This is the first post from our April 2012 US road trip around California. Our road trip around California started in San Francisco and ended in LA, passing through the following locations over a period of two weeks:
We hired an AWD car in San Francisco, because we'd heard that the park rangers can be quite strict about allowing 2WD cars into the valley when its been snowing. During the trip we encountered weather ranging from -15 and gentle snowfalls in Tahoe, to 95F and bright blue skies in Havasu and Joshua Tree NP.
Yosemite was the first 'photography' stop on our road trip, after five hours driving from San Francisco. The bright sunny weather was not the most photographer-friendly, creating high contrast levels, and lots of glare and deep shadows. The sights of Yosemite are well known: the Half Dome, El Capitan, Catherdral Rocks, etc. and of course I photographed those, but I thought I'd start the blog with something less familiar, but full of colour, contrast and texture. Wandering along the Merced river below lower Yosemite falls you find yourself among light woodland with a range of trees, of which one kind in particular has an intricately patterned and colourful bark. The canopy of the trees had blocked out much of the direct sunlight, and filtered much of the residual light that was getting through to ground level. This opportunity was visible from 30 paces away due to the strong, almost flourescent green of the moss growing among the bark. I use the canon 50mm EF f2.5 lens which produces sharp images, has a macro closeup feature and a minimum focus distance that enable me to get quite close to the tree for a decent framing and composition. I made just the one image before the light had shifted and the moss lost its impact.