Autumn along a creek in the eastern Sierra Nevada, Inyo NF, CA, USA

Autumn along a creek in the eastern Sierra Nevada, Inyo NF, CA, USA

I just returned home after spending nearly two weeks on the eastern side of the Sierra. It was fun spending so much time among all the yellow and orange leaves, and we had two wonderful groups for our workshops.

We had cooler-than-average weather in September and early October, which set things turning early this year. Despite that, there was still a lot of color around the June Lake Loop and lower Lundy Canyon when we left on Wednesday. This image, from Wednesday morning, shows the diversity of eastern-Sierra habitats, with a creek, aspens, willows, and sagebrush-covered hillside.

On my way home I checked out the color in Yosemite. The higher-elevation dogwoods along Highway 120 were beautiful, with lots of red leaves. They should still be good this weekend, but I suspect they won’t last much longer. In Yosemite Valley, the yellow big-leaf maples were gorgeous. The black oaks also looked like they were close to their peak, but seemed less colorful than in most years. The cottonwoods and valley dogwoods were still about 40 to 50 percent green, so they should peak in another week or two.

I start another workshop in Yosemite Valley with The Ansel Adams Gallery on Tuesday, so I’m looking forward to another fun workshop, and to seeing and photographing more fall color.

— Michael Frye

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Michael Frye is a professional photographer specializing in landscapes and nature. He is the author or principal photographer of The Photographer’s Guide to YosemiteYosemite Meditations, Yosemite Meditations for Women, and Digital Landscape Photography: In the Footsteps of Ansel Adams and the Great Masters. He has also written three eBooks: Light & Land: Landscapes in the Digital Darkroom, Exposure for Outdoor Photography, and Landscapes in Lightroom 5: The Essential Step-by-Step Guide. Michael 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.