I've said it before, and I'm sure I'll say it again: Yosemite's fall color is underrated. Yosemite's color may not stand up to New England and the Eastern Sierra (among others), but it's still quite nice, and when paired with the rest of Yosemite's always spectacular scenery, it's pretty tough to beat autumn Yosemite.
A particular Yosemite fall highlight is Fern Spring. Fern Spring is a photographer's favorite in any season, an opportunity to compose intimate scenes of reflections and staircase cascades. Time your visit just right in the fall and you can add a carpet of color to your Fern Spring frame. Nevertheless, I've photographed here so much that I sometimes find inspiration difficult. But, with or without a camera, it's such a nice little spot that I can't imagine foregoing the stop entirely--the difference is now I don't stress about making a picture. And guess what--not only do I still find them, I think I like my new images better than the earlier ones. So what's up with that?
Sometimes I think we just need to shake things up, to get out of our standard thought processes. For example, in previous visits to Fern Spring this tree was an annoyance, something to work around. But as I stood back and admired the scene one gray fall morning, my eye fell on a single leaf resting at the tree's trunk. Rather than lament the leaf's proximity to this "intrusive" tree, I removed my camera from the tripod and played with compositions. Much to my surprise, my camera seemed to stop (imagine a diving rod locating water) when the tree split my frame diagonally. Ignoring photography "rules" instructing me otherwise, I brought in my tripod, refined the composition, and came up with one of my favorite fall color images.
So, did I stumble upon a photography breakthrough, the landscape photography equivalent of Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity? I think not. But for most of us mortals (and perhaps even Einstein himself), inspiration comes in small increments. By definition creativity isn't repeating what's already been done, it's venturing beyond the known and comfortable and into the unfamiliar. Had I approached this scene in my standard fashion, or let preconceived biases limit my vision, this shot would surely have been lost.
* Website: Eloquent Images
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