…contd. from previous post
“You said its a cliched photo spot and there is no one out here,” Veera had his doubts when we reached Cook’s meadow around 6:40am the next morning. For me I had no second thoughts regarding where I had to be at sunrise. Blank blue skies meant no Tunnel View, no Glacier point and since I did not have my take on the cliched shot of back lit Elm tree with Half Dome, I was strolling in Cook’s meadow, finding my own vision of the scene. After I had decided upon the composition and firmly grabbed my spot, 2 more photographer’s came and soon after there were at least 12 more photographers shooting the same scene (probably a photo workshop group). All of them though were 10 feet behind me (at the cliched spot) and since I arrived earlier, I could hold my ground. Veera was totally taken aback by seeing so many tripods. “Welcome to Yosemite”, I chuckled at his astonishment.
Now we had a long wait for the Sun to rise from behind the cliffs and hit the Elm tree. Our feet were getting cold in the frosty grass and the wait was agonizingly long. Slowly the Sun rose; we saw golden light strike the cliffs behind us and then the upper Yosemite falls that placated Veera for the time being. Finally the Sun came up and bathed the Elm tree in beautiful warm light. I was elated to find the Sun right at the spot I had imagined (so much for luck) and made my desired image. Then we took a walk in the meadow and I kept on finding compositions and continued shooting.
After enjoying a beautiful autumn morning, we started to drive back to Curry Village (our tent cabins). Our conversation went on to the lack of visible wildlife and immediately we saw a deer with fully grown, beautiful antlers. I stopped the car and we photographed the stag from just 3-4 feet (deer in Yosemite are friendly). Satisfied with our deer sighting, we started again and on this 10 mins, 2 mile drive, I made 3 memorable images (good luck continues). With the morning well spent, we had breakfast in our tent and then decided to take quick hot showers. Up next was a visit to the Yosemite high country (Tioga Pass) before heading back to Stanford in the evening. (…to be contd.)