The light of a setting crescent moon illuminates the famous valley. El Capitan looms on the left, a point of light is seen on its face, the flashlight of a climber, strapped to the wall for an overnight pause in progress. Half Dome is in the distance, and Bridalveil Falls pours reflected moonlight into the valley, the headlights of cars seeming to carry it downstream alongside the Merced River.
El Capitan’s immense figure blocks my view of the north star Polaris. I can only guess where it should be based on the time and positions of other stars. A position in an open field in Yosemite Valley allows me to make this composition.
The moonless night meant that the only illumination was by starlight. The park is sufficiently remote to escape the light pollution from large cities, but not enough to avoid airplane traffic. The distinct dotted lines mark the strobe lights of distant flights, unknowingly adding their trails to those of the stars.