Morning Grandeur

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Just to the east of El Capitan in Yosemite Valley stand three giant bare granite peaks – the Three Brothers. One of the more famous sights within Yosemite National Park, the Three Brothers are comprised of Eagle Peak, the uppermost “brother,” the Middle Brother, and Lower Brother. John Muir considered the view from the top of Eagle Peak to be the most beautiful view of Yosemite Valley.

I’ve had a sunrise photo of the Three Brothers taken back in 2012, but have never been satisfied with it. Although the three peaks themselves are visible from a number of locations throughout the Valley Floor, many of the vantage points along the Merced Riverbank are obstructed by trees and difficult to access because of the marshy wetlands next to the river in that area. I wanted a “full-body” view of the rock formation set against the curve of the river at an angle that would capture the golden light of the sunrise without losing the richness of the shadows. I found my ideal composition – in chest-deep water in the middle of the Merced River. The grandeur of the Three Brothers in the morning sunlight is one of my favorites photos. BTW, gotta love the silhouette of the eagle in the upper right-hand corner of the sky!

Location: Three Brothers; Yosemite National Park.