Backlit Trees, Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park

Backlit Trees, Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park

I recently acquired a book called First Light: Five Photographers Explore Yosemite's Wilderness, and it has been a very influential book for me in a number of ways. Not only is it an extraordinary collection of photographs of Yosemite National Park, it was also a completely fresh perspective for me. There are no broad panoramas or even many recognizable features in the book, but rather an entirely different way of looking at light and composition. In a few instances I was particularly drawn to the contrast between the brightly lit trees against the cool blue tones of sheer granite walls in shadow behind them. Throughout my recent trip to Yosemite I was watching for occasions when this contrast appeared and tried to take advantage of it.

On our second evening in the park we were set up along with nearly 200 others at Glacier Point, which gives you an unbelievably close and unobstructed view of Half Dome, in prime position for the best light of the day - the direction to point your camera is quite obvious. I fortunately did have the wherewithal for a brief moment to look backwards into the setting sun and noticed a group of trees being lit by the setting sun, with the cool granite cliff of Glacier Point behind them, seen here. I took a couple of quick frames and refocused my attention back on Half Dome.

Contrast was quite difficult to manage here, largely because as originally captured there was somehow almost none (the odd lighting seemed to confuse my digital camera). That left me to rely on my memory to bring it back in line with what I recall seeing, and I did my best. I had envisioned some other shots to capture this kind of lighting that simply never came to be in reality, but overall I'm pleased to have found an example of this wonderful sort of light.

Nikon D90 | Nikon 105mm Micro | f/8 | 1/50s | ISO200 | Handheld

See more related images in my Yosemite National Park Gallery.

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