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Photographing Yosemite: Digital Field Guide by Lewis Kemper

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4.2. Where Can I Get the Best Shot?

El Capitan Meadow provides numerous spots to photograph Cathedral Rocks. For an added element of water, you can photograph from the Merced River.

The best locations from which to photograph Cathedral Rocks: (A) El Capitan Meadow, (B) Merced River at marker V17. Other photo ops: (2) Bridalveil Fall, (6) El Capitan, (10) Horsetail Fall, (22) Three Brothers.

4.2.1. El Capitan Meadow

In El Capitan Meadow (see A on the map), you have great views of Cathedral Rocks anywhere you walk. Both small and large pine trees and oak trees are scattered throughout the meadow. Walk around and find some of these trees to use as foreground elements (see figure 4.1). In June, you can also find wild azaleas blooming in the meadow. Those flowers make a very nice foreground when photographing Cathedral Rocks.

Figure 4.1. Cathedral Rocks from El Capitan Meadow. Taken at ISO 100, f/14, 1/30 second with a 17mm lens.

4.2.2. Merced River at marker V17

To photograph from the river, park in the parking area on the north side of the road at valley marker V17. This parking lot is easy to distinguish due to the two cedar trees that grow out of the asphalt. Park on the west side of the lot and walk down the trail to the river (see B on map). Although the trail is very short, ...

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