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Mysterious Blue Light at Yosemite

Posted by
Don Smith (California, United States) on 4 March 2008 in Landscape & Rural.

While helping teach a recent winter workshop with Gary Hart at Yosemite, we decided to take our group to the famed Tunnel View overlook for a clearing storm photo op. It was nearing sunset but our hopes for dramatic alpenglow light were fading by the minute. What we got instead was this mysterious blue light. Gary and I have been photographing this location since we were kids and neither one of us has ever seen this light before (this is why I love mountain light)! We surmised that an opening in the clouds in the far eastern end of the Valley allowed for reflected blue skylight. The bonus was that the clouds surrounding the opening caught the direct warm light from the setting sun from directly behind us. Any time I get a juxtaposition of warm and cold tones in nature, I react instantly. The psychological tug it presents for the viewer is very strong. I'm not sure if our workshop participants realized how unique this moment truly was. It lasted for all of about two minutes - I hope they all captured this serendipitous moment!

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III 4 seconds F/16.0 ISO 100 34 mm

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