Cliché for a reason
Autumn Snow, Valley View, Yosemite
Canon EOS 5D Mark III
It’s actually even a cliché just to say it, but some things really are “cliché for a reason.” And as much as I try to avoid the cliché shots in Yosemite, sometimes they just can’t be helped.
My Yosemite Fall Color workshop began yesterday, and even though I’d spent all day Saturday in the park, yesterday morning a storm filled Saturday’s blue skies with rain and I felt like I should go check on the conditions before we started. The wet weather had slowed me enough that I didn’t really have time to take pictures, but when I found not only the red and yellow leaves I’d seen on Saturday, and the swirling clouds I’d hoped for, but also Yosemite Valley’s colorful trees and meadows etched with snow, I was tempted at every turn to reach for my camera. Nevertheless, with the exception of a brief breakdown at Cook’s Meadow, I managed to resist temptation.
Unfortunately, the Cook’s Meadow stop had put me even more behind schedule, so I told myself while approaching Valley View that any stop here would be just reconnaissance. And anyway, Valley View images are a dime a dozen, clichés that I’d done more than my share to perpetuate over the years. Then I got there….
I mean seriously, cliché or not (deadline or not), how does a photographer pass up a scene like this? With my group meeting me in just an hour, I really, really didn’t have time for pictures, which is exactly what I kept reminding myself as I leaped from my car, snatched my camera and tripod, and sprinted down to the river. I only snapped four frames, two vertical and two horizontal, before racing back to the car and toward my impending rendezvous.
It’s images like this that remind me that nature’s beauty transcends any human judgement of “cliché.” Pro photographers, myself included, can get a little snobbish about frequently photographed scenes. And while I think it’s important to take the time to find a unique perspective, sometimes it’s best to let Mother Nature speak for herself.
I made it to my workshop with minutes to spare, conducted a lightning-fast orientation, and hustled everyone back outside as quickly as possible. We ended up circling Yosemite Valley several times, photographing without a break until dark. I heard no complaints.
A gallery of clichés
Floating, Merced River, Yosemite
Yosemite Moonbow and Dogwood photo workshop
Autumn Light, Yosemite
Autumn Glow, Cook’s Meadow, Yosemite
Moonlight Reflection, El Capitan and the Three Brothers, Yosemite
Winter Storm Reflection, El Capitan, Yosemite
Daybreak, El Capitan and Half Dome, Yosemite
Fresh Snow, Cook’s Meadow, Yosemite
Double Rainbow, Yosemite Valley
Spring Snow, El Capitan, Yosemite
Spring Moon Reflection, Half Dome, Yosemite
Half Dome and Rainbow, Yosemite
Autumn Snow, El Capitan, Yosemite
Half Dome at Sunset, Olmsted Point, Yosemite
Forest Autumn, Yosemite
Half Dome Sunset Reflection, Mirror Lake, Yosemite
Leaf, Bridalveil Creek, Yosemite
Captive Crescent, Yosemite
El Capitan Reflection, Yosemite
Moon and Morning Star, Yosemite
First Snow, El Capitan, Yosemite
Sunset Fire, Olmsted Point, Yosemite
Moonlight Cathedral, Valley View, Yosemite
Big Moon, Valley View, Yosemite
Horsetail Fall, El Capitan, Yosemite
Half Dome Half Moon, Yosemite
Winter Blue Hour Reflection, Half Dome, Yosemite
Moonbow and Big Dipper, Lower Yosemite Fall, Yosemite
Sunset Palette, Half Dome from Sentinel Dome, Yosemite National Park
Snow and Autumn Leaves, Yosemite
Spring Reflection, El Capitan and Three Brothers, Yosemite
Winter Arrives, El Capitan, Yosemite
Dogwood, Merced River, Yosemite
Storm’s End, Tunnel View, Yosemite
Winter Light, El Capitan, Yosemite
Winter Cascade, Cascade Creek, Yosemite
Sunset Storm, Half Dome from Sentinel Dome, Yosemite
Sunset Moonrise, Tunnel View, Yosemite
Spring Moonrise, Bridalveil Fall and the Merced River Canyon, Yosemite
Rocks and Reflection, El Capitan, Yosemite
Autumn Shroud, El Capitan, Yosemite
Supermoon, Half Dome and El Capitan, Yosemite
Floating Dogwood, Yosemite
Sunrise Trio, El Capitan and Half Dome, Yosemite
Wonderland, Yosemite Valley
Autumn Moonrise, Half Dome and the Merced River, Yosemite
Lunar Kiss, Half Dome and Sentinel Dome, Yosemite
Fall Into Winter, Valley View, Yosemite
First Light, Yosemite Valley
Elm in Blizzard, Cook’s Meadow, Yosemite
Autumn Leaf, Bridalveil Creek, Yosemite
Yosemite Moonbow and Wildflowers photo workshop
Half Dome Lightning Strike, Glacier Point, Yosemite
Lightning Bolt, Half Dome, Glacier Point, Yosemite
Dogwood Above the Merced River, Near Fern Spring, Yosemite
Yosemite Sky, Tunnel View, Yosemite (2016)
On the Rocks, El Capitan and the Merced River, Yosemite
Moon!, Half Dome, Yosemite
Cassiopeia Above El Capitan, Yosemite
Autumn Snow, Valley View, Yosemite
Winter Reflection, El Capitan, Yosemite
Moonlight Magic, El Capitan, Yosemite
White-Out, Cook’s Meadow, Yosemite
Great picture, brings back great memories of my trip with you. Good luck with the crappy weather and more great shots.
Been there, done that!!
I don’t think you can ever have enough pictures of Yosemite or Valley View for that matter. There is always something new about THAT moment and that time. Great Shot.
a wonderful place
It really never gets old.
Gary, it was nice meeting you at the Valley View on Thursday night with your workshop group.
Thanks for introducing yourself, David. I hope you enjoyed the beautiful light on El Capitan.
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