Year of Yosemite (YOY) – Day 26 (Olmsted Point – Lone Tree)

Lone Tree at Olmsted Point

Olmsted Point has a view of Half Dome. This lone tree is trying to grab center stage.

Omsted Point is easy to pass on the way to other locations, but it certainly is worth a stop. We were on the way to Lembert Dome when we stopped to take a few photographs.

What I liked about this particular photo is the tree near the center. Although it would normally be a supporting cast member with Half Dome straight ahead (peaking out just above the curve of the hill in the center), it steals the scene in its own right. Naturally, there are nice pictures of Half Dome to be captured from this view as well.

Do you have a question about our visit to Yosemite? Ask it in the comment section. originally published this post
*All photographs Copyright by Jeffrey B. Ross with all rights reserved.

See previous Year of Yosemite (YOY) posts HERE. If you want to read the introduction to the YOY series, CLICK HERE.


Meta Data – Day 26 YOY – Year of Yosemite

File Name: 0206.NEF
Capture time: 9:56:26 AM
Capture date: June 7, 2016
Exposure: 1/125 sec @ f/14
Focal Length: 22mm
ISO 100
Nikon D3300

Fall Hike – West Fork of the Oak Creek, AZ – Pt. 2

If you missed Part 1 of our narrative of the hike along the West Fork of the Oak Creek earlier in November, you can see it here:

Fall Hike – West Fork of the Oak Creek, AZ – Pt. 1

We continued to hike along the West Fork of the Oak Creek and through the surrounding canyon trying to stay as dry as we could at each of the 13 (26 both ways) stream crossings. At first I thought this was a small iceberg or snow, but it turned out to be a foam pile created by the churning water hitting the neighboring rocks.

churning foam

I am always intrigued by “walking trees,” that is those trees that gained a foothold on a pile of debris or dirt which has since washed away leaving a good portion of the roots exposed. In some wooded areas, the term walking tree is used to refer to this phenomenon.

walking tree

Some of the trees assert themselves by consuming nearby rocks in their extended growth. There are several rocks being visibly smothered in the bark and roots of the tree.

tree smothering rocks

Perhaps my favorite photo of the day personifies the beauty of the canyon along the west fork. The golden hour was approaching with the beautiful light allowing the red rock walls to reveal their splendor. The reflection in the wider portion of the stream adds to the drama.

reflection of beautiful red rock cliffs

Even the less magnificent views along the stream were pretty in this Fall light.

fall creekside

At places the water was very placid and “easier” to cross than at others where it was running apace.

stream stepping stones

We approached this broad area of the canyon where the trees, sky and red-and-white rock cliffs join forces to create a symphony of color.

canyon expanse with trees and red rock

A rather large, cawing crow stopped by to voice his approval as well.

large crow

There was not enough light to capture all of the fantastic colors in this area, but I hope you can appreciate the contrast and texture of nature’s palette.

hoodoo-like cliffs

The tree below had gained a foothold along the riverbank despite the crowd of rock slabs. It was a very pretty green against the red rock which is not captured at its best in the photo, but I think you can appreciate it as described. It is sad that this tree has a struggle ahead as it tries to continue to grow in an area that is not well-suited. Nature does not play favorites.

lone tree standing

As we continued our wandering, we were somewhat surprised to find this very green area of horsetail grass. There was an abundance of flora that was shedding its summer color to adorn its fall visage throughout the canyon and this intense green created a unique juxtaposition at this time of the year.

green horsetail grass meadow

Horsetail grass has interesting segments that create addiitonal interest in its use as an ornamental. Note, however, that it can become invasive and it is recommended that horsetail grass and its relatives be planted in manageable areas or pots.

horsetail grass closeup

As I end this installment of our narrative, which will conclude next time in part 3, I would be remiss not to include on last picture of the beautiful red rock cliffs towering above the Oak Creek.

looking up at more red rock cliffs

iPhone 6 Makes Picture Taking a Snap!

Apple has set up what they are calling a “World Gallery” of photographs taken using the iPhone 6. The wonderful picture capabilities of the iPhones have been touted for a number of years and with each iteration, Apple seems to be able to raise the bar even higher. To demonstrate how versatile and creative the iPhone 6 can be, this page titled “Shot on iPhone 6” provides a great number of examples. I selected five of my favorites below. Visit the website to see more images in their larger sizes.

NOTE – Some of the pictures were taken with Apps other than the Apple Camera App. This information is noted under the pictures on display at the linked website.

Let me know which images you find most compelling, beautiful or interesting.

Shot by Andrew P. in Phoenix, AZ

This desert shot takes full advantage of the warm reds and oranges of sunset, capturing a beautiful range of tones with a limited color palette.

Since I live in this area, this picture caught my eye. I have taken similar pictures with my camera. One thing I try to impress upon visitors and people who live out-of-state is the wonderful colors the sun creates at various times of the day in the Sonoran Desert.

Sonoran Desert Scene - iPhone6

Shot by Brendan Ó. in Copenhagen, Denmark

Shooting from an unexpected angle can add an interesting twist. Here, it creates contours in the lines that convey a sense of movement to the viewer.

I found the lines on this pavement particularly interesting. I wonder if these are bicycle lanes or do these markings serve some other purpose? Are these lines curvy for artistic reasons or do the shapes provide a necessary shift?

Street/Park Scene, Copenhagen Denmark - iPhone6

Shot by Hyeong Jun K. in Seoul, South Korea
The exaggerated scale of a shadow, like the one cast by the tree, can add an element of interest to a stark landscape.

I am a sucker for trees especially when they are standing alone. While there are others around, the isolation of the main tree feels palpable to me.

Lonesome Tree - iPhone6

Shot by Noah W. in Marina Del Rey, CA

Use naturally occurring shadows to your advantage. In this photo, the solid silhouette of the dog interrupts the stripes cast across the sidewalk.

I enjoy a good animal picture and this is no exception. In addition to the notation above, this photograph would have been so ordinary without the shadows. The dog almost looks zebra-ish and much more interesting with the shadowed lines.

Dog Marked by Linear Shadows - iPhone6

Shot by Austin M. in Steamboat Springs, CO

Photos featuring just one color family can be brought to life with a subtle hint of a contrasting color. Here, the pop of blue in the sky adds a surprising element.

I love the subtle colors in this photo as noted above. While this is a very good photo, IMHO it would have been even better had the ski lift (upper right) been cropped out. In any event, the feeling evoked by this snow scene is “cool” indeed!

On the Slopes - iPhone6