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Spring Torrent, Yosemite

Spring Torrent, Yosemite. Yosemite National Park, California. June 18, 2011. © Copyright 2011 G Dan Mitchell - all rights reserved.


A cascading creek zigzags among boulders as it descends a steep mountainside, Yosemite National Park.


This is a scene I have photographed many times, as I continue to work on "seeing" and understanding its elements. (And as I work on trying not to duplicate other beautiful "takes" on this location that have been produced by other photographers whose work I respect a great deal!) As a matter of fact, the "many times" would have to include the many times I photographed it on this particular visit, as photographing moving water tends to be a bit of a game of percentages. While you can start to gauge some of the patterns of the water if you watch long and intently enough, in the end you have to take what you get to some extent. Fortunately, with digital cameras it is possible to improve the odds a bit since one can make a lot of exposures, with the only real cost being the great amount of time required to go through them all.


This photograph was made at just about the peak of the spring runoff season, and during a year that had featured well above average precipitation during the previous winter. In mid-June (about the time that Tioga Pass finally opened) there was water flowing everywhere - obviously in the many well-known creeks and rivers and waterfalls, but also in places where you might otherwise not expect to see flowing water. Impromptu seasonal streams were everywhere, flowing across granite and through forests and often spilling right across the roadways. The object in this photograph was to try to shoot straight into the maelstrom of the current as it dropped down a steep hillside, twisting and turning as it passed through a narrow, rocky area.


G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer whose subjects include the Pacific coast, redwood forests, central California oak/grasslands, the Sierra Nevada, California deserts, urban landscapes, night photography, and more.

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Text, photographs, and other media are © Copyright G Dan Mitchell (or others when indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without advance permission from G Dan Mitchell.

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Taken on June 18, 2011