new icn messageflickr-free-ic3d pan white
Bridal Veil View - Yosemite National Park, California | by PatrickSmithPhotography
Back to photostream

Bridal Veil View - Yosemite National Park, California

In the past week, Yosemite has suffered from fires caused by dry-season lightning. So here is a spring time view to recall greener times. The rainy season will not come for a few more months so let's hope the fires subside! No HDR.


Free wallpaper for over 100 of my images in 6 different screen sizes is now available!


See the 1200 pixel version!



Settings etc.:



Canon 5D Mark II

Canon 17-40L @ 30

2-second exposure @F18 (pushing the limits of diffraction!)

2 hours before sunset when the light is still on the cliff face.

LEE soft ND grad (100x150mm) 0.9 + 0.75

Lee foundation kit filter holder with Lee 77mm adapter ring

No polarizer. I wanted reflections in the water

ISO 50 (for the long-ish exposure)

RAW file processed with Capture One by Phase One

TIFF file processed with Photoshop


Bridal Veil falls in Yosemite flows year-round, but in the spring it flows at its maximum rate as the high elevation snow melts. I moved around to find an opening in the trees to show as much of the falls as possible. Even though this was taken at the touristy 'Valley View' side-of-the-road pullout, you can still be creative and move around to get the best composition that you can. I've seen literally thousands of pictures taken from within 50 feet of this spot and have not seen this sort of image made. Also there were other photographers there with expensive tripods taking shots from vantage points that barely showed the waterfall at all. Did they even notice what they were shooting? They also had long lenses and were not including much if any of the water. But the water was an important part of the scene.


I waited for the last rays of the sun to light up the cliffs and waterfall. Then I made many exposures ranging from 1/4-second to 30 seconds with a dark filter to try to get the best effect in the water. I settled on this 2-second exposure because it showed the most reflectivity and still have nice texture so the viewer can visualize the water flowing by. I always try to adjust the exposure time to add realism. Sometimes the best is short and sometimes long.


The map shows exactly where this is. It is a 20-foot hike from the nearest road. lol!


See my Flickr profile for a link to my newly designed website.


539 faves
Taken on June 16, 2009