Cook’s Meadow View (California)

Yosemite National Park is one of the most distinctive and unique locations for travel photography. The only problem, however, is that it is often crowded because of its popularity.

I took the featured photo in the middle of April on a weekday hoping for an empty park.

When I arrived at the park’s entrance, I was prepared to pay when park officials told me it was National Park Week and that entrance fees were waived for the entire week. I knew I was doomed.

By noon, the park was full of tourists, which meant I had to improvise and use the tourists as part of my composition.

This is the view of Yosemite Falls from Cook’s Meadow.

Cook’s Meadow View (California)
California. Yosemite National Park. Cook’s Meadow.
Loc: 37.741633, -119.592415


The goal here was to make a couple and the Yosemite Falls to be a focal point of the composition.

  • Camera: Sony a6000
  • Lens: Sony 10-18
  • Focal Length: 10mm
  • Shooting Mode: Aperture Priority (A)
  • ISO: 100
  • Aperture: F8
  • Shutter Speed: 1/100s
  • Bracketing: 3 (-1, 0, 1)
  • Tripod: FEISOL Tournament CT-3442
  • Ballhead: FEISOL CB-40D

Editing & Processing

It was a single RAW image editing.

Lightroom (90%)

Aspect ratio change from 3×2 to 4×3 (Crop Overlay Tool). Vertical distortion fix (Transform Tool).

Lightroom Rapid Editing workflow. I used Point Lobos style preset from Landscape Collection in a combination with adjustment presets from TOOLKIT to tweak the image.

Lightroom Editing Formula: Point Lobos (8, 11, 17, 22, 31)

Photoshop (10%)

Cleaning (Stamp Tool)PluginsDeNoise (noise reduction), Topaz Detail (local contrast boost).

Total Time: 12min

Before & After Transformation

Cook’s Meadow View (California) 1
Cook’s Meadow View (California) 2

by Viktor Elizarov
I am a travel photographer and educator from Montreal, Canada, and a founder of PhotoTraces. I travel around the world and share my experiences here. Feel free to check my Travel Portfolio and download Free Lightroom Presets.

1 thought on “Cook’s Meadow View (California)”

  1. I think the processing is overdone. The left foreground tree that should have some shadow now has none and the shadow overall is too reduced to be natural. Saturation unnatural as well for my eye too much yellow. Nice composition and the people help 🙂


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