El Capitan, Yosemite NP, California, USA by Steve Waranauskas

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Picture Story

The iconic Dawn Wall of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park with me trying to be Ansel Adams for a moment. It was a clear, chilly morning but the best light comes about an hour after sunrise so I didn't have to get up in the pre-dawn hours and trek in the dark to get here. The severe California drought of 2016 allowed me to walk out to a spot that's normally in the middle of the Merced River. Had this been a typical year, I would have not gotten a reflection with the river flowing. Moved around to get some different perspectives but I liked the fact that this one wasn't a total symmetrical reflection of the monolith and the leaves and the curve of the puddle add some foreground interest. I took this photo in early September so while the park was crowded in other areas, I was the only photographer in this location at the time which made for a peaceful respite from the crowds elsewhere.

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