• The bright light on Bridal Veil falls reminded me of a Rembrandt or Albert Bierstadt oil painting.
  • El Capitan - The single largest exposed piece of granite in the world it stands at nearly 3000 ft (910 meters) tall and takes several days for most skilled climbers to climb. Yes, there are a number of them on the rock on this day.
  • Yosemite Valley's most famous rock, Half Dome.
  • Clouds Rest living up to its name.
  • I really like this particular patch of light. - Matt Granz Photography

Yosemite Valley, California

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Best Viewed On Black | My Photostream On Black | Desktop Background

Coming in from Fresno I rolled in to Yosemite a bit late in the day and was treated to this very much Rembrandt view of Yosemite Valley with the bright mid day sun was beaming down on Bridal Veil falls making it the spot light of the image. The lower half of El Capitan glowed a golden hue while the top remained dull gray due to the building afternoon clouds that are typical in the park in the spring time. It looked like some painting that Albert Bierstadt painted but it was in fact the real deal. The lighting was so
perfect and I rushed to get the camera set up and this was my first shot. As expected, it didn't last long and soon the brilliant white gleam of Bridal Veil Falls was dimmed by the sun. I have seen the park hundreds of times but each time I come through the tunnel from Highway 49 the view takes my breath away as I exit the tunnel. The parking lot was full with the exception of one parking slot and I quickly grabbed it. I couldn't have
asked for better lighting and this will undoubtedly be one of my personal top images on Flickr in the near future. Every so often you just get there are the right time and this was certainly one of them. At the time of this posting, this Yosemite Valley shot reigns as my Windows 7 desktop wallpaper.

For those of you that have not had the fortune to see Yosemite, let me take you on a small tour of all the features in this image. Yosemite Valley lies about dead center of the California Sierra Nevada Mountains. It was carved by several receding glaciers over several ice ages that covered most of North America and the flat valley floor later formed as Yosemite Lake filled with sediment. Today most of Yosemite Valley is forested but there are still several large meadows hidden deep in the valley.

This photograph was taken at the Tunnel View which is a few hundred feet below Inspiration Point where Yosemite Valley was fist viewed by the Mariposa Battalion. To the left you can see the single largest piece of exposed granite known as El Capitan. It is Yosemite Valley's single largest icon standing at just under 3000ft (910 meters). To the right, beautiful Bridal Veil Falls which is often lifted by strong winds as they enter Yosemite Valley and whip the falls in to a lacey mosaic of water and rock giving it the name Bridal Veil. In the far distance, you can see Half Dome and just to its left, Clouds Rest both suitably named. I was fortunate to get the cloud cover this time of year. The Icelandic volcano which has caused much havoc amongst European travelers has extended California's rainy season in to mid May and as a result, several storms have
recently blown though Yosemite. Just two days before this shot, a storm blew though and dumped several inches of snow on the upper elevations.
For the technically inclined who want to know all the gory details:
Nikon D300
Nikkor 15-55mm
26mm (39mm equivalent)
Mode - Manual
ISO 200
ND Grad Filter
Circular Polarizer
Center Weighted Exposure
Manfrotto Carbon Fiber Tripod
RC Remote Release
Original Image Size 4288 x 2848
Posted Size 1920 x 1275
JPEG file used with only minor editing.
Processed in Photoshop CS5 (Trial Version)

Granted the tripod and remote release was probably not required for this shot but I find it is always best to use a tripod. It also helps as I am often asked to take pictures for many of the tourist and wanting them to have a good California experience I always oblige their request and just continue to click off shots on with my remote as I take their shot and talk about the view. It is also a great place to meet fellow Flickr photographers.

Hope you find this one as enjoyable as I do and please feel free to use the Original Size as your Windows or Mac desktop background.

Prints of this shot are available upon request in most sizes. Please contact me for details.


© Darvin Atkeson

Cliff Stone, sandra9871, J u n g a, and 214 other people added this photo to their favorites.

View 20 more comments

  1. ScottD75 50 months ago | reply

    Amazing photo!!!

  2. doctorangel 48 months ago | reply

    Magnificent shoot

  3. Karen Andrea Photography 47 months ago | reply

    Gorgeous! great light,shadows,detail!

  4. ragtops2000 47 months ago | reply

    Absolutely beautiful photograph. The lighting is amazing. We were just there a couple of weeks ago. My photo, which I have not posted yet is not nearly as good as this one. It is all about the light...

  5. G. Chen 47 months ago | reply

    Just gorgeous! I'm going there next month, I hope I can catch the light like you did on the fall.

  6. Darvin Atkeson 47 months ago | reply

    I'll be up that way soon myself and if the weather patterns hold it should make it interesting. Our weather has been cooler than normal. Even got a bit of rain yesterday and I saw it was raining up in Yosemite today.

    Enjoy your trip.

  7. pixelstate 47 months ago | reply

    Excellent... Ansel Adams would have been proud...
    He used the light and dark contrast technique a lot...

  8. GulPe 46 months ago | reply

    This photo is a good sample in the flickr. It is awarded the flickr Award!

    flickrAward (post1 – award 5)
    Please Tag your photo with “flickrAward” and visit the flickr Award Gallery
    Please post the photo to flickr Award 5+ thread if you received 5 or more of this award

  9. CrispyFotos (zPRIME) 46 months ago | reply

    Simply wow ... absolutely stunning. I can't stop saying it!

  10. off the grid PANDA 36 months ago | reply

    great capture Darvin, couldn't ask for a better light!

  11. Marco de Waal 36 months ago | reply

    Nice picture! Excellent!

  12. URPhotos 19 months ago | reply

    Excellent Photography !!
    You are Invited to Post your Photo in our Group

  13. Black Diamond Images 19 months ago | reply

    Thanks for the information and a really good image. The Bridal Veil Falls were not working when I was there unfortunately.

  14. Linhy 16 months ago | reply

    insane shot

  15. nico.doreste 13 months ago | reply

    very nice picture, I'm wondering why you chose f/2.8 though

  16. Arthur Sixtenson 10 months ago | reply

    Great work, it could not been much better than that! Think you maybe like my pictures, so take a look! :)

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