This part of the trip is fast becoming my favorite activity in the park. I spend a good 4-5 hours circling the valley floor looking for scenes to capture. You have the road to yourself (at that time of the year) and some real solitude in one of the busiest National Parks. As you stop and set up, the quiet darkness calls to your sensible and not so sensible side. While the peaceful night wraps around you and takes you into a warm embrace, the out of eyesight noises can start to conjure a myriad of possibilities. Especially when there is a loud crash and you are not so sure if it was a tree limb or a large creature. Pine branch or black bear, your choice!
Classic Yosemtie Falls
Night Cloud Over Gunsight
April 2010 Yosemite Valley at Night
The fantastic part of visiting Yosemite is that at any time of the year, you can expect the unexpected. Take this April for instance. I was all set to shoot the Moonbow during the limited window of time and conditions that create this phenomenon and skirted off to the park after a quick weekend at Kennedy Meadows for the trout season opening (someone forgot to remind the fish!). One of the keys to getting this shot is good weather on the night of the full moon, and as seems to have become a pattern, Yosemite lulls you into wonderful weather the days before and then hits you with one of her many twists. Like a full blown rain and snow storm. As I was in the park early to scope out the conditions, the waterfalls were pounding as hard as I have seen at that time of the year, so hard that just standing at the observation platform at lower Yosemite Falls was difficult given the hurricane force of wind and water! The first night I did not even bother to shoot since the lens would mist up within a few seconds. One door closes and the other opens. Night time on the valley floor was 4 hours of absolute fun.
Hope you have enjoyed this photo trip and as always, May our paths and errands meet...