Putting fall colors in the Eastern Sierra in the proper context



Another one from my fall colors trip to the Eastern Sierra in October. This is a closeup photo of Laurel Creek near Mammoth Lakes. I'm going to show several different views, including one that I posted earlier and is my favorite. 

I tried photographing this from several different places, near and far and with different lenses. I went out in the morning when light was best and had the time to explore some vantage points. (Actually, it's smarter to explore in advance). 

Here's a super closeup, which is kind of colorful and also kind of boring: 




And here's one taken from far away but with a 70-300mm telephoto lens on my Nikon D5100:
 

This one's actually pretty interesting but raises some questions. Is the tree line too close to center of the frame? Is the telescoping effect of the lens a little too obvious? I think the answer to both questions is 'yes.' Which is the reason I keep circling back to that first photo:
 

For me, it just works. There are nice diagonal lines, the frozen pond makes the foreground interesting and the colors of the aspens can be appreciated more when seen in their larger context. 

I've shown it to several people and shared on one of my favorite forums and the collective response has been "eh." Nonetheless, I'm sticking to my photographic guns on this one -- I think this one is best. 

Check out more of my work on my newly-redesigned SmugMug site. If you're interested in joining SmugMug, click here for a $5 discount on membership. Very affordable prints of any of the above images are available -- click on the image above and then click on the buy link. 

--S.H.

The above photos are ©Steve Hymon 2013 and may not be used elsewhere without my advanced written permission.

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