Half Dome Sunset, Yosemite National Park, California

Half Dome Sunset, Yosemite National Park, California

I've been feeling very nostalgic for California and Yosemite again recently. It's been about 7 months since moving to Washington state and apart from flying overhead I haven't been back to California since.

My wife and I are just starting to think about a future trip to see friends and go back to Yosemite, but it probably won't be until the fall or late summer. I had to take a look back at my photos from our first trip to the park in the fall of 2007 and came across this shot.

I've posted some different photos from the same sunset but that was now well over a year ago. But this was my first sunset in the park, and possibly the most colorful one I've seen. There had been several controlled burns around the park and the air was quite smokey, as a result. While the distant views were all obscured and the valley filled with a dense haze, it did make for some of the best light I've seen in my few trips to the park. The shot here was consequently fairly low in contrast as a result (though not terrible, as it was shot from Glacier Point, directly across the valley), and I tried to bring back some of the details with a pretty basic curves adjustment, which also helped to color to pop.

If we do make it back in the fall I can only hope we'll be treated to this kind of light again. Even without it though, Yosemite is, as far as I know, the single most spectacular place on this little planet of ours. If you have the means I can't emphasize enough how much you need to go to Yosemite.

Just go.... now.

Nikon D40 | Nikon 18-200VR@50mm | f/8 | 1/40s | ISO200 | Tripod

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