Forest Reflections, Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California 2012
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/10 second at f/16, ISO 320
Copyright © 2012 William Neill
Last week, I drove up Yosemite Valley (1.5 hrs from my home) to deliver two framed prints for the Yosemite Renaissance XXVII Exhibit. It was a beautiful day, but it was not a particularily photogenic one. The skies were clear, highlights and shadows harsh, and patches of snow cluttered the meadows. I almost went home, but then decided to drive to the shaded, south side of the Valley where snow remained unmelted after the previous day’s storm. I walked to the banks of the Merced River, alone beneath granite walls of the sacred temple that is Yosemite Valley. Immediately upon reaching the river, I was captured by these stunning reflections. Fortunately, I let my instincts guide me, with 35 years of living in and around Yosemite helping me to “arrive” where something simple and magical was happening. The oaks of El Capitan Meadow, darkened by the shadow of Cathedral Rocks, stood out dramatically against the bright afternoon reflections of the west shoulder of El Capitan.
I worked on variations of this scene for around half an hour, engrossed in balancing the key elements, finding the right camera position, and trying different shutter speeds. Many images that I made were with slower shutter speeds than the 1/10 of a sec used here. In order to hold good depth of focus I used f/16. For a shutter speed fast enough to show the strong ripple textures, I bumped up my ISO to 320 for a faster shutter speed. What attracted me here were the graphic lines of tree reflections and ripple patterns. I will post another version, with a slower shutter speed, for a comparison.
For now, enjoy this quiet view of Yosemite Valley.