Autumn in Paradise

June 9th, 2019

Greetings from the Sierra Nevada,

First, thanks to my students that attended a private workshop with me in Yosemite Valley that past spring. If you wish to see a sample of the scenes we found, see my Springtime in Paradise blog post below.

Here is a selection of favorite Yosemite autumn images from recent years to give you an idea of what we can find. I also have shared some past student comments here.

As for possible dates, the best times to come are the last week of October (28-1st) and the first week of November (4th-7th).

Email me if you have any questions!


Oak and Pine, autumn, Yosemite National Park, California 2012
Sony Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/90 second at f/4, ISO 100

 


Bigleaf Maple and Merced River, autumn, Yosemite National Park, California 2012
Sony Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
6 second at f/27, ISO 100

 


Black Oaks in afternoon backlight, Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California 2012
Sony Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM,
1/8 second at f/16, ISO 100

 


Oak reflections, El Capitan and the Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California 2012
Sony Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM,
1 second at f/16, ISO 100

 


Autumn Oaks and Snowstorm, El Capitan Meadow, Yosemite National Park, California 2013
Sony Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/15 second at f/6.7, ISO 400

 


Cottonwood leaves and cloud reflections, Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California 2013
Sony Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/60 second at f/16, ISO 400

 


Autumn Sunset, El Capitan and the Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California 2013
Sony Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF16-35mm f/2.8L II USM,
2 second at f/13, ISO 100

 


Dogwood and Forest, autumn, Yosemite National Park, California 2013
Sony Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM,
1/3 second at f/8, ISO 100

 


Autumn Elm and Sunbeams, Cook’s Meadow, Yosemite National Park, California 2014
Sony Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/180 second at f/22, ISO 200

 


Autumn Reflections, Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California
Sony Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/180 second at f/2.8, ISO 320

 


Maple leaf and autumn reflections, Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California 2014
Sony Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/60 second at f/4.5, ISO 320

 


Autumn Snowstorm, Yosemite National Park, California 2015
Sony ILCE-7RM2, 70-200mm F2.8 G SSM,
1/8 second at f/16, ISO 400

 


Autumn Snowstorm, Yosemite National Park, California 2015
Sony ILCE-7RM2, 70-200mm F2.8 G SSM,
1/10 second at f/13, ISO 400

 


Autumn Elm and Mist, Yosemite National Park, California
Sony ILCE-7RM2, 70-200mm F2.8 G SSM,
1/30 second at f/25, ISO 125

 


Cottonwoods, Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California
Sony ILCE-7RM2, 70-200mm F2.8 G SSM,
1/4 second at f/22, ISO 100

 


Half Dome, Elm and Sunbeams, Yosemite National Park, California 2016
Sony ILCE-7RM2, 24-105mm F4 G SSM OSS,
1/250 second at f/16, ISO 400

 


Maple Leaves along the Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California 2016
Sony ILCE-7RM2, 70-200mm F2.8 G SSM,
1.60 second at f/22, ISO 100

 


Autumn Oaks and Sunbeams, Yosemite National Park, California 2016
Sony ILCE-7RM2, 24-105mm F4 G SSM OSS,
1/10 second at f/16, ISO 100

 


Clouds at Sunset, El Capitan, Yosemite National Park, California 2016
Sony ILCE-7RM2, 70-200mm F2.8 G SSM,
1/13 second at f/18, ISO 100

 


Merced River Reflections, autumn, Yosemite National Park, California 2018
Sony ILCE-7RM2, FE 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 GM OSS,
3.20 second at f/29, ISO 100

 


Elm Branches, autumn, Yosemite National Park, California 2018
Sony ILCE-7RM2, EF16-35mm f/2.8L II USM,
1/6 second at f/13, ISO 400

 


Dogwood and Forest, autumn, Yosemite National Park, California 2018
Sony ILCE-7RM2, EF24-105/4L IS USM,
1/6 second at f/16, ISO 400

Springtme in Paradise in Monochrome

May 26th, 2019

Here is a collection of new images taken this spring, presented in monochrome.

 


Horsetail Fall and storm clouds, Yosemite National Park, California 2019
Sony ILCE-7RM2, FE 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 GM OSS,
1/5000 second at f/18, ISO 400

 

 


Horsetail Fall, Yosemite National Park, California 2019
Sony ILCE-7RM2, FE 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 GM OSS,
1/1600 second at f/18, ISO 400

 

 


Waterfall, Yosemite National Park, California 2019
Sony ILCE-7RM2, FE 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 GM OSS,
1/2 second at f/20, ISO 100

 

 


Horsetail Fall, Yosemite National Park, California 2019
Sony ILCE-7RM2, FE 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 GM OSS,
1/1000 second at f/18, ISO 100

 

 


Horsetail Fall, Yosemite National Park, California 2019
Sony ILCE-7RM2, FE 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 GM OSS,
1/800 second at f/18, ISO 100

 

 


Dogwood and rapids along the Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California 2019
Sony ILCE-7RM2, FE 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 GM OSS,
1/2 second at f/22, ISO 100

 

 


Waterfall and Mist, Yosemite National Park, California 2019
Sony ILCE-7RM2, FE 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 GM OSS,
1/1600 second at f/7.1, ISO 200

 

 


Dogwood blooming along the Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California 2019
Sony ILCE-7RM2, FE 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 GM OSS,
1/6 second at f/22, ISO 100

 

 

Split Rock and Waterfall, Yosemite National Park, California 2019
SonyILCE-7RM2, FE 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 GM OSS,
1/4 second at f/19, ISO 100

 


Rock and Waterfall, Yosemite National Park, California 2019
Sony ILCE-7RM2, FE 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 GM OSS,
1/2 second at f/32, ISO 100

 

 


Dogwood blossoms and the Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California
Sony ILCE-7RM2, FE 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 GM OSS,
1/1 second at f/20, ISO 100

 

 

Upper Yosemite Fall, Yosemite National Park, California 2019
SonyILCE-7RM2, FE 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 GM OSS,
1/500 second at f/10, ISO 100

Springtime in Paradise

May 12th, 2019

During the last few weeks, I’ve visited Yosemite Valley several times and I’d like to share my new images with you. Having lived in or nearby the Valley for forty years, it would be all too easy to become jaded or bored photographing the small area for so long. Over the course of a year, I really don’t visit that often. However, whenever I go I find something amazing and wonderous to see, and sometimes photograph. When sharing this beauty with my students, I reengage with and refresh my long love affair with this sanctuary, this paradise.

I hope you enjoy this collection, and that you’ve had a chance to engage with springtime in your areas. Please let me know your favs and add your comments below!

Kind regards, Bill

PS To learn more about my Yosemite Private Workshops, click HERE.


Horsetail Fall, Yosemite National Park, California 2019
Sony ILCE-7RM2, FE 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 GM OSS,
1/1600 second at f/18, ISO 400

 


Dogwood and Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California 2019
Sony ILCE-7RM2, FE 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 GM OSS,
1/6 second at f/18, ISO 100

 


Waterfall, Yosemite National Park, California 2019
Sony ILCE-7RM2, FE 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 GM OSS,
1/2 second at f/20, ISO 100

 


Horsetail Fall, Yosemite National Park, California 2019
Sony ILCE-7RM2, FE 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 GM OSS,
1/1000 second at f/18, ISO 100

 


Horsetail Fall, Yosemite National Park, California 2019
Sony ILCE-7RM2, FE 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 GM OSS,
1/800 second at f/18, ISO 100

 


Moon over Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park, California 2019
Sony ILCE-7RM2, FE 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 GM OSS,
1/25 second at f/5.6, ISO 400

 


Dogwood along the Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California 2019
Sony ILCE-7RM2, FE 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 GM OSS,
1/3 second at f/16, ISO 100

 


Spring sunrise over Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California 2019
Sony ILCE-7RM2, FE 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 GM OSS,
1/40 second at f/11, ISO 100

 


Spring Elm, Yosemite National Park, California 2019
Sony ILCE-7RM2, FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM,
1/20 second at f/14, ISO 100

 


Upper Yosemite Fall, Yosemite National Park, California 2019
Sony ILCE-7RM2, FE 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 GM OSS,
1/1600 second at f/5.6, ISO 200

 


Waterfall and Mist, Yosemite National Park, California 2019
Sony ILCE-7RM2, FE 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 GM OSS,
1/1600 second at f/7.1, ISO 200

 


Dogwood over the Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California 2019
Sony ILCE-7RM2, FE 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 GM OSS,
1/6 second at f/22, ISO 100

 


Rock and Waterfall, Yosemite National Park, California 2019
Sony ILCE-7RM2, FE 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 GM OSS,
1/2 second at f/32, ISO 100

 


Spring dogwood, Yosemite National Park, California 2019
Sony ILCE-7RM2, FE 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 GM OSS,
1/2 second at f/18, ISO 100

 


Spring dogwood and Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California 2019
Sony ILCE-7RM2, FE 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 GM OSS,
1/2 second at f/25, ISO 100

 

Whispers And Shouts

April 26th, 2019

Mountain and Iceberg at Twilight, Antarctic Peninsula, Antarctica 2014

Whispers And Shouts

Your subject selection and processing style can and should be affected by what you want to say

What do you want to say? Standing behind your camera, looking through the viewfinder, what inside there inspires you? Once you stop to answer these questions, you must next consider how you want to say it, making choices such as what light or weather will help you create an emotive image. Is what you see now the best option, or do you need to come back in different light or another season? Dramatic lighting during a clearing storm? Soft, subtle light on a cloudy day? During sunrise or sunset?

Yellow Pines in snow, Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California 1990

 

I have written often in this space that I love making high-key images. My intent is that they reflect the quiet, slow-paced meditative experience of the moment of exposure. Simplicity. Subtlety. These are words I value highly in my landscape photography. I love making peaceful and serene images. I strive to distill those aspects of nature that whisper rather than shout.

In my last column, “Write Your Story,” I talked about the use of writing to enhance your photography. I mentioned that creative titles for your portfolios could entice viewers and encapsulate the emotion behind them. I recently came up with a theme title for my high-key imagery: “Whispers of Light.” I feel that the words express my emotions and intentions. My Yellow Pines image shown here, with the use of high-key processing, is part of my newly named portfolio. A heavy snowfall and a rare hush blanketed Yosemite Valley. If you can sense the silence, my photograph has succeeded.

But nature is not always subtle. Sometimes nature makes me want to shout. And howl with joy. I was recently browsing through my Lightroom catalog and remembered an epic scene in Antarctica. The late evening glow combined beautifully with swirling clouds layered across the mountainscapes. I started playing around with processing ideas. What did I want to convey? The light, the massive sense of scale I felt as we sailed past mountains and glaciers for hours? Subtlety was not in order; a shout, not a whisper, was required. I converted the color capture to black-and-white and worked on the file to pull out all of the magic. I am hoping my rendition of the scene translated the power and awe I felt at the time.

Although having a consistent style for your photography is a good thing, one shouldn’t be a slave to that style at the sacrifice of expressing the moment. Most of us gravitate toward seeking out and sharing the most epic lighting or weather or locations. Even though subtle images are less popular online, or perhaps because of it, I continue to pursue the quieter, more intimate landscape images. My two photographs shown here are meant to illustrate that your subject selection or processing style can and should be affected by what you want to say.

How you organize and present your photographs will have a significant impact on how viewers respond to your work. Once you find a theme and style direction, such as my high-key “Whispers of Light” series, you can focus your shooting and processing efforts on that body of work to build depth. This type of portfolio building can take months or years, but the extra focus can make it a more efficient way to create multiple themes in parallel. The stronger your theme’s concept, the stronger the communication to your viewer will be. When you decide what you want to say, you are more likely to be heard—whether you wish to whisper or shout!

Luminous Landscape Interview

April 10th, 2019

Greetings from the Sierra Nevada!

I was recently was interviewed by Josh Reichmann at The Luminous Landscape. To read the interview, see HERE:

https://luminous-landscape.com/william-neill-interview-for-a-retrospective/

Below you will find the collection of images included in the interview. Feel free to add your comments below, especially which one or ones are your favorites.

Happy Spring,

William Neill

PS. Each image includes basic camera data, and the year taken. Thought you might enjoy seeing the wide range of time in which my work has been made.


Black oaks and Cathedral Rocks, Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California 1984
Wista 4×5 Metal Field Camera

 


Crab apple blossoms along the Oconaluftee River, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina 1992
Wista 4×5 Metal Field Camera

 


Cascade Falls, Yosemite National Park, California 2005
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II, 70.0-200.0 mm,
1/1000 second at f/9, ISO 200


Monterey Pines in Fog, Monterey, California 2005
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II, 70.0-200.0 mm,
1/1 second at f/22, ISO 100


Forzen Lake, Lassen Volcanic National Park, California 2004

Wista 4×5 Metal Field Camera

 

 


Winter sunset reflections in Merced River, Gates of the Valley, Yosemite National Park, California 1989

Wista 4×5 Metal Field Camera

 


Sand Dunes, Death Valley National Park, California 2006
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II, 70.0-200.0 mm,
1/6 second at f/32, ISO 100


Pattern in the mud, Paria Canyon/Vermillion Cliffs Wilderness Area, Utah 1985

Wista 4×5 Metal Field Camera

 


Dawn, Mono Lake, California 2006
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II, 70.0-200.0 mm,
20.00 second at f/16, ISO 100


Giant sequoia and fir tree in the fog, Sequoia National Park, California, 1993

Wista 4×5 Metal Field Camera

 


Redbud and dogwood, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee 1991

Wista 4×5 Metal Field Camera

 


Dogwood in bloom and the Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California  1994

Wista 4×5 Metal Field Camera

 


Twilight, Scripps Pier, La Jolla, California 2010
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
20.00 second at f/22, ISO 640


Rock, Water and Tree, Cascade Falls, Yosemite National Park, California 2011
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/2 second at f/27, ISO 320


Erosion, near Ubehebe Crater, Death Valley National Monument, California 1983

Wista 4×5 Metal Field Camera

 


Blue Icebergs, Cierva Cove, Antarctic Peninsula, Antarctica 2014
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM,
1/750 second at f/22, ISO 1600


Iceberg Sculpture, Pleneau Bay, Antarctic Peninsula, Antarctica 2014
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM,
1/125 second at f/19, ISO 800


Ice and Grass, Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California 2015
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, TS-E90mm f/2.8,
1.50 second at f/19, ISO 100


Autumn Snowstorm, Yosemite National Park, California 2015
ILCE-7RM2, 70-200mm F2.8 G SSM,
1/8 second at f/16, ISO 400

 

WHISPERS OF LIGHT


Oak Branches, Ahwahnee, California 2018
ILCE-7RM2, 16-35mm F2.8 G SSM II,
1/4 second at f/16, ISO 400


Pear tree in bloom, Fresno, California 2018
ILCE-7RM2, 16-35mm F2.8 G SSM II,
1/100 second at f/13, ISO 640

 

NATURAL COLLECTIONS


Purple Plum Blossoms #4, 2018
ILCE-7RM2, 90mm F2.8,
1.60 second at f/32, ISO 100

 


Three Big-Leaf Maple leaves, 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 90mm F2.8,
1/2 second at f/20, ISO 100

 


Two Nautilus Shells 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 90mm F2.8,
1/3 second at f/14, ISO 100


Table Mountain, California 2006
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II, 70.0-200.0 mm,
1.60 second at f/22, ISO 100