Season’s finale, Inyo National Forest near Lake Sabrina, Eastern Sierra

On October 9th, after a crowded sunrise at North Lake, we headed to the nearby Lake Sabrina. Each autumn, this is one of the earliest places in Eastern Sierra to appreciate the brilliant fall colors due to its high elevation. This year, we were right on time to capture the moment.

Lake Sabrina is a small lake at the foot of several beautiful alpa peaks created by a dam. Walking on the top of the dam, the bright orange color of a few aspen trees on the east side of the lake caught our eyes. By the time, these trees were still in the shade of the mountains. The soft light brought out the best colors of the trees.

Young Oak Tree in Smoke, Yosemite National Park

We walked around El Capitan meadow in an early morning of November when it was filled by thin smoke from controlled burn. Unlike fog, the smoke had slight blue hue, which would make any warm colored objects stand out from the background. When passing by this young oak tree next to the bank of Merced River, we knew we have found our subject. Because the smoke was thin, the forest on the other side of the river was barely visible and lack of distracting clarity. It provided the perfect context we wanted. There was not any wind in that morning. Thus, we could capture super sharp image of leaves of this oak tree with a relative long exposure. It was a lucky moment when all conditions of a perfect exposure came together.