Continuing to look back at photographs from this past spring, here are some more images from our trip to the redwoods.
One morning prior to our workshop Claudia, Robert and I drove from Crescent City down to Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park, hoping to see fog, but found that the marine layer was too high, above even the highest portions of this park, which reaches up to 1,200 feet in elevation. So we continued south, and hiked out to a favorite beach to check on conditions. Later that morning, on our way back through Del Norte, the ever-unpredictable fog had lowered. In fact, I saw fog in an area where I had rarely seen it before. I had long wanted to photograph this redwood forest in the fog, and here was my chance.
I knew that an obscure, overgrown section of the Coastal Trail wound through these redwoods. And I also knew that the fog could dissipate at any moment. But by then we were all hungry, and ready for breakfast. Claudia and Robert volunteered to drive back to the Pem Mey Fuel Mart in Klamath to get some breakfast sandwiches while I headed up the trail, saying that they would follow me up the trail later with my sandwich. Which was, to say the least, super nice of them.
So I headed up the trail, huffing up steep switchbacks toward a location where I had seen rhododendrons blooming in the past. When I finally got to the rhododendrons the fog was still thick, and I found some of the most vivid rhododendron blossoms I had ever seen. The wild, native rhododendrons in this area usually have pale pink flowers (though the buds of just-emerging blossoms are a more vibrant red). But these rhododendrons were a vivid magenta color, popping out of the fog like neon lights. The image at the top of this post shows what I mean.
I spent about an hour photographing this one small area, trying to find the best compositions I could. When I finally decided to move along the fog began to lift again, so I turned around and headed back down the trail toward the breakfast sandwich that I knew awaited me. It was fun to finally photograph this area in the fog, after looking for the right conditions every year since 2013.
I’ve included photographs below from another foggy morning, as well as a few other images from the area that I haven’t had a chance to post before. This is always one of my favorite places in the world to photograph – especially when you find rhododendrons glowing in the fog.
— Michael Frye
Michael Frye is a professional photographer specializing in landscapes and nature. He is the author or principal photographer of The Photographer’s Guide to Yosemite, Yosemite Meditations, Yosemite Meditations for Women, Yosemite Meditations for Adventurers, 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: The Essential Step-by-Step Guide. Michael 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.