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Winter Flow (Cascade Creek, Yosemite National Park) | by Robin Black Photography
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Winter Flow (Cascade Creek, Yosemite National Park)

If you're familiar with Charles Cramer's incredible Yosemite photos, you may notice this scene looks familiar. I try to avoid borrowing another photographer's tripod holes, but I couldn't resist giving this location a try myself.


Cramer's gorgeous shot from this location may be my all-time favorite Yosemite pic by any photographer--there's something simultaneously soft and violent about the water motion Cramer captures (his shot is just exquisitely beautiful), and it happens to be one of my favorite spots in the park that isn't just shot to death. It's also a tough location to shoot, as I've bemoaned before--not tough to get to, but compositionally challenging--but while I thought the upper falls presented a challenge, I hadn't given much thought to what was involved in capturing this scene (from the other side, below the bridge).


To get this view, I had to straddle my tripod over the bridge railing in a not-so-stable way, and then straddle the railing myself to keep a good grip on the camera and be able to see through the viewfinder. I don't have a fear of heights, but that was a little dicey--the drop from here would be quite a ways down--I used my long lens to get this shot--with nothing but granite and whitewater to greet you at the bottom. I walked away shaking my head, trying to imagine Cramer doing this with his big camera, and am now even more in awe of him and his beautiful image.


The water flow last weekend was considerably lower than it was when Cramer captured it in his springtime shot, so I'll revisit this spot again once the big thaw gets going this spring.


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Taken on February 5, 2011