Nevada Falls, Yosemite. Copyright © 2006 James McGrew.
Ultrachrome Exhibition Fiber Prints available as Limited Editions of 19x13 and 22x17.
Nevada (which means snowy) has always been one of my favorite falls for its incredible power and snowy white appearance throughout the year. This perspective represents a seldom seen view of the falls for good reason. The popular Mist Trail ascends a series of hundreds of granitic stairs on the opposite side of the water. To reach the viewpoint of this photograph, one must venture off trail over boulders, hundreds of downed moss covered trees through pouring icy cold rain and deafening winds. Of course its not really rain, but rather the torrential downpour of the "mist" created by the waterfall. I made it to this location in the morning just as the first light crept over the falls and spent the entire afternoon here, making a series of photographs and producing a plein air oil painitng. Although Nevada Falls is often considered by many to be the park's most powerful waterfall, no perspective reveals that incredible power as this view. The Merced River accelerates as it races towards the brink of the fall, splashing back and forth between a series of ledges before hurling itself out into the air. It then free falls about 200 feet until it strikes the "apron" and cracks which force the water to explode upwards and outwards with irregular surging similar to the Waterwheel Falls on the Tuolumne, only with far greater power and height here with Nevada Fall.