A couple of years ago, a couple of photography friends and I travelled to Yosemite in early November. The trip proved to be quite successful; arriving on the 2nd, we had several days of lovely clear skies and sunshine with the fall colors. This was followed by some freezing weather and then a nice snowstorm with about 5 to 7 inches of snow. Snow from early winter storms generally does not last very long, so it was great to be there to be able to work the magic that the change of conditions in Yosemite Valley offered.
The fun and challenge of visiting Yosemite is contending with all of the famous photographers who have gone before, starting with Carleton Watkins, whose images taken in 1861 convinced President Lincoln to sign a bill preserving Yosemite from development. Eadweard Muybridge followed Watkins with his innovative stop-motion images. The Kolb Brothers expedition down the Colorado River was published in the August 1914 issue of National Geography. But the Lion was Ansel Adams, whose focus on the ephemeral moments of light and shadow, clouds and hardscape, immortalized Yosemite for all future generations. Of course, there continue to be other great photographers who visited Yosemite, like Galen Rowell, Michael Frye and a host of others.
So, on Friday morning, we were out early to take advantage of the snow at all the famous locations. After visiting the Merced River with its view of El Capitan, we returned to the Yosemite village for some food. From the valley floor, I quickly shot this image of the golden leaves of several cottonwood trees in front of Sentinel Rock, side-lit by the morning sun. It's a simple image, but I like the showcase of yellow against the blue shade of the Sentinel Rock. As they say, it's the camera that you have with you that counts.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor