Last week (16-19 November 2021), I made a quick run to Yosemite National Park. It was my first visit there since September 2009, and I was anxious to get out and capture some images.
I arrived at the Tunnel View around 3:30 p.m., just in time to catch the setting sun light up El Capitan and the rising near-full moon. The next day was a picture-perfect but essentially cloudless day. Thursday was overcast, and Friday morning, overnight rain showers were clearing.
Even though this was my fourth or fifth trip to Yosemite (the first in 1985), I learned the lesson that you really need to be intimately familiar with a location to take full advantage of the light at various times of the day. I thought that going to the Valley View location along the Merced River later in the afternoon would make for a good shot. Instead, I learned that the low autumn sun and high cliffs cast shadows that made for a very contrasty scene.
I also had to remind myself that I wasn’t simply there to “get the shot,” but that I needed to slow down and simply enjoy being in such a magical location.
Here are some of my better shots from my time there (click to enlarge any photo).