Clouds streak over the top of El Capitan as the Merced river flows by. No HDR! In an hour or two, I’ll send out my newsletter and reply to my stack of emails.

Free wallpaper for over 100 of my images in 6 different screen sizes is now available!

See the 1200 pixel version!…

Settings etc.:

Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 17-40L @ 17 (very wide to get it all into the frame)
30-second exposure @F13 (to show the cloud movement)
LEE soft ND grad (100x150mm) 0.75
Lee foundation kit filter holder with Lee 77mm adapter ring
No polarizer.
ISO 50
Small Slik tripod with Manfrotto pistol grip ball head
RAW file processed with Capture One by Phase One
TIFF file processed with Photoshop

Topping out at more than 3,000 feet above the 4,000 ft elevation Valley floor, El Capitan it is the largest vertical monolith of granite in the world. There are a few monoliths that are bigger on the sides of the Andes and Himalaya, but they are not pure granite. There are even larger cliffs of granite in Yosemite but they are not completely vertical. El Capitan is opposite Bridalveil Fall and is best seen from the roads in western Yosemite Valley, including Tunnel View, Bridalveil Fall area, and El Capitan Meadow.

This is a bend in the river near the meadow. I had the lens as wide as I could get it with my 10-stop dark filter on to get a very long exposure to show the clouds streaking ofer the top. This view is huge!

I waited for some clouds to streak over the top and just as they appeared, I began the exposure so they would move across the clear blue sky. I also waited for the sun to be at a near 90-degree angle to the cliff face to show more detail.

The map shows exactly where this is. It is an easy 0.5-mile hike from the nearest road. The road is actually nearby but the nearest pullout is down the road a bit. And if you miss it, you have to drive all the way around the valley on the one-way road to get back!

See my Flickr profile for a link to my newly designed website.

Posted by PatrickSmithPhotography on 2009-07-25 14:33:52

Tagged: , landscape , sky , rock , grass , water , merced river , el capitan , yosemite , reflection , granite , long exposure , travel , vacation , california , sierra , nature , paradise , waterfall , usa , pine , cedar , ribbon falls , wallpaper , geotagged , canon , 5d , mkII , monolith

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