Shoreline Reflections, Tenaya Lake

Shoreline Reflections, Tenaya Lake
Shoreline Reflections, Tenaya Lake

Shoreline Reflections, Tenaya Lake. Yosemite National Park, California. June 30, 2010. © Copyright G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Black and white photograph of silhouetted trees and boulders and their reflections lining a flooded section of the shoreline of Tenaya Lake.

During the time of peak snow melt many Sierra Nevada lakes overflow their borders and flood the surrounding meadows and forested areas. Although the water level was lower at the end of June when I made this photograph than it had been three weeks earlier during my first visit of the year to the area, many areas in the margins of the lake were flooded. (This, of course, makes the mosquito population very happy – and human visitors less so!) The early morning sun back-lights these closely spaced trees and the rocks ringing this quiet flooded area along the shoreline of the lake.

I have visited this and other portions of the Tenaya Lake for many years. I’ve long been intrigued by this particular area of the lake, where flat granite slabs line the shoreline, allowing the lake to expand and contract across these shallows as the season progresses through a sequence that begins with very high water during the period of spring snow melt to lower water in the late season. Later in the season this spot can be essentially dry, but in the early season of this wetter-than-usual year, the water flooded this small pool and what might otherwise be shoreline trees were on a rocky peninsula. Those trees have been a subject for a number of other photographers, and being aware of this I wanted to avoid the temptation to simply make a photograph that imitated their beautiful work. I arrived in the early morning, when the air was still and cool and the water smooth. I walked about a bit and just looked, and then came to this spot, where the complex patterns of the trees and their reflections in the water could fill the frame, creating for me somehow a sense of stillness and calm and quiet.

This photograph was a prize winner in the Yosemite Renaissance 2013 show in Yosemite Valley. Prints are available. Email me and/or see the Sales link at the top of this page.

G Dan Mitchell Photography
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