Valley View… what a view!

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Another icon I know, but who could resist taking a photograph of this place! Before arriving, I had read Michael Frye’s book detailing some of the best places to shoot in Yosemite and when to shoot them. As I soon discovered, though there is no bad time to visit Yosemite, summer isn’t always going to offer the classic and dramatic conditions that make for truly remarkable images.

Another often-photographed scene, this location is literally right off the road as you leave the valley floor. On the morning we arrived here, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, and I was shooting with some pretty hard light from the right hand side of the scene. I bracketed shots, and this is a blend of two images… one exposed for the foreground, and one for the sky. The strong light really lit up the foreground, though the face of El Capitan was still in shadow. I used a polarizer to strengthen the colors and reduce the glare from the river, and Sam patiently stood just out of the frame to provide shade and to cut down on flare from the sun. It really was this bright and colorful… an incredible sight indeed!

merced_river1

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2 thoughts on “Valley View… what a view!

  1. Beautiful images!

    I was just going through some Yosemite images a couple of days ago. I feel like I am relieving our trip through your eyes. It truly is a magnificent place. I will say that the light can be a killer out there particularly on those sunny, cloudless days. And with just a few sunrise/sunset opportunities, one feels the need to shoot all day. I am finding that some images are turning out much better if I create multiple exposures in Lightroom and process them using Photomatix HDR.

    Have a great time. I guess by now you are in Big Sur, another miraculous place.

    • David Patterson

      Ed… thanks. I haven’t had any luck with HDR… am going to have to brush up on my processing skills. When I get some time I am also going to take a look at converting some of the daytime shots to black and white. In San Francisco for a couple of days and then off to Big Sur… trip is going by so fast!

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