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Cascade Creek, Yosemite National Park | by Tyler Westcott
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Cascade Creek, Yosemite National Park

Just as you drive into Yosemite Valley when approaching from the north, you pass over a short bridge that takes you across a spectacular season waterfall of Cascade Creek. It wasn't until my third trip to Yosemite that I saw it flowing and since then I've tried a few times to capture it.

 

Because the bridge actually crosses the cascade, it's difficult to get a really ideal vantage point - on one side you're looking up the majority of the falls, and on the other you look down on rocky cascades, seen here. On this occasion of seeing the falls at peak flow in June this year, I focus on looking down the cascades rather than up the falls. I used an ND400 filter to average some of the water movement, though even with that filter the exposure was still only a half second. Under this bright mid-day light, it I had to watch the exposure for blown highlights.

 

As much as I love this scene, I found that I was displeased with the photo because of the difficult balance of highlights in the water, and the dark shadows from the full sun. I have recently been learning some new approaches to working with images in post-production, and used this image as a test case for many of those tools. I felt I was able to strike a reasonable balance across the image for highlight and shadow detail that I couldn't before, and felt that (at least for the technical challenge) it warranted posting.

 

Nikon D90 | Nikon 35mm f/2 | f/9 | 1/2s | ISO200 | Tripod

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Taken on June 8, 2010