• Polly Dome
  • Tenaya Peak going off screen
  • Pywiack Dome
  • Medlicott Dome
  • This part of the ice is soooo cool! I really like how the color fades into the pink! - Bronco Loco
  • Wow! wonderful !! - ✿ SUMAYAH ©™

Global Warming - Tenaya Lake, Yosemite National Park

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Press L!

It all started before Christmas when I saw a video of people ice skating on a frozen Tenaya Lake in Yosemite's high country. Wow, that's cool, that doesn't happen very often, I thought. Then, about halfway through the video, the filmer unwittingly showed something that had my eyes bugging out of my head: thick and crunchy pressure ridges and cracks running through the vast ice sheet covering Tenaya's surface. And that sealed the deal: since Tioga Pass is open this late into the year maybe once in a generation, I knew I needed to take advantage of this unique photographic opportunity.

The week after Christmas I set out for three days of camping, hiking, exploring, and shooting the high country near Tuolumne Meadows. My timing was just right and I had three days of incredible shooting conditions and more natural beauty than you can shake a stick at. This shot is from the sunset on the first night: a rip-roaring pink and purple glow which set the icy reflections and cracks aflame on Tenaya Lake.

If you've never been to Yosemite you should go. Even if you miss the frozen lakes on Tioga Pass, the park is still a wonder that will leave your jaw on the floor. Can't wait to lead a workshop here in Spring with Jim Patterson.

Tech notes on this photo
Nikon D7000
Tokina 12-24 f/4 at 12mm
f/9 - Sharpest spot on my lens, still adequate for full DOF with my crop sensor
1 sec.
Lee soft 3-stop GND filter
Cloudy White Balance

In Raw Converter (Nikon Capture NX2)
- Processed single raw file twice, once for sky and foreground, and once for the granite domes
- Global contrast for added pop
- Local contrast in the foreground to bring out the cracks and bubbles

In Photoshop:
- Manual blend of two tiffs for master composite
- Selective sharpening of the ice cracks and bubbles in the foreground, as well as the domes
- A "repair" layer to clone out some ice chunks people had thrown all over the lake, as well as some tracks carved into the ice by skaters
- Soft light burn / dodge layer, dodged through luminosity masks to bring out the thin ice crack in the lower right
- Curves layer to add a little more contrast to foreground
- Color balance to remove a lot of excess purple cast from the foreground caused by the increase in contrast (side note, just realized I could've also fixed this issue by changing my above curves layer to the "luminosity" blend mode to affect brightness values and not color values)
- Curves layer to add a little brightness to domes
- Color balance through a luminosity mask to remove excess warm cast from trees

All the best!


chris lazzery, romvi, Sydney August, and 519 other people added this photo to their favorites.

View 20 more comments

  1. Marco de Waal 37 months ago | reply

    Nice picture! Excellent!

  2. Howard Brodsky 36 months ago | reply

    Please honour "Howard`s Gallery" by posting this magnificent picture that you have taken there.

    Hello I am Howard, lead Art advisor for Howards Gallery........... and you have really caught my attention th this beautiful work.

    Howards Gallery is upper echelon, and is a very dignified site of class,displaying upscale photos of "ALL TYPES" for the best to strut , and for many to aspire to, ......I hope you take me up on my offer to post here .......your work displayed here is beautiful .......I am also leaving you an "Admin. Invite".......there are NO rules for commenting unless you want to .........We now have an exceptional team of expierienced moderators and administrators who bring a wealth of talent, and knowledge. and appreciation of photography to Howards Gallery. I have just established " the platinum level ....explained here.............


    so your invitation by me is a serious gauge of your work.......and as a premier site of high caliber and respect, I hope to see your picture here posted with us because "I" love IT!!!!!!!!!!!!...

    Howards Gallery has become an eclectic group looking for the best of the best of what they do I hope your participate in my Gallery as it would be an honor to have your continued support…My Co Admins Caz and Angie will be thrilled to see this posted..........
    ...Oh don`t forget and take that bow.... You certainly earned the right to take one with this beauty..............Howard

  3. benpearse 36 months ago | reply

    Brilliant work

  4. SSingh.in 35 months ago | reply

    Thanks a ton for Post Processing details. That really helps.

  5. ncm | photography 35 months ago | reply

    Great composition

  6. Mitch Gritts [deleted] 35 months ago | reply

    It's called Global Climate Change. While it is true that some places will get warmer, other places will get colder. The Sierra Nevada is supposed to get wetter. More snow and or rain. The temperature is supposed to remain roughly the same. Sorry, but the misuse of the term global warming is a huge pet peeve of mine.

    Good photo!

  7. Photographer Jacob Cornelius [deleted] 35 months ago | reply

    VERY nice! One Q: Is the vignetting in the upper corner's yours, or the Tokina's? I didn't see it in your process steps. Thanks.

  8. Jennifer Allwine 35 months ago | reply

    beautiful capture. I was just here last week and this Lake is my favorite spot in yosemite.

  9. paulbappoo 35 months ago | reply

    Technically brilliant (of course) but I just like the way the crack looks light lightning :)

  10. Amar.kumar 35 months ago | reply

    amazing shot..beautiful composition n post processing!!

  11. Eloise Claire 34 months ago | reply

    HOT DAMMMMMM so good!

  12. Jeff Eickhoff 34 months ago | reply

    Holy sheeyat. This one is incredible.

  13. Julianne Bradford Photography 31 months ago | reply

    Wonderful innovative work

  14. Ania.Photography 21 months ago | reply

    what a fascinating place,a beautiful frozen foreground to lead you into this amazing landscape, those pink & purple tones are very special too.

  15. PHOTOROTA 20 months ago | reply

    This is a fantastic image !

  16. Vulcanian 18 months ago | reply

    Beautiful shot!

  17. Bob Bowman Photography 17 months ago | reply

    So awesome Josh!!! Preaching whatcha teaching.....love it man!!!!

  18. freedom_addict 3 months ago | reply

    Wow! Beautiful photo and great composition!

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