Yosemite National Park, California, USA by Robert Elenbaas

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Picture Story

My brother and I participated in an interesting photography conference in February 2020. The conference included a variety of field sessions and classroom-type activities led by an excellent faculty of renowned photographers. After flying to Southern California from my home in Arizona to meet up with my brother, we drove the seven hours or so to Yosemite National Park. We had been watching the weather forecast and anticipated much warmer than usual temperatures in Yosemite while we would be there. But imagine our surprise and initial disappointment when we arrived in Yosemite to find essentially no snow…..in February!

To make matters worse, we were in for several days of cloudless skies, the bane of the landscape photographer. But we found ways to make lemonade from the lemons Mother Nature had given us. After all, this is Yosemite. One of the most beautiful and inspirational places on Earth. One morning we were headed for Cook’s Meadow, which can be a wonderland under a blanket of February snow and ice. Not this year! However, it had gotten cold enough overnight to freeze the mist created by Upper Yosemite Falls, depositing it in a feathery pattern on the surrounding rock face. The early morning scene was already pretty absent of color, and I figured it would lend itself to a relatively high contrast black and white rendition. By shooting with my 70-300mm telephoto lens at 155mm, I was able to focus the composition on the falls with just enough sky to provide some context.


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