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Fall on the Merced, Yosemite,CA

Do you ever drive around looking for something to shoot around sunset and start to panic a bit when you can't find anything and the light is going to be fading soon? This is what was happening to me a few days ago. I couldn't figure out if I wanted to drive to some iconic spot like Tunnel View and shoot the epic sunset that I knew was going to happen, or just try to find something a little more intimate in a forest or along the river. I literally drove the valley loop 2 times while trying to decide, getting a little more panicked as the minutes ticked down. On my 2nd trip past El Capitan, I finally decided on a river shot after seeing the reflected trees from the road. I literally ran from the car to the river and got as close to the water as I could, set up my tripod, and got 2 different exposures before the light was gone.

Since the entire scene was mostly backlit, I had to use manual exposure blending for the tree and rocks on the right to balance with the bright trees along the river.

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Taken on November 1, 2012