|Rainbow at the base of Lower Yosemite Falls.|
I had my itinerary set long before leaving, and was excited to return to this fabulous park. What I didn't plan for was the crazy spring that mother nature had instore for us!
|El Capitan reflected in snow melt pond.|
|Evening light on Half Dome.|
|Upper Yosemite Falls|
Another excellent place to photograph the falls from is on trails from the opposite side of the valley. However, snow prevented access to these during our visit.
|Cathedral Spires reflection.|
I found mid-morning to be the best time to photograph this reflection. I arrived at first light, but found the scene most captivating with the shadows gone and everything fully lit by the sun. I worked both horizontals and verticals with this scene - and liked them both.
|El Capitan reflected in Merced River.|
While I briefly had some company during my first visit to this beach (a couple I had actually met the evening prior at Tunnel View), I had it all to myself on my return visit. However, I had better clouds and reflection opportunities during my first visit - just another reason why it is so beneficial to visit the same location multiple times to increase your chances of success.
|Yosemite Valley from Tunnel View at sunset.|
I spent a few evenings at Tunnel View, and really only got decent light on my last visit. I scouted Tunnel View almost every evening, however. It was interesting to watch the crowds. On clear, sunny days, evening crowds would be small with rarely a single DSLR present. Throw some clouds in the afternoon sky and the heavy duty tripods would show up in force! It was very easy to distinguish the professionals from the amatures, and easy to predict simply by looking towards the sky!
|Half Dome reflected in a tarn.|
I set up my tripod roadside and pulled up a chair to wait for the special light to strike Half Dome's face, but was totally bored with the composition. I noticed a foot path nearby heading out into the meadow and decided to go for a walk. I found a nice reflection shot in a tarn with some interesting tufts of grass to put in the forefront. Bingo! I was in my happy place! Unfortunately, the dramatic light I hoped for never came as a system was moving in and a cloud bank to the west blocked the sun's final rays. So many things have to come together for that perfect image. While we photographers control some of these, many we do not.
|A coyote hunts in the snow-covered meadows near Curry Village.|
We were blessed with a special sighting along the way however - a coyote hunting and successfully catching its morning breakfast in the meadows near Curry Village. It was very fascinating to watch.
If you've liked the images appearing on this page, then you will be happy to know that you can view them and many more in my new Yosemite National Park gallery!
Some final comments about our visit:
Bicycles were an excellent way to get around in the valley. I did much of my scouting during the day on bike, riding the entire valley loop on multiple occasions. I highly recommend bringing them.
The shuttle buses offered an effective way to get around as well, but were much longer and restrictive. They were also quite full during mid-day and seats were at a premium. Understand they were still on their limited spring schedule during our visit. I still believe they serve an excellent purpose and recommend using them - we did!
I had hoped to catch up with my friend and former Mount Rainier climbing ranger, Mike Gauthier during my visit. Mike is now serving as Chief of Staff for Yosemite National Park. Unfortunately for us, he was back up in our home state of Washington enjoying some down time during this particular week - next time, Gator!