Yosemite National Park is a special place for my family and me. We made our first trip to the park in the early 2000s, and since then, we have visited every season when any opportunity presents itself.
Last fall, we made another trip back, hoping to catch one last chance to photograph the Milky Way, but as we started to leave the valley after a day of hiking and photographing, I noticed that the moon was beginning to rise. The mountain ridge made for an excellent foreground from the valley floor as the moon raced across the night sky.
I tried to bracket the ridge for more details of the tree line but ended up sticking with a small grove of trees in a depression along the ridge. Although the view only lasted a few minutes, I am glad I waited. I wonder what the same photo would have looked like if this was a full moon lighting up the entire ridge line.
I try and plan trips to locations and specific things I want to photograph, but some of my favorite photographs come from spontaneous opportunities. Only recently, I started looking at Yosemite National Park as an astrophotography location, but after my first-night shoot from the base of Sentinel Dome, I was hooked.
If you want a spot to photograph the milky way, I highly recommend Olmsted Point along Tioga Road as a safe spot to start from.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor