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Fire Line, El Capitan, Yosemite National Park | by Edward Mendes
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Fire Line, El Capitan, Yosemite National Park


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It had been pretty dry in Yosemite Valley for almost two months when a series of large and cold storms finally blew through the Sierras 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 the weather systems 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 being deterred by the sheer number of other photographers I had seen setting up at some of the classic and 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 photo spots. For me however, I got lucky as the skies around El Capitan cleared very nicely for a few minutes, allowing the warm strip of sunlight to streak across the cliff's face and for me to capture the moment.


Mamiya M645

55mm Lens

Polarizing Filter

Cokin 2-Stop grad ND Filter Bogen/Manfrotto Tripod

Fuji Velvia 100 film



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Copyright 2011 Edward Mendes / Edward Mendes Photography

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Taken in January 2010