Cellpic Sunday – Tenaya Lake

Tenaya Lake

Yosemite National Park, California.

In September 2021, on our western trip, we planned to see Yosemite, Kings Canyon, and Sequoia National Parks. Wildfires closed the two southern parks, but we did have the opportunity to make our first visit ever to Yosemite.

The lake, named after Chief Tenaya of the Yosemite Indians, is the largest lake in the park. Surrounded by the Sierra Nevada Mountains, it is a popular lake according to the National Park Service website. On our day visit, however, we were the only ones there. We drove through the park in the morning, and the photo was captured at about 10:30 AM. The sun was above the peak to the east.

On busy weekends, Tenaya Lake is a popular place for picnicking, swimming, and canoeing. The road to the lake, Tioga Road, is only open from late May to November, the actual dates dependent upon the first significant snow in the fall and the final clearing of snow from the road in the spring.

About the photo: Despite the strong backlight from the shot straight into the sun, the bright reflections on the water enticed me to take the shot. I was hoping the flare from the sun would be less than it turned out to be, but processing via Adobe Lightroom and Luminar Neo still allowed me to bring out the details in the heavily shadowed mountain in the background. The original image is a JPEG. I probably would have had even better success had I used my Samsung S20U’s RAW image.

I encourage fellow bloggers to create their own Cellpic Sunday posts. I never have a specific topic for this feature, and the only rules are that the photo must be captured with a cell phone, iPad, or another mobile device… If you have an image from a drone or even a dashcam, that’s acceptable as well. The second rule is to link your challenge response to this post or leave a comment here with a link to your post in the comment.

John Steiner


  1. In preparation each Sunday morning for cellpic Sunday, I quickly look for your post and was so pleased to read this first thing about Tenaya Lake, John! I’ve been to the Tuolumne Meadows area of Yosemite at least 20 times in my life–I always felt it was my own backyard 🙂 Your image is quite gorgeous and really captures the essence of the lake. We spent many afternoons lounging here in past years. It is literally like looking through a window and is mesmerizing as Hammad describes. Thanks for the lovely reminder. Here is mine today: https://secondwindleisure.com/2022/08/21/sunday-stills-monthly-color-challenge-is-mustard-a-color-or-a-condiment/

  2. I’m going to be Cell Pic Wednesday. LOL I love your photo of Yosemite. There is so much to photograph there. The water in your picture is so clear and clean – sparkly clean. Even though we lived so close, I seldom went there. My husband, sister-in-law, and brother all get car sick on mountain roads. Have a great week. 🙂

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