January 13, 2009 ·

Michael Reichmann

Yosemite Sunrise, 1999

What can one say about Yosemite? This was my first visit there in many years and it didn’t disappoint. Driving up the Tioga Pass after spending the night in Lee Vining, as the light brightened we stopped at Olmstead point. This was the first shot of the day looking east toward Tenaya lake.

We had from sunrise till sunset to shoot in the park. Because the day, in fact the whole week, was clear and sunny there was little to be shot during the main part of the day so we just acted as tourists. But, during sunrise and sunset hours the light was spectacular.

Photographed with a 90mm f/4.0 APO Schneider Makro Symmar lens.

Half Dome at Dawn, 1999

Just minutes after taking the photograph at the top of the page the sun started to clear the mountains to the east. I swung my tripod head 180 degrees, switched to a 300mm lens and took the image above. It isn’t often that one gets to take two such fascinating photographs without having to take a single step.

What looks like fog to the left of Half Dome, isn’t. It’s smoke from some controlled burns being performed by the Park Service. This pall hung over much of the valley.

Photographed with a 300mm APO-Tele Xenar lens.

Pines and Moonset, 1999

Look closely and you’ll see the setting moon between the trees. Just moments before the two pictures above were taken, as we were climbing the rocky slope to frame the shots we spotted the moon over this rise. There were just seconds to capture it.

Photographed with a 90mm f/4.0 APO Schneider Makro Symmar lens.

Half Dome and Tree, 1999

There probably isn’t a mountain more photographed than Half Dome. But, not by me. This was taken at sunset from Glacier Point, about an hour’s drive from the valley floor.

Photographed with a 90mm f/4.0 APO Schneider Makro Symmar lens.

Half Dome and Tree – X, 1999

When the sun was a bit higher in the sky than in the photograph above I took a similarly framed shot with the Hasselblad XPan and 45mm lens. The whole feeling and mood is quite different. I can’t quite decide which I prefer.

Waterfall Foliage, 1999

More than the grand vistas, Yosemite impressed me with its detail. I enjoy finding the hidden bits of colour and texture which most photographers overlook while seeking out Half Dome, El Capitain and the grand vistas. Here, dug into the face of a waterfall, some last vestiges of colour cling to the rock face of a waterfall.

Siesta Lake, 1999

On our drive from Tioga Pass to the Valley floor this small lake caught the corner of my eye. We spent almost an hour working its shore. Later that afternoon I saw a very similar photograph taken from the same spot on display at theAnsel Adams Gallery. It was by a contemporary photographer from just a few years ago, but with a fallen log in the foreground. And I thought I was being original.

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Michael Reichmann is the founder of the Luminous Landscape. Michael passed away in May 2016. Since its inception in 1999 LuLa has become the world's largest site devoted to the art, craft, and technology of photography. Each month more than one million people from every country on the globe visit LuLa.

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