Spring Trees, Waterfall Mist. Yosemite Valley, California. May 3, 2013. © Copyright 2013 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.
Waterfall mist fills the air around sunlit maple trees with new spring leaves, Yosemite National Park
There are at least two stories behind this photograph. The first involves a family tradition that I started when I began taking my kids to The Valley quite a few years ago when they were small. Each spring we would take a “waterfall trip” as close as possible to the time of peak runoff – sometimes going up to the Valley and back in a single day. As part of this event, it was also my tradition to “say hello to summer” by making the first stop in the Valley at Bridal Veil falls – and hiking as close to the base of the fall as possible, in order to stand in the tremendous wind-blown clouds of spray, usually getting thoroughly soaked. This year we were there without our kids, who are now “all growed up” and off living their own lives, but I still had to make a ritual visit to the spray at the base of this fall.
The second story might actually be a continuation of the first. Sometimes I go to experience something and not photograph it, and that was my intention when we walked to the fall this time. But as we rounded a corner on the trail and I looked up into the morning light from the sun that had just cleared the top of the cliff, I saw this wonderful silhouetted maple tree standing in mist-filled air with the still-shaded waterfall beyond. But I did not have my “regular camera” nor did I have a tripod – I had my small Fujifilm X-E1, but with the wrong lens for this shot. I turned to my wife, who also has an X-E1 but usually attaches a 60mm macro lens (she is passionate about photographing small things!) and asked if I could borrow her camera/lens to try to squeeze off a couple of shots. She agreed, and I made two exposures, shooting handheld in the spray and wind.
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.