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Darvin Atkeson
Works at Photographer
Attended ITT Technical Institute
Lives in Bass Lake, California


Impending storm clouds loom over Yosemite Valley as the sun breaks through a sliver in the clouds to illuminate the face of the cliffs in an epic battle between dark and light.   As often is the case a beautiful morning in Yosemite following a late winter snowfall the night before turned cloudy as thunder storms build over the Sierra Nevada.    The clouds cast their shadows at first sparingly over the Valley floor moving quickly then gaining momentum and volume as the afternoon warms the Central Valley of California.    As the clouds build the Sierras turn dark and the light is diminished until only occasionally the sun breaks through and illuminates the face of Yosemite’s sheer granite walls.    This is the best time of year to catch the dramatic scenery that unfolds when light and dark battle for the same space.  

© Darvin Atkeson
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Nature at its finest
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Fall colors are reflected in the Merced River as it runs through the Valley of Yosemite National Park.    Hidden by the forest from many of the most photographed locations it runs though the heart of Yosemite Valley.    Starting in the High Sierra it cascades down granite canyons in to a number of stunning waterfalls then reaching the deep flat valley slows and meanders though the Yosemite Valley floor.   In Spring it remains a rushing torrent but in Fall it becomes a tranquil place to sit and ponder the wonders of paradise on Earth.    Taken from one of my favorite spots atop a rock in the middle of the river which is only accessible when the river runs low and slowly.    I often come to sit here and just take in the peacefulness of the reflections of the river and watch as colored leaves float down the river.

© Darvin Atkeson
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Very pretty. I love the reflections!
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Darvin Atkeson

commented on a video on YouTube.
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Wow, was that dumb or what?   The future is what you make it, so make it a good one.
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Horsetail Fall turns Lava - Yosemite National Park
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Nice work 
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Darvin Atkeson

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The slow running Merced lumbers though Yosemite Valley on a dark moonless night.   As your eyes adjust to what little light is available the Valley takes on a new perspective under billions of stars.    Soon you can hear every sound in the valley as the river murmurs lightly and the tall pines surrounding you whisper in the night.   Starlight is your only light source and after some adjustment it seems incredibly bright.   Jupiter, the brightest light in the sky seems overwhelming compared to the distant suns and you ponder with all the vistas that exist in the entire universe Yosemite Valley may indeed be the most beautiful sight under a starry sky.   After a couple of hours star gazing as the clouds exited Yosemite Valley over the Eastern peaks the cold finally sunk in and it was time to head back to the warmth of the car.   Reluctantly I packed up my gear hoping I had captured the mood Yosemite National Park offers to those who stay up late to experience the darkness of the pine forest and the illumination provided by distant suns.  

© Darvin Atkeson
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Fab capture and comp. The color mix is so soothing
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When visiting Yosemite National Park one of the hardest things to get your mind around is the sheer size of everything.   When you eyes first get a glimpse of Yosemite Falls plummeting from the towering glacier carved cliffs of granite you cannot help but doubt them.   Even form across Yosemite Valley you can hear the thundering of the water slamming in to rocks below in what sounds more like thunder than the typical sound of a waterfall.   During Spring when Yosemite Falls is at peak flow, you can literally feel the thundering sound impact your body.   As you approach Yosemite Falls up the main trail you feel the winds pick up and it becomes incredibly windy at the bridge just below the Lower Yosemite Falls.    It is hard to say what you will remember most about your visit to Yosemite National Park but Yosemite Falls will definitely make a lifelong impression. 

© Darvin Atkeson
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Wow - Great shot +Darvin Atkeson 
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Half Dome, one of Yosemite National Park's most well known features, rises high in to a velvet blue star filled sky both reflecting in the Merced river that runs slowly through the nearly flat Yosemite Valley Floor. Theses giant cliffs were carved clean by the force of massive ice glaciers that flowed through Yosemite Valley during the last ice age. When the glaciers receded Yosemite Lake was formed by massive boulders that were dropped by the glacier forming a dam at the far end of Yosemite Valley. Over tens of thousands of years the Yosemite Lake slowly filled in with silt forming grassy meadows, some of which remain today. Over several thousand more years, most of the meadows slowly filled in with a lush green forest of pines, aspen and oak trees forming today's Yosemite Valley floor. This small corner of the Merced river harkens back to the views that must have occurred nightly on the fresh clean glacier lake that formed after the last glacier slowly receded.

The glaciers and the large lake are now gone but this place is in a constant state of change. The powers of nature slowly wearing away the granite cliffs as the hard rock is slowly pealed back layer by layer by the forces of water and ice. A small lake known as Mirror Lake just under the face of Half Dome used to serve as a great reflecting pond has begun to fill in and turn to Mirror Meadow. During the wet season the pond returns for a short time. Fortunately this reflection will last a bit longer but even it will eventually change.

© Darvin Atkeson
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So beautiful 
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Darvin Atkeson

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Went out a number of times trying to shoot the Firefall effect on Horsetail Fall in Yosemite National Park. The Phenomenon occurs during a short period around February 21st fluctuating slightly due to leap years.   Fortunately this year we had a small amount of snow and a few rainy days just before it really started to light up.   But it's been a while now since it last rained and all the Falls in Yosemite are running on the dry side.    If you get this one just right, the shadow from El Capitan masks out the water nearly perfectly.   You have a few more days to catch this and the shadow should fall nicely aligning nearly perfectly with the Horsetail Fall if it's flowing sufficiently.  

© Darvin Atkeson
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Superb drama, Darv!
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Darvin Atkeson

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A cool brisk day in paradise California otherwise known as Yosemite California.   I stopped by the bend in the river which is one of my personal favorite places to stop and shoot Yosemite’s famous Half Dome reflecting in the near perfect mirror of the Merced River.    Light horsetail clouds floated gently by and the air in the valley nearly perfectly still and calm.    Yosemite Valley in the winter is a quite place great for reflection and inner searching or as in this case, just great for reflections of the incredible towering cliffs and domes above the Valley Floor.    Yosemite is hugely popular and the most visited of all the National Parks but in the dead of winter thing slow down to a crawl and the park becomes a quiet winter wonderland.   Trails are a bit muddy but the view spectacular and you have them to yourself.   The hardest part is getting out in the cold but given how the East Coast has fared this week Yosemite Valley seems downright tropical.    The park is nicely quiet and you could just sit by the Merced River as it winds through Yosemite Valley and just enjoy those special moments in life where you feel at one with nature and nature even seems for a moment to enjoy your company.      

© Darvin Atkeson
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Friends finally got me to take the plunge down the steep hill below San Francisco’s Bay Bridge.   I knew the view was stunning but I didn’t realize the view of the city was as stunning.  San Francisco is one of the world’s more beautiful cities and is surrounded by magnificent suspension bridges that seem to adorn the city with steel lace.   My favorite is still the Golden Gate Bridge but this view of the Bay Bridge holds its own.   This was the easy part, heading on down to the beach level I understand is quite steep.    The area is officially off limits but seems to be a common location for photographers.   I was surprised that a recent fire form where this was taken hadn’t caused the closure of the area.    This is one of those views that everyone should have access to. 

© Darvin Atkeson
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Photography, Art, Computers
Photoshop, 3DS MAX, Windows, PC, Troubleshooting, Photography, Nikon, Landscapes, Website Design and Programming, Technical Support, Photo Retouching & Restoration
  • Photographer
    Photography, Art, Computers, present
  • Portrait Displays
    Manager, Tech Support / QA, 2004 - 2009
  • Autodesk
    Senior Support Engineer, 2000 - 2004
  • Interactual
    Senior DVD Application Engineer, 1999 - 2000
  • OZ Interactive
    Manager IT Services / Support, 1997 - 1999
  • Sierra Entertainment
    Technical Artist, 1991 - 1993
  • US Army
    Illustrator, 1983 - 1986
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Bass Lake, California
Pittsburg, California - San Bernardino - Oakhurst, California - Monterey, California - Fresno, California - Highland, California - Trona, California
Native born Californian and now make my home in the Bay Area.   Love outdoors, photography, computers, art and seafood. 
Bragging rights
Had a piece of artwork used by the immensely famous rock band Boston on one of their albums. Have a 68 foot by 7 foot mural haning in the Yosemite International Airport in Fresno. Was fortunate to work at Sierra On Line video game company while they were still in the Sierra Mountains.
  • ITT Technical Institute
    BA - Electronics Engineering, 1986 - 1990
  • Trona High School
  • San Gorgonio High School
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I give it a 5 out of 5 for one reason and one reason only. Their Fisherman's Stew is one of the best dishes I have ever tasted. Though we have tried other dishes we keep coming back for the stew. When they first suggested it, it sounded horrible but I took a chance. My wife not so brave. She ended up sharing my meal and now we both just get the stew. Dog friendly front outdoor area with heaters and fire pits. Live music. Great ambiance and courteous staff make for a wonderful dining experience. The view is of the Half Moon Bay Marina so don't expect stunning coastline. But it keeps us returning time and time again. I know fish stew sounds gross. But give it a try.
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Public - 3 months ago
reviewed 3 months ago
2 reviews