In all the years I lived in California, I never visited Yosemite. Now, over six years after moving, finally I have seen the place. It's beautiful indeed; if perhaps a little more developed than I'd like (of necessity, but still). For some reason I expected it to be larger than it actually is. Some of the roads are closed for repairs, making the traffic pattern somewhat disconcerting. It's clear that it would be necessary to return at other times of the year in order to fully experience all its moods.
As one of the most photographed sites in the world, Yosemite doesn't offer many opportunities for unique vistas. At every location could be found crowds of photographers lined up as if to cover a news conference, with equipment of all descriptions ranging from cell-phone cameras, to disposable 35mm snapshot cameras, consumer digital cameras, up through the very high-end equipment. At any given moment, hundreds if not thousands of exposures are being recorded of the main attractions. I had no choice but to try my hand at it, but little chance of producing anything unique or outstanding. I did seek out what I considered to be unusual angles in the hope of producing at least a few images not heavily duplicated.
Here are some highlights from a Saturday spent getting to know the place a little.
Majestic El Capitan, standing guard over the park, invites us in.
El Capitan in the morning light looms above the trees.
El Capitan reflected in a partially frozen pool along a creek. The frozen bank of the creek roughly traces the contours of the mountain.
Evening rolls around. El Capitan in the warmer pre-sunset glow, beams proud before its illumination begins to fade.
Bridal Veil Fall. This time of year, little light is available. What appear to be deposits of snow probably result from the waterfall's own spray freezing as it falls to the ground nearby.
Heckel & Jeckel.
Rusty Mirror Lake.
Half Dome in the sunset glow.
If you haven't been to Yosemite, the following picture snapped from a commercial flight in late March of 2006 may help to explain the relative positions of the popular sites. I've highlighted a number of sites and annotated them. If I manage to get a better shot in the future, I'll replace it here. Please click the image for a larger view.
Aerial view of Yosemite National Park from a commercial flight.
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