Autumn is one of my favorite times of year. The crisp air and shorter days stimulate the senses, and the light takes on a magical quality. Throughout the country the deciduous trees from aspen to maple are a visual reminder that summer has passed and that winter is not far off. And for the photographer, this transition is literally a golden opportunity to capture the landscape in its finest hour.
When many people think of fall color the hardwood forests of the eastern United States immediately come to mind, but the aspen groves of the western states and the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California in particular can rival even the sugar maples of Vermont. Photographing aspens is often best on overcast days when the light is soft and harsh shadows are minimized or late in the day when the sky is clear and the warm back-light makes them glow from within. This image was made along Rush Creek near June Lake just moments before the sun dropped behind the Sierra peaks.