Winter Oaks, Morning Mist

Winter Oaks, Morning Mist
Winter Oaks, Morning Mist

Winter Oaks, Morning Mist. Yosemite Valley, California. February 23, 2013. © Copyright 2013 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Morning mist swirls around Glacier Point beyond the silhouetted branches of winter oak trees, Yosemite Valley.

This morning proved – yet again – that there is “always something to see” if I’m just out there looking. We had stayed overnight in The Valley the night before, following the opening reception for Yosemite Renaissance 28, the annual juried exhibit of work created by artists inspired by and working in and around Yosemite National Park. (It is a wonderful show and you should stop by the Museum Gallery in the Valley if you are in the Valley during the next few months.) After heading out for a late dinner with a group of other participants after the reception, we got to bed quite late and the idea of waking up well before dawn to photograph was not sounding as appealing as it sometimes can. It didn’t help that the weather forecast was for clouds and a chance of rain or snow.

I woke up at 5:30 and reset my alarm for the relatively late hour of 6:30, thinking that whatever photography there might be would be almost outside my door and realizing that sunrise would not be until after 7:00 a.m. I got up, quickly dressed and grabbed camera gear, headed out the door and started walking. In the pre-dawn light I could see that the clear areas of the sky were quickly diminishing and that clouds were ringing the Valley. I ended up in nearly deserted Cooks Meadow, where I made a few photographs of trees and cliffs and so forth. Then it started to rain lightly. I kept shooting a bit longer, but soon realized that I couldn’t really stay out there since I had not thought to bring anything waterproof for me or my gear. I retreated to a nearby shuttle bus stop and found shelter under its roof. Now of all the places to look for aesthetic inspiration in the Sierra, a Yosemite Valley shuttle stop might be very close to the least likely. However, finding myself in one and with nothing else to do, I began to look around to see what I could see from this small sheltered area. First I noticed a large granite face to my east that was becoming reflective in the light rain, and I shot a few photographs in that direction. Then I looked up through the branches of dormant oak trees toward Glacier Point and saw clouds swirling about it and nearby pinnacles and trees, occasionally broken enough to allow some of the sunrise light to create a glow behind the mist. And there you have it – the first photograph I have made from under the roof of a shuttle stop… ;-)

G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer and visual opportunist whose subjects include the Pacific coast, redwood forests, central California oak/grasslands, the Sierra Nevada, California deserts, urban landscapes, night photography, and more.
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Text, photographs, and other media are © Copyright G Dan Mitchell (or others when indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without advance permission from G Dan Mitchell.

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