Yosemite National Park lies in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, about three hours east of the San Francisco Bay Area.
The deep canyon of Yosemite Valley creates a lot of shadows, and the moving sun spotlights subjects in the forest on the Valley floor. Arriving at locations at different times provides endless variations for using spotlighting or silhouetting to emphasize your subjects.
These young cottonwood trees were in shadow most of the day, but arriving within a short time window enabled them to be spotlighted against shaded pine trees in the background. Their reflection in the Merced River emphasized the simplicity of the composition.