With the scattered stands of colors dotting the Hope Valley area and not much hope for a swaths of color across the hillside, I was forced to hike a bit more than usual to find this isolated aspen set against granite boulders.
(Conditions as of last Friday: Post Trip Report: Hope Valley Fall Colors 2012-Oct-05)
Part of the rationale for this composition is based on going against my inherent aversion of not including an object in its entirety. In this instance, the object is the single aspen. My instinct is to photograph the entire tree. There is the added advantage of not including the leaves of the still green aspens on both sides of this tree. Secondly, I wanted to avoid including the sky. Mid-afternoon partly cloudy skies tend to blow out highlights. Third, I enjoyed seeing the contrast of the brilliant and mostly yellow leaves against the cool, dark granite.
It has been 5 days since my drive up to Hope Valley. The days have cool down considerable in the Sacramento Valley with evenings approaching chilly status. The aspens this year have been a very mixed bag due to the dry conditions. Any trees that had turned were yellow and would/are dropping leaves soon. There were only few instances of trees turning fiery red and would guesstimate most of the trees will go from green to yellow and then drop.
Note: Sorensen’s fire road should be peak near Hwy 88 and probably past peak by the 2nd or 3rd turn now. The area around Sorensen’s and across the highway should be 75-100% by now. This is all based on how quickly the popular areas around Bishop have gone from 0-25% to peak this year, about a week.
The rest of Hope Valley should be good the next week or two, barring any major storms.
Previous posts from this trip:
- Wall of Aspens, Pine Tree, Aspen on Rock
- Tree Skeletons, Partly Cloudy Skies
- Self-Critique: Tree-Sprouting Boulder, River
Visit the following sites for the latest color information:
- *New* Examiner.com update for Hope Valley
- California Fall Color (John Poimiroo)
- Fall Color in California (Carol Leigh)
- SacBee’s Fall Leaves (Dave Henry)
- Sierra Impressions (Cory Freeman)
- Mono County Tourism Board – download the Fall Color guide, reports not yet updated
- Weather.com – one large storm and the season might be over with blown down leaves
- Flickr – search for specific lakes, creeks, destinations and see what other photogs have done and what to expect
EXIF data: Nikon D7000, center weighted metering mode, 70mm, ISO 100, 1/50 sec, f/4.2
Aspen, Granite, Contrast. Hope Valley, California. October 05, 2012. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.