A Winter View of Half Dome and the Merced River

Short hike from the Yosemite Conservation Heritage Center through the snow and down to the river’s edge. Mist was in the air inviting me to this spot. The Merced was a little swollen from rain and snow in January and moving slowly providing a mirror surface. I wanted to include Half Dome and the Stoneman Bridge in the image.

Type of Critique Requested

  • Aesthetic: Feedback on the overall visual appeal of the image, including its color, lighting, cropping, and composition.
  • Emotional: Feedback on the emotional impact and artistic value of the image.
  • Technical: Feedback on the technical aspects of the image, such as exposure, color, focus and reproduction of colors and details, post-processing, and print quality.

Specific Feedback and Self-Critique

Love wandering around Yosemite Valley and finding images that appeal to me.

Technical Details

Nikon Z6II, Nikkor Z 14-24, 24 mm, f9, 1/30, ISO 80, tripod mounted. (Jan. 13, 2023, 12:28 pm.)

1 Like

Hi Terry and welcome to NPN!

It’s a fine first image with lots of elements to study.
The mist is nice and strong over the water near the bridge, it’s almost hiding the bridge but I can see it :slight_smile:
The river displays lots of active and almost in motion elements like the needles and the leaves that are captured by the banks.
I like the evergreens mixed in with the bare trees creating a nice color contrast and the reflection of half dome in the water is very nice.

This image makes me imagine what it’s like to be there in person.

It’s sort of a cluttered scene but it looks like a good, honest representation of the landscape.

My attention is naturally led down (or up?) the river and onto the bridge and mountain.

I like it and I look forward to seeing more of your work as well as some of your comments on other images when you’re comfortable with your new environment here at NPN :slight_smile:

Thanks for joining us :slight_smile:

1 Like

Hi Terry, welcome to NPN. This is a wonderful image of my favorite national park. I actually like the wider view as it reminds me of the realities of the scene and the river. The leaning trees just add to the overall feeling of…nature. It’s hard to see the bridge, but that also works to help frame Half Dome.

Emotionally, this brings back fond memories of my visits there. I went in a December, hoping for snow and got rain. I went in April, hoping for spring and got snow. So it all balanced out, I guess.

I think the composition is good. Half Dome in the upper right, with the reflection helps to balance against the trees on the left. I’d love to see a tighter image with Half Dome and the bridge. I feel there’s a really dynamic image there as well.

I hope you enjoy our community. If there’s anything you need, or have questions about, don’t hesitate to contact me.



Welcome to NPN! Great to have you here! And your first post from my favorite place on the planet! Great entry! :smile:

Great viewpoint and the conditions were certainly worth the little trek down to the rivers edge. I think that mist has evened out the luminosity and allowing the colors to stand out as well. I especially like the two pines leaning over the river. - The composition is solid.

As mentioned, the composition is solid. Aesthetically, the leaf debris and shore lower right aren’t as “pretty” as the overall scene, but without that, you don’t have the reflection. For maybe a viable alternate, I think this makes for an excellent panorama if you crop up from the bottom. Just an alternate suggestion, not really something to say it would be better.

The mist up river sets a very quiet mood, which takes me there because I’ve been there and I know! One of the things that I love about the place. What does the park get, lik 3.5-4 million visitors a year? - not so many in winter, but it’s always possible to find peace and dead quiet there. Thanks for sharing and taking me back!

Looking forward to your images and participation!