Great Blue Heron
I had the opportunity to drive into Yosemite National Park yesterday. I squared away my new annual pass and got some needed information for the coming weeks. (park entry reservations, road closures, etc.)
Winter in Yosemite can be a challenging pursuit but the rewards sometimes surprise you. Case in point, after driving around the valley, I found a pullout near the river, stopped grabbed my gear and headed gingerly over the icy berm. (Falling awhile carrying camera gear, not fun). I found a few photo opts but they were just OK. Then out of the corner of my eye, through the trees I saw a steel colored shape! It was this heron!
Scrambled back to the car, switched out my lens (Tamron 150-600mm) and tried to quietly sneak back down to a spot where I thought I could take a decent photo. This heron kept one eye on me the entire crunchy, slippery time down the embankment. He allow me to fire off a few good shots and then flew off when another family parked and explored near by.
Merced River views
Drove into Yosemite Valley last weekend for a quick overnight stay. Played tourist and walked and drove to all the well known spots. This view from the Merced River looking towards El Captain never disappoints me.
Pursuit of the Firefall
I remember the first time that I saw an image of the Last light on Horsetail Falls, Yosemite by Galen Rowell. In 1973 he was one of the first photographers to capture this iconic image. My sister and I were on one our road trips along the Eastern Sierras and we stopped in Bishop, CA for the night. We wandered around town and found Mountain Light Gallery and went in. The gallery images were breathtaking and inspiring to me. Galen Rowell described his style of photography as “a continuing pursuit in which the art becomes the adventure, and vice-versa.” I was hooked! Because he was ‘local’, it meant that some of his locations were attainable to me as well. These were adventures that I could pursue and hope to mimic some of his artistry as well. But a funny thing happened along the way in this pursuit of the shot; I found that being “present” in my environment meant so much more than just getting the shot.
‘Yes’ I’m a lemming that travels to Yosemite during February to get the ultimate shot of the Firefall. I park and wait for hours for that ten minute window when the setting sun sets and starts to illuminate Horsetail Falls. I also talk with other photographers and listen to their stories of their ‘first time’ seeing the mountain go from golden yellow to an intense lava red in a stream of glory. My follow photographers and site seers alike commiserate and then become awestruck by this phenomenon. I’ve been disappointed when the weather conditions didn’t cooperate. I’ve scouted different angles and vantage points and was vexed many times. And yet, this is my adventure and I find that each time I enjoy it so much. Maybe, my photo will inspire others to seek out their own adventures. Who knows…
Looking Forward to 2017
I’ve been a MIA on WordPress for awhile now but will be back starting 2017! Here’s a sneak peak!
Reduced to a Trickle
Yosemite’s Bridal Veil Falls is normally a torrent of water in the Spring. On this trip it was reduced to a trickle.
Added a neutral density filter to the lens and it gave the illusion of stillness on the river.
Middle of the Merced
In the photo, I felt like I was standing in the middle of the Merced river looking down river. This river is usually twice as wide.
Fall on the Merced River
Being in California, I’m very fortunate that Yosemite is a few hours away. I usually don’t venture into the park during the holidays but I thought it would be fun to look for something interesting to shoot. It’s Fall now and there are the fallen leaves that line the shores of the Merced River for additional color. I liked how in the top of this photo it’s calm and in the foreground there is all this motion.
South Fork Tuolumne River
The South Fork of the Tuolumne river feeds the Rainbow Pools. I ventured upstream a bit to take some long exposures of the water flows.