The bold colors of autumn are largely missing from Yosemite, because most of the trees are evergreens. By the time I and a few other photographers visited the park in mid-November, most of the aspens, black cottonwoods, and big-leaf maples had dropped their leaves.
Yet there was plenty of color to mine, and we found a a rich vein of it. The golden hues of massive El Capitan, rising thousands of feet above the floor of Yosemite, and the cerulean heavens, above the massive cliffs, were reflected in the slow-moving waters of the Merced River. When we arrived at the edge of the river, the reflection perfectly mirrored the scene above it.. When the duck swam through the reflection a few minutes later, the movement shattered the reflection, giving us an alternate view of El Capitan.