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Staying Warm

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Keeping warm in the snow of Yosemite Valley

Keeping warm in the snow of Yosemite Valley
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paulstarns July 23, 2017
Great image
Matthew_Boast February 21, 2018
her eyes can see your soul, they are so beautfiul and so is this photo
davidparkhurst April 02, 2018
So very good
Greenster April 02, 2018
Very beautiful!
Taoskitty PRO+
Taoskitty September 15, 2020
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Behind The Lens


This photo was taken in front of the Yosemite Valley Chapel. Some friends and I drove up from Southern California for the weekend to experience the valley during the winter and everything about it was stunning.


The group and I had been visiting Tunnel View and a couple of the popular waterfalls early in the morning and we made it up to the chapel around 1pm. We only stayed at this location for about twenty minutes because we were all excited about lunch.


The lighting in this photo, given the time of day, was the perfect scenario. We had a lot of cloud coverage that day, so the light was incredibly soft and allowed us to shoot without getting harsh shadows from direct sunlight.


At the time, I was shooting with my Canon 70D with a Sigma 35mm lens. I like keeping it simple.


We took a good amount of time to soak the environment in. The recent snowfall made everything look so different and it provided such a new perspective for me. As we were walking back to our cars, I turned around to take one last look and I noticed the colors of our friend's blanket and the chapel complemented each other so well. As I was composing the image, I wanted people to experience the warmth as you would when snuggling it up to your face when it's cold. This created such a great opportunity to focus on the eyes, which I believe gives this image much more depth and personality.


Yes, I always bring my photos into Adobe Lightroom to give it a personal touch of color correction and adjustments. Afterward, I bring them into Adobe Photoshop to remove any distracting elements, whether that be in the background or on the subject. I have a personal goal to keep the image as true to the original as I can and I do my best to find a happy medium between a personal editing style and authenticity.

In my camera bag

To start, I am a huge fan of the Brevit? Rucksack backpack. It's the perfect size for me and my relatively simple setup. I have enough space for my camera body and lens, which is a Canon 70D with the Sigma 35mm lens attached. I also carry a Rokinon 14mm lens for any landscape shooting that I do. Given the crop factor, I'm practically shooting with a 50mm and a 24mm lens. I also have the space to fit my Mavic Pro and two extra batteries. Those are probably the most important pieces, but I also carry quite a few different accessories. Depending on the situation, I carry extra batteries for the 70D, extra memory cards, ND filters for the Mavic, a couple different cleaning tools, and a pocket knife. That takes up most of the pocket space, but I would still have room in the top drawstring compartment for extra clothes or other necessities.


When it comes to taking peoples portraits, I'd say one of the most important steps would be to create conversation and allow the model to feel comfortable with you. If they aren't, you can immediately see the results of that awkwardness. Secondly, do your best to get the eyes in focus unless you're intentionally making an artistic decision not too. Lastly, go out and shoot even when the conditions aren't "perfect." Sometimes you come across opportunities that will surprise you.

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