Let It Snow

Half Dome and Yosemite Valley from Tunnel View, Yosemite NP, CA, USA

Half Dome and Yosemite Valley from Tunnel View, Yosemite NP, CA, USA

In a recent post I talked about adapting your composition to the light, rather than hoping that the light adapts to your composition. Nowhere is this more true than at Tunnel View. Sometimes the classic view – with El Capitan on the left, and Cathedral Rocks on the right – works perfectly. But not always. When I made this photograph the most interesting part of the scene was a small area in the distance where the light was hitting Half Dome and the valley floor below, so I zoomed in with my 70-200mm lens, turned the camera to a vertical orientation, and filled the frame with just those two spots.

Looking at this photograph made me think about clearing storms, and snow, and Christmas coming. I hope we get lots of snow this winter, not just for the sake of photographers, but for everyone in California. We’ve had two straight years of meager precipitation here, and we really need a wet winter. So let it snow!

— Michael Frye

Related Posts: Courting Luck: How to Take Advantage of Special Light and Weather in Landscape Photography; Courting Luck, Part 2: Adapting Your Composition to the Conditions; A Beautiful Week in Yosemite

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Michael Frye is a professional photographer specializing in landscapes and nature. He is the author or principal photographer of The Photographer’s Guide to YosemiteYosemite Meditations, Yosemite Meditations for Women, and Digital Landscape Photography: In the Footsteps of Ansel Adams and the Great Masters. He has also written three eBooks: Light & Land: Landscapes in the Digital Darkroom, Exposure for Outdoor Photography, and Landscapes in Lightroom 5: The Essential Step-by-Step Guide. Michael written numerous magazine articles on the art and technique of photography, and his images have been published in over thirty countries around the world. Michael has lived either in or near Yosemite National Park since 1983, currently residing just outside the park in Mariposa, California.

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11 Responses to “Let It Snow”

  1. A great reminder to chase the light because it’s not going to chase you! And hopefully you’ll be blessed with lots of snowfall as well. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!

  2. Lenya says:

    Yes, Michael we do need snow! Very nice photograph and teaching point.
    Another reminder that sometimes stopping for a moment to think may actually
    bear fruit (though not as often as one would hope).

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. Eric J says:

    Michael, very striking, as always. But I was also impressed with how disorienting the image is to anyone familiar with Tunnel View. I’m so used to the framing by El Cap and Bridalveil/Cathedral that I struggled for a bit to figure it out. Bravo. A lesson in looking more carefully….

  4. Andrew Boyd says:

    Beautiful image, Michael. Thanks.

  5. I am sending you some of our rain and snow from up here in Portland. We finally got wet today

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