One new photograph, almost every day of the year

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2018—Looking Up

On our first morning n Yosemite National Park last week, we visited Tunnel View.  We visited Tunnel View at least once, sometimes twice, a day each day we were there.  The look was different every time we visited and the vista changed before our eyes, as well.  We had storms most of the the week and the patterns in the clouds changed constantly.  The first morning, the storms were coming but hadn’t arrived in full force.  This cloud pattern intrigued me so I pointed my camera up to capture the clouds.

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2018—Monolith

El Capitan is a magnificent monolith that dominates the skyline at Tunnel View in Yosemite National Park.  I isolated it by using a 500mm lens as the morning sun crossed its craggy face, emphasizing its cracked and crevaced walls.

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2018—Never the Same

The view of Yosemite Valley from the Tunnel View outlook is different every time you visit.  It can change before your eyes.  The light, the clouds, the mists, the time of day all work together to create unforgettable pictures of this beautiful place, each view, unique.

This view was taken before 7 AM.  El Capitan, Cloud’s Rest, and Half Dome, barely visible through the clouds, are almost unrecognizeable.  Bridal Veil Falls was free of clouds when I took this shot but soon after, it, too, disappeared into the mists.  I converted the photograph to black and white.  The only color visible was a smidgeon of blue in the sky and reflected off the snow on the mountains.

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2018—Autumn Leaves

Despite the holiday decorations, carols playing in every store, and Christmas tree lots on every corner, it is still autumn for another couple of weeks.  The oak trees in Yosemite Valley last week still clung to their leaves even as snow began to fall.

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2018—Black and White World

Yosemite last week was mostly a black and white world.  Except for a couple of very brief moments, we had no sun.  The skies were overcast and the clouds hung low, accumulating in the valleys and clinging to the sides of the mountains.  Despite the lack of color, the beauty of the place shone.  Here is another view of Bridal Veil Falls, engulfed in clouds.

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2018—Stoneman Bridge

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.

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2018—River of Clouds

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.

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2018—Slow Stream

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.

2018–When the Rain Comes

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.

2018 —A Brief Clearing

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.