Share this photo on Twitter Share this photo on Facebook

Sunrise Over Merced River

Posted by
Don Smith (California, United States) on 6 July 2008 in Landscape & Rural.

While on a short vacation to Yosemite last week, I decided to take advantage of the smoky skies from California's wildfires and got up early to shoot a sunrise. Normally Yosemite Valley sunrises (especially with the absence of clouds) are not the best as the Valley lays out West to East. This image was taken from the famed Valley View location. I could see that the sun was going to rise behind El Capitan and I simply waited for it to peak around the massive monolith. As you can see, the sky did hold color due to all the particulate matter in the atmosphere and reflected the sun's warm light across the river without the usual spectral highlights washing out. When shooting into the sun, I remove any filters I may have on my lens (in this case my polarizer) to minimize flare. Fixed focal lengths do the best job of combating flare because they have less elements to bend the light. However, I was using my 100-400mmL lens (to help compress El Cap and the river) for this image and I spotted out two recorded areas of flare in Photoshop. To see more of my landscape images, electronically preview a portion of my book On the Edge, or to learn more about my upcoming workshops, please visit my website at

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III 1/80 second F/22.0 ISO 100 100 mm

My Website: "how to" articles, 2020 WORKSHOP LISTINGS, galleries, stock photos, and more...