Willie and I left work early so we could head to Yosemite and start exploring the high country, which we had never really done before. While walking around Tuolumne Meadows we found these nice rocks and thought they would make for a nice photo if the sunset ever cooperated. We snapped a couple pictures in the afternoon light and then went on our way. As soon as we got into the car the realization hit us …. BIG STOPPER! It would have been perfect to bring out the 10-stop filter and get the cloud movement. We decided to skip out and head to Mono Lake to scout out spots for Perseids / Milky Way later on.
Having skipped our chance on Friday afternoon we returned to these rocks on Saturday as some really big clouds started to roll into Yosemite. We had a bunch of hours to kill before we were going to start our sunset hike so we pulled out the big stopper and fired away. Keep in mind that it was about noon and the light was about as bright as it could be -- not ideal for long exposures nor for decent conditions. I put the polarizer on so I could get another couple stops less of light and also to work a bit on the reflections in the water and then waited for the sun to go behind one of those big clouds. Luckily we didn't have to wait long for the sun to dip behind the clouds and I fired off a number of exposures, keeping it open as long as I could. Here I left the shutter open for almost 2.5 minutes to get the clouds to streak through the sky.
Nikon D800 w/Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED AF-S:
26mm, f/22, 145 sec, ISO 50
Circular Polarizer + Lee Big Stopper + 0.9 HiTech Soft ND Grad