Monday, January 24, 2011
My wife and I spent the day going from one spot in Yosemite to another. This is one location I never tire of. With every curve in the road or twist in a trail there is another breath-taking view. This first photo is of a stone bridge that crosses over Yosemite Falls Creek (just down stream from Lower Yosemite Falls). It's not one of the Valley's more famous bridges (that's probably why no one was taking photos of it); however when the sunlight pokes its way through the trees and reflects off the creek creating a golden glow on the under curves of the bridge, you just have to stop and spend a few minutes watching the reflection ripple upward.
Another location in Yosemite Valley that is missed by many is Fern Falls. Unless you know what you are looking for or where this very small falls is located, it is easy to overlook. Even in the summer most Yosemite trekkers overlook this spot. Winter shooting (even if the sun is shining) is difficult because of the deep shadows and flashes of bright lighting that fall on the snow. This photo was taken in a very shadowed light. Even with fill flash it was almost too dark to capture. ISO was bumped up as were the exposure and sensitivity settings.
White snow against dark green moss, granite rock, and dirt... I was happy to even be able to capture what I did...
Going to the north side of the Valley from the south side created a totally different view and lighting. Here in the meadow in front of Yosemite Falls is a view of the snow, the tree line, and the falls. The skies were clear and deep blue. At the bottom of the falls was formed an ice dome (about thirty to thirty-five feet high and about forty feet across.
Here is a close up of the ice dome from just under the Lower Falls. The spray off the rock where the Falls reaches bottom is what causes the freezing water to form a egg shaped dome of ice.
I'll be posting more Yosemite photographs soon... check back for a view of a panorama I took from the Merced River looking back toward the east end of the Valley. Sunset, full moon rising, and a low misty fog hovering over a meadow.
Sunday, January 23, 2011
January 22, 2011… it should be cold and it just was not. Well, not unless you were in the Central Valley of California enduring the very thick and frigid fog. After days of seeing fog, the call to the warm sun was just too hard to resist.
Early in the morning it was off to the Sierra’s. Taking my wife and my two oldest grandchildren to Dodge Ridge for a day of snowboarding, I dropped them off and headed back down to Pinecrest Lake for a quick few shots.
The lake was semi-frozen (with a very thin crust of ice on the top and dozens of signs warning people to stay off the unstable ice). Ignoring the fact that the sun was directly over the south side of the lake, I spent a couple of hours walking the north shore from the west. This panoramic shot was from the western edge of the lake at the Pinecrest beach area.
The warning sign said it all: “WARNING: Unstable Ice & Snow – KEEP OFF”. With that kind of a warning, and the fact that you could visibly see cracks in the ice, you would think that people would pay more attention to the warm conditions and how the affected the thin ice. On my shoreline trek I saw people walking their dogs and following the rules of “Keep Off the ice”… Just before I left there was a young couple with their three small (very small) dogs… Suddenly, SPLASH! In went one of the dogs. Yelp! Yelp! Then a second and a third SPLASH!!! I was about thirty feet away when I heard the young woman screaming to her dogs to get out of the water. The man kept shouting “Where did he go?” As I got closer, one, then two, then all three appeared between the rocks… shivering and shaking. I’m sure glad the small dogs got out when they did as the air may have been warm, the water was not. The guy was just seconds away from trying to reach into the freezing water to get them… I think he saw the water was deeper than he expected and chose not to chance it.
It was an exciting few moments at Pinecrest Lake that day. The warning signs said it all: “Unstable Ice & Snow – KEEP OFF”. Well, all’s well that ends well. The views were fantastic.