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Photographing Yosemite: Digital Field Guide by Lewis Kemper

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14.3. How Can I Get the Best Shot?

The Giant Sequoias are difficult to photograph on bright sunny days. The strong contrast of the deep shadows and the bright highlights are too much to capture on your sensor. I prefer days with flat light; so look for cloudy days or get to the grove when the sun is low in the sky. With the correct light and your wide-angle lenses, you will be able to capture great photographs.

The best location from which to photograph Merced Grove: (A) the area around the grove. Other photo ops: (7) Fern Springs, (23) Tuolumne Grove.

14.3.1. Equipment

Wide-angle to normal lenses work well in the sequoia grove, as well as a tripod and a bubble level.

14.3.1.1. Lenses

When photographing Giant Sequoia trees, the wider angle your lens, the better off you will be! These trees are massive and very tall. Lenses in the 14-28mm range are needed if you want any chance of capturing a whole tree in your image unless you plan to photograph the trees from a long distance away. You can use your normal lenses to crop the tops of the trees, emphasizing their mass. Using people against the massive trunks will add scale to your images and showcase the trees' girth.

When photographing these huge trees, you will most likely be pointing your camera upward. This will cause distortion with wide-angle lenses that you can correct later in an image-editing program. If you want to the ...

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