There are several stone bridges that span the Merced River at various placres in Yosemite National Park. The bridges were constructed in t he 1920s in the early days of the park. The Stoneman Bridge crosses the river near the Lower Pines campground. From our vantage point, we looked toward Glacier Point but because the clouds hung so low in the valley that afternoon, there was no view from the bridge, only mists and fog. We stepped down to the bank of the river so that we could center the bridge in the photograph. My fear of stumbling down the embankment kept me at a slightly higher place than the others who managed to stand on boulders at the very edge of the river. Despite being a little further to the left than would have been ideal, I am still pleased with the placement of the bridge and the misty look and feel to the background.
We spent five incredible days in Yosemite Valley this past week. We visited the Tunnel View vista at least once a day while we were there. No two visits were remotely similar. Most of the week was either overcast or cloudy or raining but on Friday, our last day there, by sunset, most of the clouds had given way to clear skies but because of the rain earlier in the week and the smattering of snow Thursday night, the valley included a dense layer of low clouds, almost like the Sacramento Valley’s tule fog. The clouds follow the Merced River and hovered in the midst of the trees almost like a river of clouds.
Farewell, Yosemite. I look forward to seeing you again soon.
Thundering down the sheer rock face, water from Yosemite Falls fills the creek with runoff heading toward the Merced River. I blurred the water in this shot by reducing the ISO to 31 which slowed the shutter speed to 1/2 second.
The rain has been almost constant in Yosemite Valley this week. The weather has made this a challenging and exciting week of photography. That has not deterred us at all from photography since we are following Moose Peterson’s philosophy about rain and camera gear: When it’s too wet for us, it’s too wet for the camera gear. We don’t use rain covers for our cameras. Instead, we keep dry towels tucked in a pocket and periodically pat the camera to soak up the rain drops and clean drops off the front filter. Thursday morning put Moose’s philosophy to the test. Our plan for Thursday morning was to walk to Yosemite Falls, just a short distance from the Yosemite Valley Lodge where we’re staying. A storm cell stayed over us most of the night, delaying our start by an hour. At 7:30AM, we set out for the falls and no sooner had we set out than the skies opened up again. We kept walking on to the falls. We were able to shoot from a couple of vantage points before the rain became too much for our gear. Within less than a half hour, we were driven back, completely drenched, our drying towels too wet to daub the cameras dry and our gear needing some TLC.
I’m from fire scorched and drought stricken California so the rains are more than welcome. Yosemite Falls was dry last week so the sounds of the gushing falls was thrilling to hear.
In this shot Yosemite Falls is visible through the tall trees, as they swirl with mist and rain partially obscures them.
The weather in Yosemite National Park is not what was predicted last week. We were anticipating fresh snow and lots of it. What we have is fresh rain and lots of it. So much rain, in fact, that several of the access roads into Yosemite are closed, including one major closure due to rock and mud slides. We’ve received numerous emergency flash flood warnings on our iPhones but the inclement weather is not keeping us from photographing the gorgeous Yosemite Valley.
Wednesday afternoon between storms, the clouds were so low they surrounded the mountains and at times almost obscured the thundering flows of Upper and Lower Yosemite Falls, dry only last week. This photograph of the low clouds surrounding the falls with the sky finally turning blue after two days of total gray, is one of the last photographs I took late Wednesday afternoon. Soon after, the gorgeous light disappeared and intermittent raindrops became constant.
Using Nikon’s new Nikkor 500mm PF lens is a dream. But, I never dreamed I’d be using it for landscape photographs. It is proving to be a vital addition to my camera bag for landscape, and here in Yosemite National Park, it’s getting lots of landscape practice before I use it for its intended purpose, bird photography. While I await my next bird trip in a couple of weeks, I’m discovering that this long lens can be a creative way to showcase many of the iconic views here from a different perspective. While we were at Tunnel View Tuesday morning, Bridal Veil Falls was dwarfed by the massive granite features around it. It appears as a small white line on the rock face. In my photograph, taken with the 500mm lens, I was able to isolate the falls from the peaks surrounding it and get the entire falls in the frame.
Finishing the photograph in black and white with assistance from Moose Peterson during our Digital Darkroom session, in a few steps this photograph changed from ordinary to wow!
Before the rain started Tuesday afternoon, we visited a meadow that stretches out toward Half Dome. We were just a few feet away from the Yosemite Half Dome WebCam that is situated on the eaves of a park employee’s home. The clouds were scudding by quickly so we took the opportunity to take long exposures using the Breakthrough 6 stop filter to blur the clouds.
ISO 31; 34 seconds; f/20 at 24mm.
One of Yosemite’s iconic views is from Tunnel View, looking out over the Yosemite Valley at El Capitan, Cloud’s Rest, and Half Dome. We arrived before sunrise to see the saddle and Half Dome powdered with fresh snow. It took a bit of prodding from Moose but I finally attached my new Nikkor 500 mm lens and captured this shot as the rising sun colored the clouds.
On our first morning in Arches National Park, we watched the moon set as the sunrise colored the sky.
While we were at Double Arch in Arches National Park a couple of weeks ago, I wandered over to an out of the way boulder because something on it caught my attention. A patch of lichen and a small crease on the rock beneath it looked to me like a stemmed flower laying across the rock.