There was a great scene in one of the Ocean’s 11 movies where an entire crowd turns to face a casino that is about to be imploded but George Clooney stands his ground and continues to watch in the opposing direction. This scene sticks out in my mind very clearly whenever I’m out shooting a jaw-dropping or iconic scene.
This image helps me illustrate that point quite nicely because the scene that was 180 degrees from me at this point was totally unreal. I had a massive and expansive view of Olmstead Point – it was stunning and grandiose. It was everything you’d expect from Yosemite Valley.
And then I turned around. What I saw was just as beautiful but in a totally different way. I began seeing the smaller details of this area. Trees that were brimming with character as they sat atop the meandering rock floor. Little bushes dancing in the wind and the bees that hovered around them. I saw the smaller details that I think get unnoticed when they have to compete with such amazing vistas.
So let this post serve as a reminder that some of the best images may lie in the exact opposite direction than you may think.
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In terms of processing
First off, let me tell you just how boring the sky was during my trip to Yosemite. Plain, flat and blue. Nothing of interest whatsoever. That’s why I swapped out the blue sky with one that had more clouds using Perfect Mask 5 by . I also applied a tiny amount of blur onto that sky layer using FocalPoint 2 (also by onOne).
I didn’t do much else here other than add some contrast, clarity and fine-tune the exposure – all in Lightroom 4.1.
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