Behind the scenes of this photo
Taken at Mirror Lake, Yosemite National Park on February 3rd, 2014
So the thing about Half Dome is that it’s big. Really big. Like sticking almost-a-mile straight up out of the ground big. And Mirror Lake in Yosemite Valley sits right at Half Dome’s base, meaning that the Dome’s reflection appears to go down into the ground for that same almost-a-mile. That’s a lot of vertical real estate, especially when you’re trying to take a picture of the two. So unless you’re using a fish-eye lens, a tilt-shift, a panoramic set-up, or some ridiculously wide-angle lens, it’s just about impossible to get Half Dome and its reflection in the same frame. So on a visit to Mirror lake in early February I decided that rather than attempt the impossible with the gear I currently had with me, I would pick and choose which part of the scene I wanted to focus on: the Dome or the reflection, but not both. For this shot I chose the reflection, framing the contours of Half Dome with a granite boulder sitting at my feet at the edge of the lake. To create this final presentation I rotated the original image 180 degrees, so that down became up, and then I flipped the shot horizontally to mimic the look of Half Dome itself as viewed from this spot.