Thoughts From The Road and Landscape Photography #2

Location: Yosemite National Park

"Searching for Compositions in Yosemite" 

My first location to shoot in Yosemite was Valley View Point. This location is a relatively small area mainly used for sight seeing as the parking lot is right next to the main viewpoint. It’s still possible to find shooting locations on this observation point off the main path which are less crowded. The lighting conditions were perhaps not the best, but I’m very pleased with the two images I took here. The second image is just stunning! Thanks goodness the reflection of the river was captured on point. Just goes to show when you focus on composition. You don’t always have to shoot sunrise or sunset. 

ISO 100 21mm F11 1/10 secs

ISO 100 21mm F11 1/8 secs

If the weather conditions allow you to travel up to Glacier Point, I’d highly recommend it. Once you’re in the main parking area there are many observation points to explore, as well as trails. The goal in Glacier Point was to find an area that provided fantastic views of the entire scope of Half Dome and The Valley. I knew I was going to be shooting black and white given the lighting. For these images I relied on the zoom of my 24-70 and changed to soft graduated ND filter to a 3 stop, and the polarizer helped me to bring down the color in the sky. When shooting in daylight conditions, have lots of patience. The moment will come when the light changes position and perhaps your subject will no longer be in shadow. 

ISO 100 70mm F11 1/50 secs

ISO 100 33mm F11 1/25 secs

I arrived in Tunnel View to try and capture an image or two of sunset. I was a bit overwhelmed by the amount of people already gathering around with they camera’s on them. It was still a good hour before sunset, but in truth if there is a location considered to be landscape photography heaven. It’s probably tunnel view. The dramatic light and reflections on the great granite dome’s I was hoping for didn’t happen, but I still captured some great compositions. The blue hour was quite great and resulted in a fantastic image of rock climbers still on their way back down, even as the sun had faded completely. The small lights from their head torches provided some nice reflection. In one of the images which was exposed for a good 15 seconds, i captured a shooting star. It’s always a blessing when that happens. 

ISO 100 35mm F11 1/4 secs

ISO 640 53mm F11 20.0 secs

ISO 400 87mm F8 23.0 secs

I could spend weeks, months, years shooting Yosemite National Park. I am grateful to have visited this beautiful park once again. Check out my VLOG on my YouTube channel detailing my time in Yosemite National Park.