Sunbeams, mountains, and autumn maples, UT, USA

Sunbeams, mountains, and autumn maples, UT, USA. We were treated to some spectacular sunbeams one morning. Despite the high contrast, I was able to get detail in highlights and shadows with just one exposure. 50mm, 1/250th sec. at f/11, ISO 100, polarizer.

Claudia and I were driving to Colorado when we decided to take a little detour to the Wasatch Mountains in Utah. We’d never been there, and it looked like the bigtooth maples were nearing their peak color, so why not?

The maples, as it turned out, were spectacular, covering the hillsides with red. I’d never seen anything like it. And one day we got treated to some interesting weather, with clouds, mist, and sunbeams.

We did make it to Colorado eventually, but I’m glad we made that detour into the Wasatch Mountains. I’ll post some more Utah photographs soon, and maybe some Colorado images after that.

— Michael Frye

Maple-covered hillsides, Wasatch Mountains, UT, USA

Maple-covered hillsides, Wasatch Mountains, UT, USA. In places the maples went on for miles and miles. 91mm, 1/15th sec. at f/11, ISO 100, polarizer.

Autumn sunrise in the Wasatch Mountains, UT, USA

Autumn sunrise in the Wasatch Mountains, UT, USA. My planned sunrise location didn’t work – it was too socked in. So I improvised and found this spot, with layered, distant mountains and a little foreground color. Three bracketed exposures, two stops apart, blended with Lightroom’s HDR Merge. 87mm, f/16, ISO 100.

Bigtooth maple, Utah, USA

Bigtooth maple, Utah, USA. A trailside scene with a nice mix of colors. 16mm, 1/2 sec. at f/16, ISO 100.

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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 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.