Boulders, Aspens, Stevens Peak (Hope Valley 2012)

Emigrant Road, Hope Valley, CA

Sometimes I struggle with fall color photographs.  After a while, every photo just seems like a variant of some other photo.  These are situations where composition can play a key element in saving a relatively ordinary scene.

Interestingly, Emigrant Road in Hope Valley no longer shows up on modern maps as it has been generally been replaced by Hwy 88.  Parts of the road are actually under Caples Lake (also referred to as Twin Lakes).  At this location, Emigrant Road runs parallel to Hwy 88 and is only identified by an old sign nailed to a tree.  On Google Maps, the turnoff is barely noticeable at a few hundred feet south of Alpine Mine Road.

Maybe I just have an issue with the lack of creativity in some Fall Color photography.  I understand the need to bag iconic shots at North Lake, whether it is jockeying with a bunch of other photogs at lakeside for a chance to capture “lava flows” at sunrise or at the tunnel of trees.  But once you bag that shot, is it necessary to repeatedly go back year after year?  And this is not about the photogs that park at random roadside spots to search out photos all along the Bishop Creek area.  That is work.

Maybe this is the reason why I still have not photographed the iconic cabin in Hope Valley, did not stop at Tunnel View in Yosemite the last few times by, and do not shoot as much of the outerworld-liness at Mono Lake South Tufa.  I think as photographers, we forget to enjoy what we are shooting at times (or all the time).  It is constantly about finding the next shot.  I was reminded of this when I noticed a couple sitting in lawn chairs in the middle of a Hope Valley grass field enjoying the sight before them.  Maybe, I should have taken a picture of that. 😉

Previous posts from this trip:

EXIF data: Nikon D7000, center weighted metering mode, 50mm, ISO 100, 1/10 sec, f/16

Boulders, Aspens, Steven Peak.  Emigrant Road, Hope Valley, California. October 05, 2012. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.


5 thoughts on “Boulders, Aspens, Stevens Peak (Hope Valley 2012)

  1. Beautifully done! I agree with what you wrote, as well. When I worked at Yosemite, my friends couldn’t understand why I was photographing the place every free moment. But I had trouble finding a shot that hadn’t been done a hundred times before…


    1. Thank you Nancy!
      It’s strange to hear photographers not taking shots at every opportunity, but that surely happens when you know a location well. The focus for me then leans towards looking for small details instead of sweeping landscapes even though I feel “obligated” to take those. Of course, an actual multi-day hike tends to remove that sense of familiarity. Just need to find the time and be equipped for that!


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