Crepuscular Rays, El Capitan, Yosemite National Park

Crepuscular Rays, El Capitan, Yosemite National Park

It has been nearly a year since I have had a new photograph to share from Yosemite, but after visiting last weekend I am finally able to do so again. It will take some time to develop and scan my film, so I am sharing a digital photograph first, for which I have no film equivalent.

Yosemite was amazingly devoid of snow for this time of year. Snow in Yosemite creates uniquely beautiful scenery, but naturally limits accessibility to the high-country throughout the park. My wife and I decided to attempt the 4-Mile Trail hike, which climbs from the valley floor up about 3200feet to the south rim of the valley at Glacier Point. This trail is normally impassible this time of year due to snow, with Glacier Point only being accessible by cross-country skis. It was surprising to find almost no snow along this trail all the way up to Glacier Point, and great fun to climb it in February.

Weather cooperated on the ascent, but it did begin to cloud over on the way down. We were descending quickly to get back before dark when we got our first glimpse back to west end of the valley and saw a spectacular display of crepuscular rays breaking through the clouds, casting light on the nose of El Capitan. The light changed quickly and I only managed a few quick photographs. Once the light passed we continued to make our way down to the valley floor, arriving right about sunset. Normally I'm disappointed to miss photographing the actual sunset in Yosemite Valley, but on this evening I think it was spoiled by cloud. I think the best light display of the day happened here, an hour or two before sunset, and we just happened to be in the right place to witness it.

Since I haven't posted a Yosemite photograph in a while, it warrants repeating: Go to Yosemite! It is my absolute favorite place in the world and if you have not been, I cannot recommend it enough. Just go!

Nikon D90 | Nikon 50mm f /1.8 | f/9 | 1/250s | ISO200 | Tripod

See more related images in my Yosemite National Park Gallery.

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