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    Moon rising over Yosemite Valley in Yosemite National Park - I was out in Yosemite for Christmas and it was snowing all the time. After 2 days of snowfall, finally the sky cleared in Yosemite. I reached the Valley View in Yosemite National Park just after the sunset. I decided to stay to take some pictures unaware that it was a full moon night and that the moon will rise in between EL Capitan and Cathedral Rocks. It was one of the most beautiful scenes I have seen in my life.
    WHAT MAKES THIS PHOTO GREAT?
    Composition 41
    Lighting 51
    Creativity 21
    Story 8

    It is usually difficult to do a great photograph from a viewpoint in a National Park that has well worn tripod holes by the side of the road. This photograph of the Gates of the Valley in Yosemite is a great example of of using light and weather conditions to elevate a stock shot to the sublime. The photographer has handled the light from the perfectly positioned moon to create the dramatic back light. I might consider cropping the hummocks in the lower left, but otherwise outstanding.

    Peter Essick
    National Geographic Photographer
    Photo Details
    Date Taken: Dec 27, 2012
    Date Uploaded: Jun 6, 2013
    Location: Yosemite Valley, California, United States
    Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III
    Focal Length: 16 mm
    Shutter Speed: 20/1 sec
    Aperture: f/2.8
    ISO: 100
    Copyright: © Manish Mamtani
    Categories: Travel, Landscapes, Nature
    Assignments: Epic, Follow Me, Landmark Moments, First Light, Sense of Place, Embrace the Untamed, Nature in Black and White, Explore Our Changing World, Catch the Light
    Contests: 2016 National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year