Beyond the Trail
It had been pretty dry in Yosemite Valley for almost two months when a series of large and cold storms finally blew through Yosemite bringing snow to the fairly low elevation of 4,000 feet where the valley lies. As the last of the storms left the area I made a day trip to the park to see what I could find.
What I found was a winter wonderland, the storms had left Yosemite Valley covered in snow and had cleared enough to give me some hope that there may be a nice sunset that evening. Earlier in the day I had noticed a clearing in a group of trees and decided to return there for sunset after seeing how many other photographers were setting up at the more popular locations.
I was really drawn to the group of trees in the foreground as they pointed up, vertically towards El Capitan and the lovely meadow across the Merced River. By this time the partly cloudy skies I'd enjoyed most of the day had given way to mostly cloudy but I decided to wait and see what the light would do. As I waited the clouds continued to cover the area to the left and right of El Capitan, blocking most of the view down the valley and ruining some of the images from the valley's most popular locations. For me however, I got luck as the skies around El Capitan cleared very nicely for me for a few minutes, allowing the warm strip of sunlight to streak across the cliff's face and for me to capture this image. Mamiya M645, 55mm Lens, Polarizing Filter, Cokin 2-Stop grad ND Filter, Bogen/Manfrotto Tripod on Fuji Velvia 100 film.