The Merced River flows through Yosemite Valley. And, like everything else in this Valley, it is beautiful. I feel lucky, however, getting this shot. Not because it is a perfect shot of the river, but because I stumbled upon it accidentally.
It was our first day in the Valley itself, and we weren’t there to take any pictures per se, rather, we were just checking it out. It was rainy, we had no idea where to go, and we just really wanted to get the proverbial lay of the land for the next day’s photograph-march through this breathtaking landscape.
We hadn’t even entered the park yet, and the river emerged on our left like some sort of serpentine sexpot; elusive, seductive, beautiful. Corinne was driving so I could check out possible shots for the next day, and, quite frankly, it seemed hopeless; the landscape was gorgeous but the light seemed, at best, unhelpful.
We rounded a corner and suddenly the river, turning with us, shouted out me. It offered a little bit of snow, a little bit of color and a lot of what Yosemite always offers; beauty. I blurted out to my wife, “Pull over, this looks cool.” Being the ever encouraging muse, she pulled over, I pulled out my camera, attached the polarizing filter to my wide angle lens, attached the camera to the tripod, slung the whole thing over my shoulder, and hiked down to the river below.
As I hiked around, mostly marveling at what I saw and not really focusing on what to shot, I found this angle that seemed perfect top me. It doesn’t offer a famous view, wildlife, or anything else that most photographers hunger for. It’s just river, snow, rocks, trees and plants. But for me, it just looked, well, pretty. And I just wanted to take a picture of it. And now, I just wanted to share it with you.
– Bryan Gray, Napa Valley Winery and Wine Bottle Photographer