Aspens and pines in a snowstorm, Inyo NF, CA, USA

Aspens and pines in a snowstorm, Inyo NF, California. 141mm, 1/250 sec. at f/16, ISO 1600.

In early October Claudia and I traveled to Utah and Colorado, and on our way we made a brief stop in the eastern Sierra.

Forecasts predicted a cold storm with low snow levels (for early October). That meant we might get to photograph aspens in snow, with autumn color, if we made it over to the eastern Sierra before the storm. So we packed hurriedly, hoping to make it over Tioga Pass before the road closed – which we did, with about 30 minutes to spare.

The next morning we could see that it was starting to snow at higher elevations, so we drove up into the mountains and arrived at some aspen groves just as the snow was starting to stick.

I had photographed autumn aspens in snow before on a few occasions, but it’s a hard thing to catch. Aspens drop their leaves for a reason – to shed them before snow starts falling, lest they lose some limbs. So this was a rare treat.

We photographed all day, and the next morning, though by then the snow had melted off the trees. But it was a fun start to the trip. And then we got to photograph aspens with snow in Colorado as well. I’m sure I’ll post some of those photos later.

— Michael Frye

Snow-covered aspens, Inyo NF, CA, USA

Snow-covered aspens, Inyo NF, California. 330mm, 1/90 sec. at f/16, ISO 100.

Autumn snow, Eastern Sierra, CA, USA

Autumn snow, Eastern Sierra, California. 70mm, 1/60 sec. at f/16, ISO 100.

Dappled sunlight on aspens, Inyo NF, CA, USA

Dappled sunlight on aspens, Inyo NF,California. 132mm, 1/45 sec. at f/16, ISO 100.

Aspen and creek, Inyo NF, CA, USA

Aspen and creek, Inyo NF, California. 100mm, 1/2 sec. at f/16, ISO 100.

Pines and aspens along a creek, Inyo NF, CA, USA

Pines and aspens along a creek, Inyo NF, California. 160mm, 1 second at f/16, ISO 100.

Related Posts: Canyon Color; Autumn into Winter: Part Two; A Landscape Transformed

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.