One Picturesque Day

by | Jul 24, 2014 | Impressive Places | 1 comment

The sixth, and second-to-last day of our incredible trip through California began with a hike to Rainbow Falls. What a majestic sight! I am used to the waterfalls of the East, the bubbling cascades along forest streams hidden away in lush valleys and moss-covered gorges. What a wave of exotic excitement it was to see a river of water pouring over the side of a rock wall in a dusty western mountainscape. I guess that is another one of many things California is famous for.

8180_Devil's Postpile National Monument-California-USA_Canon EOS 40D, 26 mm, 1.3 sec at f - 22, ISO 100

Of a truth, this was a very difficult waterfall to photograph. At first, I wondered if it would be worth it to take any pictures at all. We had come at the wrong time of day. The sun was still far too easterly yet for it to fall on the water in the right direction to create a rainbow, and served only to light up the mist, foliage and surrounding rock with such dazzling contrast that it was quite difficult to see the waterfall from it’s base. Plus, I couldn’t get in close to the falls because of the ever-present mist emanating from the turbulent pool. I had to back away. And in backing away I was accosted with forgeround clutter. I did a lot of walking around to find an angle I liked. I snapped a few pictures here and there, but I finally chose this angle and set up my tripod for an “official” capture because of the depth created by the two dead trees. Diminishing perspective at work here.

I then did a lot of work in Lightroom to pull out the enshadowed waterfall. The original isn’t nearly as attractive, eh? The following image is how many images look before they are processed. Very seldom does a beautiful picture come straight out of the camera. But I got as close as I could while on location and I feel the finished product looks very much more like it did when I first stepped around the corner to stand in Rainbow Falls mighty presence.

8180_Devil's Postpile National Monument-California-USA_Canon EOS 40D, 26 mm, 1.3 sec at f - 22, ISO 100-2

Here are a few more shots from the day. Jonathan and I took a 6 mile hike that evening to shoot the sunset from the Mammoth Crest above Crystal Crag. As I’ve learned from living in West Virginia, in mountainous or hilly country you have to be at the top of a mountain to capture a good sunset. It was probably my favorite hike of the entire trip!

8232_Crystal Crag-California-USA_Canon EOS 40D, 31 mm, 1-100 sec at f - 8.0, ISO 100

8272_Mammoth Crest-California-USA_Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 138 mm, 1-160 sec at f - 4.0, ISO 400

8264_Mammoth Crest-California-USA_Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 17 mm, 2.0 sec at f - 22, ISO 100

And then, back in the valley after dark, the full moon came out for a fun shot over the lake at the base of Crystal Crag. It was the last chance I had! I don’t think I will every forget how picturesque that day was. Thank you, Lord!

8307_Lake Mary-California-USA_Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 17 mm, 59.0 sec at f - 4.0, ISO 800

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1 Comment

  1. Sarah

    Great shots! It sounds like the Lord really blessed your day with very photogenic surroundings!


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