My only visit to Yosemite National Park was not a carefully planned trip. It was almost a spontaneous last minute decision. Due to my changed schedule, while visiting the San Francisco Bay Area a few years back, I realized that I had opportunity to spend the entire day on my photography.
At first, I was afraid that one day was not enough and I would risk spending the entire day driving and not having enough time to explore the park. However, it turned out to be one of my best California trips.
It was end of April and now, looking back to my trip, I realize that it was probably the best time of the year to visit Yosemite. The weather was just perfect – around +20 C with clear air. All the rivers were still full of water, and as a result, I had the chance to witness all the park´s waterfalls at their full strength. Also, what I liked the most was that the park was not too crowded, and I had plenty of freedom to set up my tripod and compose my shots.
In this featured photo, I was photographing the Upper Yosemite Falls through the row of pine trees. It was a perfect opportunity to use HDR processing. It also helped me bring out details in the dark foreground elements of the composition.
Deconstructing Featured Photo
Processing: HDR Processed in Photomatix
Lightroom: import, tagging, export to Photomatix
Photomatix: I used 3 images to tone map image ( -1, 0, +1 ), 16-bit tiff image was exported to Lightroom. (check my tutorial Before & After – HDR With Photomatix)
Lightroom: straightening, cropping, export as PSD image
Photoshop: cleaning, removing HDR artifacts in water, contrast.
- Topaz DeNoise was used to reduce digital noise (sky)
- Topaz Detail was used to enhance details in foreground elements (trees)