Upper Yosemite Fall from Fern Ledge. ©2005, James McGrew.
Available as 8x10 special edition print on exhibition fiber paper.
John Muir describes a wild night time adventure where he climbed up to Fern Ledge and ventured behind upper Yosemite Fall to watch the moonlight through the water. Fern ledge is a narrow shelf extending across the cliff of upper Yosemite Fall, roughly one third of the way up its vertical precipice. In the 20th century, Ansel Adams beautifully photographed Upper Yosemite Fall from this same general area creating a dramatic composition with the fall basically front lit showing the "comets" streaming down. However, I've always marveled at the fall in the late afternoon when the sun shines through the fall just before dropping behind Eagle Peak. So, in 2005, on a hot spring day, I made the steep off trail journey, scrambling up sliding scree and massive boulders, slippery wet ledges, and a few short vertical climbs until I reached the base of Lost Arrow and made this exposure before venturing out to the brink of Fern Ledge where I stood mesmerized by the sheer size and power of the thundering waterfall as it raced downwards with incredible speed at this vantage point despite the fact it seems to fall in slow motion when viewed from the valley floor from a distance of more than a mile.
UpperYosemiteFallFernLedgeansel adamsjohn muirlightcomets