Yosemite Valley and the surrounding mountains have been known as icons for as long as I have been alive. Since the days of Ansel Adams photographers have flocked to photographed and view the aw-inspiring sights in the park. Every time I visit, I get goosebumps thinking about the history and usually from the excitement of the upcoming trip and photo I am searching for. My motivation when in the park is to explore off trail and photograph where I don’t think many have gone before. A few years ago, my friend RJ explored this ridge overlooking the largest waterfall in North America and the iconic Half Dome. His images stuck with me and I spent the next few years researching the area and studying the location trying to come up with a fresh image I had not seen from this area. With a very specific vision in mind, I hit the longest stair climber trial I have ever done and 2.5 hours later I topped out on the falls. The next leg of the journey was about 1.5 miles and 800 vertical off trail. Unfortunately, this section was also snow covered. After another 1.5 hours of post holing in the snow I reached the edge of this 2000 foot cliff with one of the most spectacular views I have enjoyed in the park. With a good bit of daylight available I carefully walked up and down this ridge studying all the potential angles I could photograph from. By nightfall I had made a plan, got a few hours of much needed sleep and woke up at 2am ready to complete my vision on this image. Climbing onto a large rock that balanced on the edge of the cliff I had a clean and unobstructed view all the way to the bottom of the falls. As the moon began rise ,I started to move much faster and with a confident intention that I get when I see a previsualized image starting to come to life. The icing on the cake was the lunar moonbow that I was not sure would appear with the smaller amount of moon and unique angle of view.
Nikon D850, Sigma 14mm ART, 15 second @1.8, ISO 1600