California: Yosemite National Park - California Naturescapes
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"Majestic El Cap and Mighty Merced (Portrait Version)"
Location: Yosemite National Park, California.

The grandeur of Yosemite valley is best seen from spots that are hidden away along the curves of Merced river. The view is particularly appealing when major landmarks in the valley, such as El Capitan in this case, can also be seen. It was not just the view but also the photographic process that I enjoyed at this location. It was dull gray and raining when I arrived at this spot. Then it started clearing and El Cap appeared out of fog in it's full glory.

This is a scene in the valley during spring season when when the Merced river is at it's peak flow and there is a good chance to see fog and clouds shrouding the granite peaks. In this particular image I also liked spots of penetrating light on the pine trees. As the storm was clearing in the sky, pockets of openings were creating interesting displays of light. I made several images but likes this one very much.

Tech Info:
Lens: Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L @ 45mm
Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mk II
Exposure: 1/4sec at f/14 and ISO 50
Filters: LEE 0.6 (2-stop) and 0.9 (3-stop) soft edge ND Graduated filters

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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