Sunbeam Creek, Autumn, Mount Rainier National Park

Upper Young Lake Reflection, Yosemite National Park

While backpacking to Upper Young Lake in Yosemite this summer, I put my photographic emphasis on my Large Format camera. With only 18 sheets of film, I really tried my best to make each one count. I enjoy this photo, and consider it one of my better photos from my brief visit, but have found it a bit challenging to get on screen.

The late sunset lite that occurs at Young Lakes is truly remarkable, and the color reflecting off the granite is a beautiful saturated color. I ended up with a bit of a rough scan, in part because I think the red colors in the granite may have been clipping within the scanners color gamut. There's also a broad range between the shadows and highlights, particularly the snow on the far side of the lake. While I don't think I clipped the highlights, it left the foreground a little darker than I'd have liked, and made for a tough scan. However, I feel I eventually managed to tame the colors and tonality to get it back into range. After processing the file I down-sized it for display online, and now it strikes me how crudely the details come through (of all the grass and flowers). I love photographic a scene like this in particular with a large format camera as I feel it is perfectly suited, but whether it's photographed digitally or on large format film, it's always tough to convey it well in a small digital file. In reality, I wish I could just put the slide on a light-table to share directly, but since that's just not possible this has to suffice as the next best thing.

Whether the digital file does the scene justice or not, I just hope to convey some of the incredible beauty of this tremendous location. In July, the shoreline was a perfect combination of white granite, green grass, and wildflowers throughout. Those details combined with the incredible light at sunset made for one of the most beautiful locations I've ever had to fortune to photograph. It was a trip that took a lot of concerted planning to achieve, but having done it once now, I would jump at the chance to head back there once again.

Tachihara 4x5 | Caltar II-N 150mm f/5.6 | f/22 | 1/2s | Fuji Velvia 50 | Tripod

See more related images in my Yosemite National Park Gallery.

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