California: Yosemite National Park - California Naturescapes
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"Upper Yosemite Falls and Half Dome"
Location: Upper Yosemite Falls Trail, Yosemite National Park, California.

Yosemite falls are so tall that often a direct picture fails to convey that to the viewer. I felt this composition provided more emphasis on the grandeur of these falls especially since the image included view of another Yosemite icon, Half dome.

This image was shot half way through the hike on upper Yosemite falls tail. As you start climbing more of the sweeping views of the Yosemite valley can be seen. I hiked all the way up to the top of the falls but realized that the spot from where I shot this image was the best vista point on the entire trail. The view of the falls itself is very captivating but you can also see other prominent features of the valley from here such as iconic Half dome.

Tech Info:
Lens: Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L @ 30mm
Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mk II
Exposure: 20sec at f/16 and ISO 50
Filters: Hoya 8-stop solid ND filter to cut light and allow long exposure. Two graduated neutral density filters stacked together: LEE 0.9 (3-stop) soft edge and LEE 0.75 hard edge rotated at 2 o'clock position.

Yosemite is the arguably the most beautiful national park. It's grandeur and the time scale it took to evolve is very humbling. I learnt that the granite peaks started out as molten magma deep below the earth's surface about 100 million years ago. Merced river then carved it into a "V" shaped valley and finally glaciers shaped it into its present day "U" shape. The beauty of the valley has inspired many. It's lush forests, tall granite peaks, amazing monoliths and beautiful waterfalls are so pristine that a visit to the park often overwhelms the senses. A visit here at least once in lifetime is a must.

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