Yosemite Vacation: The Yosemite Valley thru Arkensen’s Lens

Some of the best thing in Yosemite is actually free. There are photography walks organized by the national park several times a week. Unfortunately, they don’t have one during the days we were there.

So, Arkensen and I decided to make our own photography walk. For once, he took over the camera and made shots on his own. He wanted to share these pictures on chowtimes … and so here it is … the Yosemite Valley through Arkensen’s lenses.

We walked and discuss each shot before they are made … about the composition, the angles, the colours, the shadows and the subject.

I bet he would love some comments and said that he don’t mind criticism. For the shot below, he went down lower than usual so that he can catch some blades of grass. This gives a bit more interested view of the valley.


For this, he went down on his bellies. The reason why he did so is because it’s an angle that most people do not see which makes it a bit different. Moreover, he attempted to focus on only one flower rather than to take a lot of it. Notice that the flower is off centre too.


Plain waterfall shots are boring because what you only see is grey rocks and white water. In order to put some colour and perspective to it, he framed the waterfall with the surrounding trees.


This is another greyish rock face. It is hard to also picture. What he did was to use a background blue skies and another background rock face with some greens and waterfall at the bottom. This makes it a bit more busier.


Arkensen and I had wanted to climb the Half Dome. You could never miss the Half Dome because of its unique shape. Initially we thought we wake up at 5AM and try to complete it in 4 hours — just Arkensen and I while Suanne and Nanzaro does other less strenuous activity. But we later found out that despite it seem near, it is actually one of the toughest hikes around — it will take approximately 10-12 hours for the 17 miles hike!! We are determined … we shall return one day!

Again, the composition of the half dome is deliberately set off centered and framed with the surrounding trees with one nearby one on the right.


This is an interesting shot because of the slow river which meanders its way across the picture at the bottom.


A close up shot of pine cones. He selected two of different colours to show the contrast between them. He also arranged it in such a way that you see a bit of a overhanging branch of the fallen tree it was set on. He also angled it so that you get green trees as the background.


This one did not come across as well as intended. He intended to capture the dramatic solid granite rock face against the softer green and water. It looked better with our eyes but this one turned out not so good.


The El Capitan has perhaps the most dramatic rock face. It’s also a very popular rock climbing site. The record time taken is 3 hours … amazing!! When we were there, people were pointing out where the climbers are. They are so small, I just can’t see them … either that or I’m getting old.

Again, the thoughts for this picture is … the overhanging branch and trees below which frames up the shot. The blue skies behind is perfect … or else it will be quite plain.


The mountain tapers from the left to the right above the wide expanse of the meadows below. We hoped that the shadows were not there but it was quite OK. Alternatively, we could sit here and wait 6 hours for the sun to hit the rock surface.


So, how was that? We had a good time taking pictures and Arkensen wished he had a set of camera of his own. I think he has a good eye for good pictures.

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  1. cocoa

    Start from young.. You know what to get for his next birthday 🙂

  2. Jennifer

    Oh how beautiful…I have not been to Yosemite in years…someday I will have to get my family there for a trip.

  3. Travis

    Good compositions; I like the waterfall shot especially! I think the one with the overhanging branch might have been better if it wasn’t obscuring the top of the mountain.

  4. Rachel Wong

    Arkensen, you did an excellent job. The photos are very well taken. Keep up the good work!

  5. twistedsunshine

    The second to the last picture is really great! Great job, Arkensen! You’re very lucky to have your dad teach you stuff =) Keep it up!

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