Landscape Photography
of James L. Snyder

Glacier Point
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Glacier Point
Linhof Master Technika 2000 camera, 75mm Rodenstock Grandagon-N f/6.8 lens, center filter, Fujicolor Pro 160S film, 2 exposures, 55 megapixels
All Images ©Copyright 2010 James L. Snyder. All Rights Reserved

Glacier Point

Merced River at the Ahwahnee Bridge, Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, CA, 10/1/2008

At sunrise on the final morning of a visit to Yosemite Valley with my mother - the one time we actually stayed at the beautiful Ahwahnee Hotel - I strolled down to the shore of the Merced River and mounted my camera on a tripod to make a photograph of Glacier Point in the day's first light. I chose an extra wide angle lens so I could include the mountain and its reflection, raised the front standard while keeping the camera level, aimed, focused, attached the cable release, closed and wound the shutter, and determined the two separate exposures I would need. I looked in my camera bag to grab a loaded film holder. There wasn't any film! I had stowed it in our room's refrigerator the previous night with the intention of putting it in my bag before heading out the door the next day. I didn't know what to do. I wanted to continue with my plans to make a photograph, but I didn't feel like packing my gear so I could go to our hotel room, come back here, unpack, and prepare all over again. I looked around and realized I was the only person out and about at that early hour. So, I left my precious photography equipment where it was, made a mad dash back to our room, and returned several minutes later with my film holders. I was out of breath, but very relieved to find everything exactly as I had left it! The scene looked even better than before, and I captured it on film. Glacier Point is located on the south wall of Yosemite Valley at an elevation of 7,214 feet above sea level. It rises 3,200 feet above the valley floor. The point's glacial origin is proven by the presence in it of rocks from Little Yosemite Valley and the High Sierra. The extreme point of the promontory of Glacier Point is completely bare, but on the slopes below, in the hollow to the west, and on the wooded slope above, glacial material is abundant. I enjoy photographing by the edge of the Merced River especially in autumn. At this time of year, the water flows so slowly that the river forms a natural reflecting pool, greatly enhancing views like this one of Glacier Point and the Ahwahnee Bridge, which can be seen spanning the river. It is one of eight granite-faced, concrete arch bridges that were constructed on the floor of Yosemite Valley between 1921 and 1933. All are of similar design and built of reinforced concrete veneered with native granite, having either one or three arches with finely cut keystones. The Ahwahnee Bridge crosses the Merced on the Mirror Lake Road and was built in 1928. The bridge was designed by the senior highway bridge engineer of the U. S. Bureau of Public Roads in collaboration with the Landscape Division of the Park Service to accommodate all classes of traffic and to harmonize with its natural surroundings.

Glacier Point

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