California: Yosemite National Park - California Naturescapes
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"Valley of Enchantment"
Location: Valley View, Yosemite National Park, California.

Yosemite is arguably the most beautiful national park in the world. I feel very privileged that I stay close to Yosemite and can visit it anytime with a couple of hours drive. The proximity to the park has allowed me to visit it practically in every season. The view captured here is during spring season when the water in the Merced river is high and rapids are in full force. Spring is also the season of waterfalls and you can see that the Bridalveil falls on the right and Ribbontail falls on the left are also flowing at their peak. The waterfalls reach their peak flow due of all the snowmelt at higher elevation.

The beauty in the valley does not end with flows in Merced river and waterfalls alone. The meadows start turning green and bring out a lush green color in the park that is in very good contrast with the warm tones of the granite peaks during evening hours. And when all of this is combined with presence of some clouds in the sky and penetrating light through the pockets in those clouds, you can get very dramatic views in the valley. I happened to catch all of these on the day I shot this image. Though I am very happy with how the image turned out I can't forget that seeing this beauty in person was an altogether different experience. I am glad I could bring back some of that in this image.

Tech Info:
Lens: Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L @ 24mm
Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mk II
Exposure: 1.6sec at f/14 and ISO 100
Filters: Hoya 8-stop solid ND filter along with LEE 0.9 (3-stop) soft edge ND Grad filter

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.