The CPF/POTN Meet-Up at Yosemite

A few days ago I mentioned that I went up to Yosemite for the day. You can read about it and view the photo here: Cathedral Rocks, Yosemite.

After meeting everybody, we headed over to Mirror Lake. I was going to hike the one mile with everybody else, but decided against it because it would take too long. Since I have my handicapped placard, I drove right up to Mirror Lake and waited for the group. I figured it would take them about 30-45 minutes to, so I walked the Mirror Lake loop.

Mount Watkins at Mirror Lake
Mount Watkins

Just as I got back to the van, I saw the group. I suggested a few spots so we walked the loop. We stopped along the loop so I could capture this.

Rock and Half Dome in the Morning Light
Mirror Lake View

After Mirror Lake we drove over to see Yosemite falls. I took my camera stuff but didn’t take any pictures because the lighting was really harsh for my tastes. Besides that, I have enough photos of Yosemite Falls since I just went there in February.

Since the light was getting harsh, we all went back to the room. Since I was up for the day, Alan invited me to tag along. I stayed for a few hours with Alan, his wife Sara and there daughter Rachel. Around 3PM I decided go back down to the valley to see what I could capture, make some dinner and drive up to Tunnel View with the group for sunset.

I thought I’d drive back to Mirror Lake since there was a variety of lighting situations.

Mirror Lake View
Rock and Half Dome in the Afternoon

Thought I’d re-visit this spot. I really prefer the first one because the shadow on the rock really bothers me.

I went back to the van and grabbed my backpacking stove and made a few hot dogs. I forgot the buns and mustard though!. After dinner I stopped briefly at ‘Valley View’ before driving up to Tunnel View.

Bridalveil Falls at Valley View
Bridalveil Falls at Valley View

Bridalveil Falls at Tunnel View
Bridalveil Falls at Tunnel View

The last photo of the day, Clouds Rest and Half Dome.
Clouds Rest and Half Dome

Thanks for looking! πŸ™‚

Mike Matenkosky

Mike is a Central Valley California landscape and nature photographer whose subjects include scenes from Merced County, Yosemite, SeKi, and the eastern Sierra. He is currently living in Atwater, CA.

The text and photographs are Β© Copyright Mike Matenkosky (or others when indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without advance permission from Mike Matenkosky.


  1. Thank You for sharing, Mike. Stunning as always πŸ™‚


  2. Great looking shots…….makes me want to be there again. It’s obvious you’re in your element when you’re at Yosemite. You’re fortunate to be able to visit such a great resource for wildlife and scenic photography. Always great to see your latest photos.


  3. They’re all exceptional photographs, but I think the best one of the lot you’ve posted here is:

    Bridalveil Falls at Valley View, becuase:

    -Love the warmth of the light coming off the rock faces
    -the rock faces glow with such warmth that the cloud above them is almost like steam rising off of them
    -There’s almost no shadows in the scene at all – how is that possible?
    -What shadow there is, covers the ground between the water and the forest’s edge -it’s perfect, because if this area weren’t covered in shadow, it would have almost the same tonal quality as the rock faces, making it tonally monotonous.

    All this to say: you timed the light perfectly, whether you intended to or not. Great pic.


  4. Patti – Thanks…as usual! πŸ™‚

    Dad – Thanks, I couldn’t do it without you and mom. πŸ™‚

    Chris – Thank you for the feedback. It’s always nice to hear “why”! Why no shadow? Some photographers use Graduated Neutral Density filters (GNDs) and some photographers expose two photos, one for the shadows and one for the highlights, and blend them together in Photoshop. I prefer Photoshop. πŸ™‚


  5. Mike the pictures are awesome. Your pictures are always so beautiful. I’m forwarding them on to my son, I know he’ll love them.


  6. Those are great shots Mike. Your have the eye for framing what Yosemite Valley offers to anyone that can pause long enough to see it, is a gift. Most people miss it. I love the first image of Mt. Watkins mirrored in Mirror Lake. It’s so crisp and clear. I can almost feel the briskness of the April morning air, there in the canyon, shadowed at that time of day by Half Dome. Thank you for sharing them with us.


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