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Lone Tree at Sunset, Eastern Sierra, California

Posted by
Gary Hart (California, United States) on 13 June 2009 in Landscape & Rural and Portfolio.

Even when the conditions aren’t right for photography, I can’t seem to turn off my photographer’s eye. I’m forever looking for subjects and composing shots; when something draws me but the light’s not right, I mentally file it for another day. This virtual database in my head has paid off with many successful images, like this one from the Eastern Sierra a few years ago.

After several hours of fun shooting fall color along McGee Creek, I turned my attention skyward when the color started to kick in, capturing many shots of a crimson Eastern Sierra sunset above the serrated Sierra crest. As the light started to fade (and about the time many might start packing up), I saw that the spectacular sunset color was slowly transitioning to less dramatic but no less beautiful pastel pinks and blues. Thinking the sharp peaks that had served my vivid sunset were too strong for the gentle dusk hues, I remembered a solitary ridge-top tree nearby and made my way down the canyon in the rapidly fading light. When I arrived I saw immediately that the curve of the ridge mirrored a wave in the clouds and quickly positioned myself so they aligned. I composed to emphasize the sky and the isolation of the tree. (I don't remember why I was at ISO 400, though I'm guessing there was a stiff wind.)

Keeping a constant lookout for possible shots serves dual purposes: it certainly trains your eye, but you also never know when you might need to pull something out of your hat when the light is changing fast.

Next post: June 16 (to view previous posts, click the arrow in the upper left of today's image)

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Thanks for visiting. Even if I don't respond, your comments are always read and appreciated.

photo retouching from Spain

The composition in this shot is really strong!

13 Jun 2009 6:38am

Giovanni from Milan, Italy

wow, wonderful composition and gorgeous colors! Great shot!

13 Jun 2009 11:08am

Tracy from La Selva Beach, United States

Beautiful simplicity!

13 Jun 2009 2:27pm

rajeev from dubai, United Arab Emirates

superb landscape shot, well done!!!

13 Jun 2009 4:10pm

Amit Basu Photography from United States

Superb composition!

13 Jun 2009 4:10pm

john4jack from Corvallis, Oregon, United States

Stunning. It has the quality of a master painting.

13 Jun 2009 5:16pm

Onlymehdi from Wayne, United States

Great Shot

14 Jun 2009 1:17am

rA from 大连(Dalian), China

extreme contract effect! and amazing blue sky. I love it.

14 Jun 2009 8:18am

Hochzeitsfotograf from Hamburg, Germany

Great compositon and great light!!

14 Jun 2009 6:57pm

Magda from Vancouver, Canada

The rich colour of the sky is just breathtaking! Wonderful composition

10 Jul 2009 1:52am