Monday, February 2, 2009

February Light

Conditions haven't changed much since my post from January 19th. Most of the valley floor has old snow, with breakable crust that's hard to walk on. But of course there are always things to photograph.

During winter here in the northern hemisphere the sun rises from the southeast and sets to the southwest. In Yosemite Valley this means that the rock formations on the north side of the valley, like El Capitan, Three Brothers (right), and Yosemite Falls, get hit by the sun early and late in the day, while the south side of the valley, including Sentinel Rock, Cathedral Rocks, and Bridalveil Fall, gets little sunlight. Half Dome receives nice sunset light all year, but in winter this late-day illumination rakes across its face, amplifying the texture of the rock.

February is a transition month as we approach spring. Sentinel Rock and Bridalveil Fall start to get some late-day light. The waterfalls have just a little more flow than in December and January. In February Upper Yosemite Fall often has a nice combination of early morning sun and a decent amount of water. Of course there's the famous sunset light on Horsetail Fall.

The forecast calls for rain and higher elevation snow later this week. Storms, whether they bring rain or snow, always provide opportunities for great clearing storm photographs.


  1. Hey Micheal - looks like a great photo but its kinda small on a 1600x1200 monitor! Can you please post bigger pix? Thanks and keep up the good work! - Matt.

  2. Thanks Matt, I'll try to do that in the future. You can see this image larger on my web site:



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