This Yosemite Valley shot hit me while I was browsing through Bridge, Adobe Photoshop’s photo management program. This particular photo of Yosemite Valley came to me all at once why, out of nearly a hundred landscapes, I picked this one for my book 101 Quick and Easy Secrets to Create Winning Photographs. The photo represented autumn in Yosemite Valley in all of its glory—the dim light; the yellowing leaves on the trees that, from a distance, look like yellow springtime flowers; and the rocks, so many in so many different shapes and sizes. Last is the lack of much water in the streambed. I took this photo just prior to the beginning of the winter rains, so the bed was dry from months of no rainfall, with only puddles of water remaining from what once was roaring stream and what will be a roaring stream once again.
When you photograph such as this one of Yosemite Valley or ones that are vaster—overlooks that span for miles and miles—using a tight, or narrow, aperture brings nearly everything from the foreground to the background into sharp focus. The clarity of the shot comes from the use of a tripod, an absolute must for this type of photography. Actually, there’s no way you could get this clear of a shot without a tripod—that is, unless you set your camera on one of the rocks. When you use tight apertures in aperture priority mode, the camera’s shutter will need to open up longer for a proper exposure. (Remember, not as much light gets through a narrow hole as gets through a wider one, so the shutter needs to stay open longer to compensate for proper exposure.)by