Tag Archives: El Capitan

El Caps Profile

A quick snap of El Caps’ profile. Amazing color. And such a dominant “rock” in Yosemite Valley.

Finished this in Lightroom 3 and Photoshop CS3 using NIK’s Filters (tonal contrast, darken lighten center and glamour glow). I really like how Glamour Glow softened the “hardness” of the rock… gave it a bit more pop (as photographers say!). Didn’t apply to the trees… wanted the environment surrounding El Capitan to remain sharp.


Golden Water

Water just fascinates me… Like a dancing flame consuming precious oxygen it seems to have a life and mind of its own. An unconquerable spirit… it flows where it wants to so long as gravity gives it permission. My eyes have seen its handiwork in the Slot Canyons of the Southwest where its power and ageless flow carved the earth in ways only the imagination could capture. In Yosemite, water acts like a big reflector, and when the sun is high enough in the sky, it acts like a big mirror bouncing light all over the place.

At the base of Bridalveil Falls where the water cascades away, it captures and holds the brilliant tan/gold hue of El Capitan’s face about a 1/4 mile or so away. Now El Cap is a huge hunk of granite, mind you, and I mean HUGE. So as the sun rises and the light bounces everywhere, the rivers, streams and ponds catch it and reflect it in many ways; some placidly reflect the scene above in perfect clarity, others twist it and turn it as their rapids distort and delightfully play with the light.

Literally where I was standing it seemed the water turns liquid gold before your eyes. It’s easy to just watch it. Watch it rush away. Watch the colors change from light to dark, from soft to hard, from brilliant to more brilliant depending on the shadows of the trees, clouds and intensity of the suns rays. Here in a quiet corner of this forest, nature is at work. And she never fails to disappoint.

This is one of those places that I know I’ll return to again… someday. I just know I will… to see if the gold water still runs as brilliant as it did for me this day.

El Capitan & The Merced River in B&W

Yosemite National Park with its rich textures and amazing grandur really lends itself to black and white photographs… and panoramas.

So when you put the two together you tend to get an awesome image. This is 2 shots stitched in CS3 of El Capitan, and the Merced River rapidly flowing beneath its base. This was shot pretty late in the day, and the mist over the fallen snow was beginning to rise giving even more punch to the B&W treatment. Used NIK’s awesome Silver Efex Pro for the Black & White conversion…


Once in a Lifetime…

Tonights’¬†moon is full. Last night the moon was about 99% full.

Headed up to “Tunnelview” which overlooks the entire Yosemite Valley. Made famous, of course by Ansel Adams, this iconic photo is synonymous with this location. You have half dome in the distance, El Capitan to the left and of course Bridalveil Falls roaring in the lower right of the image.

Considering the elements of weather and the season, having a clear night to shoot this image is nothing short of amazing. Many times as a photographer you go out hoping to capture something magical, something moving… something that will connect with the viewer. And many times, clouds roll in, rain pours down, the light is flat, etc. Frustrating, for sure. But honestly… nights like last night, where you get a chance to capture something magical make it all worth it.

Makes me glad I was “there” to witness it. After shooting was finished, I sat back and soaked it all in. “Pure Magic…” I thought to myself… Glad I can share the moment with you…

P.S. CANNOT wait to get home and get this printed for the Gallery. Thinking of printing it on Aluminum to really bring out the breathtaking detail.