. It was great fun and a great teaching opportunity.
This shot was one of my favorite from that session and I wanted to share it with you. Of course, there are lots of color, and this comp highlights the orange leaves that just started to show overnight. Plus, the tree trunks' structure and tonality attracted me to this comp. The beauty of shots like this is that they are devoid of context; it's just a wall of color, giving me more artistic freedom to compose it how I want, which is what I did!
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor