Below the ground

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Late last week I made a trip to Yosemite. Gary Hart was leading a small private group and had invited me, and a few others, to tag along.  We spent much of a cold night up on top of Sentinel Dome.  After getting a full 3 hours of sleep, before getting up to shoot the rising moon, the rest of the group returned to the hotel to catch a rest. I opted to head back into the park and do some shooting on my own.

As much as I like Yosemite, I abhor the crowds that come with Summer. From May to September I rarely step foot in the valley. During the Summer months I find the Yosemite high country much more inviting. Because of the approaching Memorial Day weekend I knew that it was time to say goodbye to the valley for a few months. I drove the valley loop a couple of times, stopping often to take it all in and only fired off a few shots. On of the few locations that I shot at was Fern Spring.

When I’m in Yosemite with a group I usually don’t even shoot Fern Spring because it’s such a small scene that it’s hard to get creative while you’re trying to stay out of everyone else’s way. For this shot I’m basically down inside of the spring. I had two tripod legs splayed out straight and one set straight below the ballhead. My camera is below the level of the spring so I had to use an angled viewfinder to compose the shot.

The exposure was pretty straight forward. To get the whole scene in focus I used my widest lens, a Canon 17-40 f/4L, at 17mm.  From my low vantage point the wide angle lens lets me exaggerate the depth of the scene; making it seem much larger than it really is. I set the aperture at f/11 and exposed for 1/2 second at ISO 100.

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