On our first day in Yosemite National Park we made the trip over the just-opened Tioga Road which takes you into the beautiful backcountry north of Yosemite Valley. After a stop at Olmsted Point, we continued eastward towards Lee Vining keeping our eyes open for new shooting opportunities. While generally everything was still buried in snow and hiking wans't much of an option, we caught several glimpses of raging water off the side of the road. Curiosity got the best of us and we found a place to stop a ways east of Tuolumne Meadows, to this point on the Dana Fork (fed by snow melt from Mount Dana, Mount Gibbs, and Mammoth Peak) just before it converges with the rest of the Tuolumne River.
After a short climb around the snowy banks we all seemed to converge at this one point which seemed to have the greatest confluence of color, light, and motion. Shooting in mid-afternoon I was somewhat hesitant to try to take in too much of the scene - direct sun, trees, snow, skies, and shodows all together make for difficult exposures. I've been trying to adopt a "less is more" philosophy and really just wanted to focus on the colorful rock and the color and texture of the trees behind it. Friends John and Suad, however, illustrated how well the broader scene could be captured.
We returned to this scene on our way back through the following day and the light just wasn't the same. When an opportunity presents itself you almost never get to recreate it again, I'm glad we made this initial stop and didn't put it off for the next day.
Nikon D90 | Nikon 18-200VR@26mm | f/11 | 5s | ISO200 | Tripod | ND400 Filter
See more related images in my Yosemite National Park Gallery.
All text and images © Tyler Westcott, All rights reserved, Unless otherwise noted.