Mirror Lake Reflections

In the summer, Mirror Lake in Yosemite Valley is a dried-up lake bed of sand and scrub brush. However, in the early years of tourism in Yosemite Valley Mirror Lake lived up to its name, and reflected the backside of Half Dome. An elegant Victorian hotel stood on the banks. In the summertime, debutantes danced to live orchestras, and in the winter there was ice skating.

It is part of the Park Service’s management of Yosemite Valley to return Mirror Lake to the way it would have been without human intervention.

Today, if you want to see reflections in Mirror Lake, you should visit in the winter or spring. As spring moves into early summer, the scene becomes really beautiful. By June, the lake is dry again.

This photograph was taken in early March. I used a polarizer to help accentuate the reflections.

The RAW “negative” was twice processed, once for the reflected mountains and once for the water areas that show the (lighter) sky. I converted each “exposure” to LAB color. The reflected sky areas were mainly corrected using the A channel (Green-Magenta), and the reflected mountains were modified using the B channel (Yellow-Blue). I put the layers together using a layer mask and the Photoshop PaintBrush tool.

This entry was posted in Landscape, Photography, Yosemite.

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