Native Spirit Bird and El Capitan in Yosemite Valley

Photo: Bird flying through trees and morning light with clearing storm clouds on El Capitan,Yosemite National Park, California

Bird flying through trees and morning light with clearing storm clouds on El Capitan,Yosemite National Park, California
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This is one of my most-personally iconic and favorite images I've taken during my career. This is the image that forms my online identity in the photography circles, and is featured as both my company logo as well as my professional avatar.

I captured this image early one morning while just shooting photos of Yosemite Valley icon locations. Driving through the valley there was a beautiful spot where the El Capitan loomed directly over the road. I love shooting pictures of roads, so I set up my camera and framed a lovely shot with El Capitan and the road that circles through Yosemite Valley beneath it.

As I was looking through my viewfinder, I saw off in the distance a raven flying between the trees. As quick as my professional photographic instincts could move me, I re-composed the photo, and knowing I'd likely only have one chance of getting a shot of the bird in the right place, adjusted my aperture to increase my shutter speed. I waited until I thought the bird was in just the right spot before I pressed the button.

This is the one and only frame of this moment. And then the bird was gone. But fortunately, that single moment now lives forever.


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