Archive for October, 2011

Print Sale Ends Sunday!

Friday, October 28th, 2011
Redwoods, Ferns, and Rhododendrons Near the Northern California Coast

Redwoods, Ferns, and Rhododendrons Near the Northern California Coast

Just a quick reminder that The Ansel Adams Gallery print sale ends Sunday. Two of my never-before-printed images—Redwoods, Ferns, and Rhododendrons, and Sunbeams From Tunnel View—are available at 25% off the normal price until 6 p.m. Pacific time Sunday afternoon. After that they’ll go back to the normal price, and they won’t be on sale again! Click here to purchase or read the stories behind these photographs.

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Eastside Abstracts, and Yosemite Valley Color

Thursday, October 27th, 2011
Aspens reflected in Green Creek

Reflections of aspen trunks and leaves

Here are a few of my favorite images from our trip to the Eastern Sierra last week. These three photographs share some common themes: all have water, and reflections, and are more about colors and patterns rather than any particular subject. In other words, they’re abstract. I tend to see this way—to look for designs rather than concern myself with accurately portraying a subject. If the opportunity to photograph a grand, sweeping landscape presents itself, great, but if not I try to look for less obvious subjects, and sometimes get lucky and find hidden jewels. (more…)

Special Ansel Adams Gallery Print Sale!

Monday, October 24th, 2011
Sunbeams From Tunnel View, Spring, Yosemite National Park, California

Sunbeams From Tunnel View, Spring, Yosemite National Park, California

For the first time ever, The Ansel Adams Gallery is sponsoring a special print sale of two of my images at 25% off the normal price. These are two recent photographs that have never been printed before, and both are available in two sizes: 16×20 and 20×24. My signed, limited-edition 16×20 prints usually sell for $325, but during this sale you can get one for only $244! Or you can purchase a 20×24 print, normally $475, for only $356! The sale lasts for just six days, until Sunday, October 30th, at 6:00 p.m. Pacific time. Visit the Ansel Adams Gallery web site to purchase or get more details.

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Yosemite Valley Fall Color

Saturday, October 22nd, 2011
Dogwood near Valley View yesterday

Dogwood near Valley View yesterday

I taught a private workshop in Yosemite Valley yesterday, so that gave me a chance to check on the autumn progress. The big-leaf maples, which often provide the most vibrant fall color in the valley, are getting there; I’d say they’re about 60 percent turned. The best spots for maples right now are across the river from the junction of Highway 140 and the Big Oak Flat Road (Highway 120), and along Southside Drive underneath Middle Cathedral Rock (and directly across the valley from El Capitan).

The dogwoods are also changing, though not as quickly as the maples. We saw some nice ones near Valley View, aka Gates of the Valley (Location 5 in both the book and app versions of The Photographer’s Guide to Yosemite), including the specimen at the top of this post. But there are still a lot of green dogwood leaves, so I’d say they’re about 30 percent turned. The dogwoods at higher elevations, along Highways 41 and 120, and in the Tuolumne Grove, usually turn earlier, so they should be looking good, but I haven’t been able to check them out.

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More Eastside Aspens

Thursday, October 20th, 2011
Aspen-covered hillside

Aspen-covered hillside

Conditions on the eastern side of the Sierra haven’t changed much since my post two days ago. In other words, the autumn color is still wonderful. I’ll just add that we got a closer look at Dunderberg Meadow, and it’s a bit past peak, but still beautiful. We also checked out Lee Vining Canyon today, and there’s plenty of color there, though some groves are still green. Around the June Lake Loop, the beautiful hillside between Grant and Silver lakes is about half green, but the aspens in the nearby valley floor have all turned, and some are even bare.

Aspens, willows, and an American coot

Aspens, willows, and an American coot

There should be plenty of color for at least the next week. Some aspens will lose their leaves, but the green ones will turn soon. I’ll be in Yosemite Valley tomorrow, and I’m anxious to see how much the color has changed. I’ll let you know what I find!

Here are a couple of images from the last few days. I’ll post more when I can.

—Michael Frye

Related posts: Autumn Has Finally Arrived in the Eastern SierraApp Update is Ready; Fall Color in Yosemite;

Michael Frye is a professional photographer specializing in landscapes and nature. He is the author and photographer of The Photographer’s Guide to YosemiteYosemite Meditations, and Digital Landscape Photography: In the Footsteps of Ansel Adams and the Great Masters, plus the eBook Light & Land: Landscapes in the Digital Darkroom. He has written numerous magazine articles on the art and technique of photography, and his images have been published in over thirty countries around the world. Michael has lived either in or near Yosemite National Park since 1983, currently residing just outside the park in Mariposa, California.


Autumn Has Finally Arrived in the Eastern Sierra

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011
Cottonwoods with a dogwood understory, June Lake Loop

Cottonwoods with a dogwood understory, June Lake Loop

Sometimes it seems as if autumn will never come, but it always does. From all reports there wasn’t much color on the eastern side of the Sierra a week ago, but things have changed, and the aspens are just beautiful right now. Most of the usual spots near Lee Vining have great color, including the June Lake Loop, Parker Bench, Lundy Canyon, Conway Summit, the road to Virginia Lakes, Dunderberg Meadow, Green Creek, and Summers Meadows.

We had a wonderful day photographing all that color. Autumn in this area is just magical. Here’s one photo from the June Lake Loop this morning, and I’ll post more when I get a chance to process them.

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App Update is Ready; Fall Color in Yosemite

Monday, October 17th, 2011
Reeds and reflected trees at Siesta Lake, Yosemite

Reeds and reflected trees at Siesta Lake, Yosemite

Good news! Apple approved the update for The Photographer’s Guide to Yosemite iPhone app today, so it now works with iOS 5.0 (or any version from 3.1 on). I’m glad that Apple approved the update so quickly; sorry again about the inconvenience.

Meanwhile, autumn has finally begun in Yosemite. Fall color was nearly non-existent a week ago, but every day more leaves are turning. Yosemite Valley is not close to peak color yet, but things are changing quickly, and I think we’ll see some great color within a week. In fact some of the maples are already completely yellow.

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Read This Before Upgrading Your iPhone to iOS5!

Thursday, October 13th, 2011

Apple just released it’s new operating system (5.0) for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. Unfortunately the new OS causes problems with The Photographer’s Guide to Yosemite iPhone app. We have already submitted an update to Apple that will fix the problem, but under normal circumstances it takes a week for Apple to approve this, and I suspect they will be inundated with updates to apps, so it could take longer.

So if you’re planning to use the app within the next week or two, the best solution is to not upgrade to iOS5 yet. When you sync your phone (or iPod or iPad) to your computer, if it asks you whether you want to update, click Cancel or Later. If you’ve already upgraded to iOS5, unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be a safe and easy way to go back to iOS4, so you will have to wait for the update to be released.

Please accept my sincere apologies for any inconvenience this may cause!

— Michael Frye

A Rainy, Misty Day in Yosemite Valley, and a Quick Fall Color Report

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011
Tree, Tunnel View

Tree, Tunnel View

It rained in Yosemite Valley on Monday afternoon, but my private workshop student Dale and I didn’t mind too much. While we got a little wet, the rain generated beautiful, ethereal scenes perfect for black-and-white photography. To me the mood was reminiscent of those Chinese paintings with misty hills and trees, so I looked for compositions that could emphasize that feeling. Here are a couple of my favorites.

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Autumn Déjà vu?

Thursday, October 6th, 2011
Aspens near Dunderberg, October 11th, 2010

Aspens near Dunderberg, October 11th, 2010

The first winter-like storm of the season passed through Yosemite during the last two days, bringing over two inches of rain to Yosemite Valley, and enough snow to close Tioga Pass and necessitate R2 chain requirements on Highways 41 and 120 yesterday. There’s no word on when Tioga Pass will reopen; if I had to guess, I’d say sometime this weekend.

Although autumn was off to a late start on the eastern side of the Sierra, some of the higher-elevation spots outside of Bishop already had turned color. A storm like this will usually blow off the leaves that have already changed, and make partially-turned leaves turn brown. The good news is that most of the aspens on the east side were still green, and probably won’t be affected by the storm. However, it will be a week or two before those green leaves turn yellow, and color might be sparse over there during the next week.

The same thing happened last year: a large storm closed Tioga Pass on October 4th, one day earlier than this year. And yellow aspens were scarce for a week or so. But we found some nice color on October 11th, as you can see in the accompanying photo, and even better color a week later.

Meanwhile in Yosemite it’s early for autumn color, and it’s likely to be a couple of weeks before things really start to change. Peak color in Yosemite Valley usually doesn’t arrive until the end of October or beginning of November. I’ll keep you posted on what I find. Another good way to follow current conditions is through the CalPhoto group on Yahoo. And if you’ve been out photographing fall color recently, please let us know what you found by posting a comment!

—Michael Frye

Related Posts: Wild Weather, and the Annual Fall Freakout; A Trip to the Eastern Sierra; Autumn in Yosemite

Michael Frye is a professional photographer specializing in landscapes and nature. He is the author and photographer of The Photographer’s Guide to YosemiteYosemite Meditations, and Digital Landscape Photography: In the Footsteps of Ansel Adams and the Great Masters, plus the eBook Light & Land: Landscapes in the Digital Darkroom. He has written numerous magazine articles on the art and technique of photography, and his images have been published in over thirty countries around the world. Michael has lived either in or near Yosemite National Park since 1983, currently residing just outside the park in Mariposa, California.