Valley View, or Gates of the Valley as it’s sometimes called, is a really pretty spot. It’s just about the last place that you can stop while driving the Yosemite valley loop. Across the Merced river is Bridal Veil fall, Cathedral Rocks and El Capitan. A classic, iconic scene, Valley View gets photographed hundreds of times each day. While I don’t always shoot at this spot, I nearly always stop and give it one last look.
This shot was the result of such a stop and was taken just a few minutes after the previous post. I didn’t even get my camera out at first. The sun was up, the sky was bare and the light coming off of El Capitan was blinding. The scene was just too “hot” to shoot in its entirety. After a few minutes of watching the mist hover over the river, and the meadow on the other shore, I succumbed to this iconic scene and fired off a few shots.
By keeping the top portion of the scene out of my frame I was able to manage the exposure. The warm reflected light and mist on the river was really what I was after. After all, I’ve got plenty of shots of El Capitan in front of a cloudless sky. While I didn’t do a ton of shooting during the last trip I am really happy with this image. Any day that you get a “keeper” is a good day.
If you’re in the US, have a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday. If you live somewhere not celebrating our holiday, have a great Thursday.