Willie and I arrived in Yosemite just as winter storm Leo was wrapping up dumping over a foot of snow into Yosemite Valley. It was still snowing when we arrived and we made sure to take advantage of the snow to look for something different for our portfolio. Previously we had photographed the clearing winter storms — Yosemite bathed in snow, but with skies turning blue and light entering the park. While we hoped the capture the clearing storm, we also wanted that shadowy, cold but peaceful look while it was still snowing.
When you enter Yosemite Valley you’re put into a giant one-way loop. You enter the valley, get to the Yosemite Village, and then can head back out (or to a number of destinations). While doing a lap around the valley we found ourselves exploring the meadow outside of Yosemite Falls.
The Merced River was mostly just a stream and the foot of snow had landed on top of the rocks, making little hats dotting the river. I think we spent nearly 45 minutes trying to figure out the best way to photograph the snowcats and this was one of my favorite of the scenes. The river, following by beautifully snowy trees, with a mountainous backdrop to remind us we were in the mountains.
Nikon D800 w/Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8:
38mm, f/13, 1/100 sec, ISO 100