I arrive as expected, and stepped out of the car with a flashlight to check out the area. Just 20 feet from the car I discovered water... lot's of water! Some 200 yards from my desired shooting location. Now what?
Lesson #1: always have a backup plan
So, I packed the entire backpack with my RB67 kit and start hiking. A short loop around to another vantage point and it became very clear. And somewhat unique for me. The Merced river was starting to breach its banks in several areas. AKA - flood stage!
Lesson #2: be safe
I told myself, to proceed with caution, as this was new territory for me. Yes, I've been to Yosemite many times, but never with this much water. And we all know... "Swift waters kill"!!
I proceeded to do a 6 mile valley floor loop, and discovered many unique and alternate views of this beautiful valley.
This view from just north of the Swinging Bridge shows the flooded meadow. A two shot, stitched image, using FP4 Plus 120 film.
From the swinging bridge, another view of Yosemite Falls at full flow. And the river nearly twice it's normal width.
This next image shows a river flowing at the brim, right up to the tips of the banks. Several areas it leaked out into the valley loop trail causing some detours to my hike.
After a relaxing lunch, and some prayer journal time, I headed down to the Cascades and Wildcat falls. There I found the Cascades roaring (and somewhat unsafe) so I diverted straight to Wildcat Falls.
Upon arriving, I found a new obstacle... a giant boulder had fell directly in front of the falls. I'm talking a car size boulder! Plan C.
I studied the scene and tried a few angles, and in the final editing process came up with this detail image. Actually shot on Ektar 100, and converted to B&W in post using an Infrared filter setting. I added a bit of blur to the water to help with the ethereal feel.
In all, I logged about 9 miles, and enjoyed a full day of God's glory. His power revealed through nature, its forces and its challenges, and yes, it's beauty.
The RB67 is definitely a load, but worth the weight, as these images look great at full resolution. I hiked with my Kelty Redwing 32L bag with padded inserts, and that seemed fine, but still not as friendly as simply holding the RB67 and tripod while exploring.
Unfortunately, I did discover a bum shutter on my wide angle lens, and several of the shots were ruined. As such, it sits in pieces on my desk at home, waiting for a repair shutter to arrive. Stay tuned on that repair.