Yellow Colors of Merced River (Yosemite)

Before visiting Yosemite National Park for the first time, I went through hundreds of photos of fellow photographers, trying to anticipate and plan ahead what to shoot. By the time of my visit, I had the general idea of the layout of the valley and key spots to visit.

At the same time, I had a few surprises. For example, I did not expect the valley to be so narrow. But the main surprise was the color of the Merced River. It had prominent yellow hues, and it was not a reflection of the sunset. I took a featured photo in the middle of the day with thick clouds defusing the direct sunlight. I did not complain because it was a welcomed surprise.

The idea for the composition of the photo was to use the river as a leading element with the Yosemite Falls as the focal point. But when I started to process it back home in my Lightroom, I realized that the yellow waters of the Merced River overpower everything else in the composition, thereby becoming the actual focal point.

I used HDR (High Dynamic Range) processing in Photomatix to tone map 3 bracketed photos.

California. Yosemite National Park 
Loc: 37.736900, -119.599979

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