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.
Meanwhile, I started teaching a five-day workshop yesterday in Yosemite Valley, so that allows me to keep tabs on the fall color in Yosemite Valley. The yellow big-leaf maples are great in a few spots, like along Southside Drive underneath Middle Cathedral Rock (across the valley from El Cap), and near the old Lower River Campground. The dogwoods are turning more slowly, but show some nice color in places. And the oaks around Cook’s Meadow are just starting to change.
I don’t think we’ve reached the overall peak color in the Valley yet; that me be another week away. But there may not be one peak. The big-leaf maples are near peak in several spots already, while the dogwoods and oaks have a way to go.
Obviously I haven’t been back to the east side. Those canyons should still contain plenty of colorful aspens, but no doubt some groves have lost their leaves. If you’ve photographed eastern Sierra aspens lately, I’d love to hear what you’ve found!
Michael Frye is a professional photographer specializing in landscapes and nature. He is the author and photographer of The Photographer’s Guide to Yosemite, Yosemite 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.