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Trees, Granite, and Sky Near Olmsted Point

Trees, Granite, and Sky Near Olmsted Point. Yosemite National Park, California. September 16, 2012. © Copyright 2012 G Dan Mitchell - all rights reserved.


Sunset light on a trees and weathered granite slabs above Olmsted Point, Yosemite National Park.


This is another "opportunistic photograph" made on my way back home from a three-day mid-September backpacking trip in the eastern Sierra. We had finished up at the McGee Creek trailhead around 3:00, gotten cleaned up, headed into Mammoth Lakes for a celebratory post-trip Mexican dinner, and I found myself on the road back toward the Bay Area close to 5:00 p.m. I figured that this might well get me over Tioga Pass close to 6:00 p.m. and allow me to find some place with suitably interesting subjects and light before the sun went down. I crossed the pass on schedule, then passed through Tuolumne Meadows (where I had photographed a few days earlier), and decided that it would be a good idea to go a bit further west - and a bit closer to home! - before stopping to shoot.


Most of the interesting light was gone when I got to Tenaya Lake, so I figured I might as well head up to Olmsted Point and see what I could find. Obviously, the classic "back side" view of Half Dome is there, as well as the view back toward Tenaya Lake and Mount Conness. I stopped and picked out an "insurance" shot of Half Dome, though the light initially didn't look all that spectacular. While talking to some other visitors I missed a bit of lovely light on Conness, though I probably didn't have a long enough lens anyway. (I was traveling light, with only the limited set of equipment that I take backpacking.) However, besides the obvious there is quite a bit of other interesting stuff to see right around Olmsted, especially late in the day when the last light slants across low ridges to the west and picks up bits and pieces of the landscape - a tree here, a rock there. This little vignette was high on the granite slabs above Olmsted, and as a bit of late light glanced across the rocks and trees, an angled bit of cloud passed by, mirroring the angle of the ridge.


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 September 16, 2012