Having visitors is always a good excuse to go to places that you haven’ been to for a while. Muir Woods National Monument was one such destination. If only we had known just how many other people had the same idea, we might have aimed to get there a lot earlier in the day. As it was, we got there a bit alter in the afternoon. A short while later and it might have been a lot easier to park. Of course, late in the day in winter means fading light and being in a heavily wooded area means even less light!
Muir Woods is a great place to wander. Having a lot of other visitors means it is a little less tranquil. My previous visits have obviously been off peak and usually involved colder and damper weather. This time it was dry and warm(ish). The trees are majestic and often interestingly shaped. However, being so close to such large trees as coastal redwoods does make it hard to get the images that you have in your mind.
The light is tricky and the angles wide. Some playing with HDR and panoramas certainly helped out. Sometimes it was just fun to look straight up. The shapes there are exactly as you imagine them. The dynamic range is so large that even HDR doesn’t always cover it (at least the way I was bracketing the shots) but it still worked out okay.