Landscape Photography
of James L. Snyder

Yosemite Falls and Rising Sun
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Yosemite Falls and Rising Sun
Linhof Master Technika 2000 camera, 150mm Schneider Symmar-S f/5.6 lens, Fujicolor Pro 160S film, 4 exposures, 193 megapixels
All Images ©Copyright 2010 James L. Snyder. All Rights Reserved

Yosemite Falls and Rising Sun

Sentinel Meadow, Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, CA, 6/7/2011

Sentinel Meadow - south of the Merced River and just east of Swinging Bridge in Yosemite Valley - has a habit of collecting fog in the mornings following a rainfall. With the lack of wind at its central valley location beneath namesake Sentinel Rock, the fog often lingers here much longer into morning than in other areas of the valley. I arrived at Swinging Bridge just after sunrise but well before sunlight reached the valley floor. There had been rain the previous night, and I was pleased to find Sentinel Meadow covered with dew and shrouded in fog. Just as I hoped for, the fog remained for quite some time after the sun rose high enough to illuminate the meadow and backlight the fog! Here we see Upper Yosemite Fall and the top of Lower Yosemite Fall at left, a glimpse of ephemeral Lehamite Falls through the fog at center, and a group of backlit oaks at right by the south edge of the meadow. This photograph was made so early in the morning that I was the only one around and felt as though I had all of Yosemite Valley to myself! By mid-morning the area became crowded with visitors, but the fog and the dew were gone. The noted wilderness photographer and climber Galen Rowell referred to this type of photograph as a dynamic landscape - constantly changing, and never to be seen the same way again. The total height of Yosemite Falls is 2,425 feet, and the height of the upper fall is 1,430 feet. Yosemite Falls is the tallest waterfall in North America and the sixth tallest waterfall in the world. Lehamite Falls consists of a long series of steep cascades that drop 1,180 feet. They are located in a small cleft in the north wall of the valley known as Indian Canyon, seen above Yosemite Village. The falls are little known because they appear only in early spring or after a heavy rainfall, and are upstaged by nearby Yosemite Falls. Lehamite is Ahwaneechee Indian for “arrowwood.” It is one of the few features in Yosemite that have retained their original Indian names.

Yosemite Falls and Rising Sun

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