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A glimpse of Yosemite
written by Fred Miranda

Yosemite Valley - Misty Sunrise | D30, ISO 100 | 50 f/1.4

Yosemite National park is one of the most photographed, and painted places in the world. People come from all over to experience its magnificent beauty. In Yosemite, you experience breathtaking scenery. In just about any location of the park, you can be standing there with your arms full of professional equipment and out of the corner of your eye; catch a glimpse of another photographer, a painter, or a tourist with a disposable camera. The joy is in the fact that you will all inevitably leave with images that you will cherish for years to come.

 

Yosemite Valley | 17-35L

 

Although there are several fantastic locations to shoot, my favorite place is exploring the Yosemite Valley. In my opinion, it is the heart of this National Park. Through out the valley you will find all kinds of hidden treasures. I found sunrise to be the best time of day to shoot the valley trees. Nothing is as stunning as watching the morning mist rise above the earth as the sun rises to shine it's light among the colored leaves of the valley fall foliage.

 

Yosemite Valley | Colors of Fall | D30, ISO 100 | 70-200 f/2.8L

 

Yosemite Valley | Morning Glory | 17-35L

 

Yosemite Valley | 17-35L

 

 

For sunset, it is a must for you to plant yourself in front of half dome. It is known as the Hallmark of Yosemite, located 4800 feet above the eastern end of the valley. Moments before sunset, photographers start setting up their tripods and wait for the sun's light to work its charm.

Legend has it that the Ahwahneechee people, who were the Indian people that once lived there, called it Tis-sa-ack. Named after a woman who was turned to stone because of her anger. Some say that even today, her tears of sadness are still visible on the half-dome sheet wall. At sunset, there is a reddish glow to Tis-sa-ack. When shooting, keep in mind that this optimal sunset lighting is very short lived. You will only have about five minutes to capture the textures and patterns of Half-Dome as it is revealed by the sun's setting light.

 

Half Dome | D30, ISO 100 | 24mm f/3.5 TSE (3 pictures)

 

Half Dome | 135mm f/2L

 

 

Another outstanding location, in the Yosemite Valley is Glacier point. From there you have the best bird's eye view, of not only Half-Dome, but of the entire valley. There, you can see the vast High Sierras in a panoramic setting. It is truly amazing and breathtaking to photograph the sunset from there as it changes and exposes the color, shadows and details of this spectacular overlook.

 

Vernal Falls | 24-70L

 

Yosemite | 24-70L

 

 

If time allows, I advise taking a short drive through the Eastern Sierra to another fantastic location, known as Mono Lake or Navy Beach. Head west from the Valley to get there. At the lake, you will find Tufa towers, which are delicate sand formations expanding around the lake, and rising up through it. These unique formations are extremely fragile. The stark contrast from the protruding rocks to the delicate waters makes this an interesting subject to photograph.

 

Mono Lake - D30 - iso100 - Copyright © 2001 Fred Miranda

 

Mono Lake - Copyright © 2001 Fred Miranda

 


For all of the above images, I used my standard D30 workflow which consists of D30 LPbatch (for the best color accuracy possible), followed by Velvia Vision and Intellisharpen II.

There are many people who have devoted much of their lives to photographing, studying and writing about Yosemite, I do not claim to be an expert on the matter. This was only a brief introduction based on my personal perspective after several limited visits. I hope you will take the time to explore Yosemite for yourself and find the hidden treasures that await everyone who visits this National Park.

Happy Shooting

 

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