Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Travel: Yosemite National Park In Autumn - Day 2, Part 1

Autumn Leaves In Fern Spring - Yosemite National Park, California
ISO 1250, f3.2, 1/125, 10/20 at 10:20 AM

My original plan for this day was to get up early, make the one-hour trek into Yosemite to catch the sunrise, head back to the hotel in Mariposa, eat breakfast and check out, then head back to the park with my family. But that plan wasn't very good and didn't end up working out.

Instead we stayed together, and were on the road by 9:15, heading towards Yosemite Valley. We were well rested and had a good breakfast at the hotel.

The first stop inside of Yosemite National Park was Fern Spring. This is an unassuming pullout just past Pohono Bridge. There is a natural spring that someone a long time ago put stones around. It was a good stop to let the kids stretch their legs after the drive in.
The Merced River - Yosemite National Park, California
ISO 1000, f9, 1/125, 10/20 at 10:29 AM
Across the street from Fern Spring is a short trail that leads down to the Merced River. I went by myself, and that turned out to be a good choice because the trail was quite rough at times. The river was obviously low, but it was good spot to capture some autumn images.

We then got back in the car and headed further into Yosemite Valley, making a very quick stop at the Bridalveil Creek pullout. After that we made our way to Cathedral Beach, which turned out to be a great stop.

We arrived at Cathedral Beach at 10:45 AM and stayed for 20 or 25 minutes. The river was low so the beach was large. At times we were the only ones there.
Merced River At Fern Spring - Yosemite National Park, California
ISO 2500, f9, 1/125, 10/20 at 10:29 AM
Cathedral Beach is a great place to photograph El Capitan. I was even able to get a good reflection photograph of the giant rock, thanks to the smooth surface of the Merced River.

On this trip I kept the camera equipment light and simple. I had a Nikon D3300 DSLR with a 40mm AF-S DX f/2.8G Micro lens attached. I brought along a vintage Sunset aluminum tripod, which folds up small and is lightweight, and a circular polarizer filter, which I screwed onto the end of the lens at this stop. I also had my Nokia Lumia 1020 cell phone with me and used it when I wanted to go wide-angle.

The next stop was Swinging Bridge, which offered good views of the Cathedral Spires and Columbia Rock (at least that's what I think it is called), as well as the Merced River. There was a nasty stench coming from the restrooms here, almost ruining the experience. We stayed for about 15 minutes.
El Capitan From Bridalveil Creek - Yosemite National Park, California
ISO 200, f10, 1/125, 10/20 at 10:36 AM
Thy skies had remained bright blue during our visit except for a brief period before lunch when some high clouds moved through. It created a weird "rainbow" around the Cathedral Rocks that lasted several minutes. It also added some sky interest to a few of my photographs. Before long the sky was back to being blue.

The final stop for the morning was Yosemite Village. We arrived just before noon with the intention of eating lunch and visiting the museums, galleries and shops. I snapped a quick image of Half Dome from the parking lot.

At Yosemite Village we saw deer and all sorts of other wildlife. The kids really loved that part. We grabbed some refreshments and took a little rest before continuing on with our adventure.

Trees At Cathedral Beach - Yosemite National Park, California
ISO 560, f11, 1/125, 10/20 at 10:47 AM
El Capitan Reflection - Yosemite National Park, California
I flipped this image so you wouldn't have to view it upside-down.
ISO 800, f9, 1/125, 10/20 at 10:48 AM
El Capitan From Cathedral Beach - Yosemite National Park, California
ISO 100, f9, 1/160, 10/20 at 10:49 AM
Merced River At Cathedral Beach - Yosemite National Park, California
ISO 360, f13, 1/125, 10/20 at 10:59 AM
Merced River And El Capitan - Yosemite National Park, California
Captured using a Nokia Lumia 1020.
ISO 100, f2.2, 1/1404, 10/20 at 11:04 AM
El Capitan - Yosemite National Park, California
ISO 160, f13, 1/125, 10/20 at 11:04 AM
River At Cathedral Beach - Yosemite National Park, California
ISO 250, f13, 1/125, 10/20 at 11:04 AM
Merced River At Swinging Bridge - Yosemite National Park, California
ISO 250, f9, 1/125, 10/20 at 11:24 AM
Rainbows Over Cathedral Rocks - Yosemite National Park, California
This was a weird phenomenon that briefly occurred.
ISO 100, f9, 1/800, 10/20 at 11:26 AM
Cathedral Spire Veiled - Yosemite National Park, California
ISO 100, f9, 1/400, 10/20 at 11:29 AM
Columbia Rock - Yosemite National Park, California
Captured using a Nokia Lumia 1020.

ISO 100, f2.2, 1/1372, 10/20 at 11:30 AM
Trees At Swinging Bridge - Yosemite National Park, California
ISO 720, f13, 1/125, 10/20 at 11:37 AM
Half Dome From Yosemite Village - Yosemite National Park, California
ISO 220, f13, 1/125, 10/20 at 11:58 AM

2 comments:

  1. So many great shots here Ritchie. Nice job! Can't believe the shot of Columbia rock you got with your phone! Seriously cool. Also the reflection image... nicely done. I have a photograph of a reflection of a windmill and people don't usually give it a second glance, but once in a while someone with a keen eye will ask why it looks "different". It's fun!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Sarah! I wanted an El Capitan reflection shot, but wasn't sure if I'd be able to or how it would even look. It turned out better than I could have hoped.

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