Sneak trip to Yosemite

Started Feb 21, 2013 | Discussions thread
skysurfer5 Regular Member • Posts: 366
Re: Yosemite - comments and a more general question.

RoelHendrickx wrote:

I like your shots, with the clouds between the mountains being a favourite.

About those photographers bunched together :

* Are they there for a specific view (I bet).?

* If so, which one?

* Is that place always so crowded with long lenses and tripods, or are they there (with you) at a particular time of day to witness a specific phenomenon (sunrise, sunset, a reflection on a waterfall, ...)

* Is there any information available anywhere on which are the optimal moments (photographically speaking) for visiting specific spots in the National Parks.

I will be visiting the SW-USA (and up as far north as San Francisco) next summer, and I would love to have a dedicated time-of-day guide for some locations. I can check the nice hours from day to day and location to location on TPE (The Photographer's Ephemeris), but it would be useful to have some sort of guide already prepared.

(I will be traveling with family so I will probably have to adapt to our schedule and will not be able to drag them everywhere I want at the hours I want, but I plan to try and do most of our driving during the worst hours (midday), while having good time available at the locations of our stops. I don't mind getting up at 5 or 6 AM (or earlier, but not every day), while the rest of the family is still sleeping, so that should get me some photo ops within driving distance of our accomodations.)

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Roel Hendrickx
lots of images:
my E-3 user field report from Tunisian Sahara:


The herd of photographers are at a place called Tunnel View and, yes, there is often a lot of photographers there. Tunnel View consists of two parking lots at the east end of the Wawona Tunnel. You would pass through the tunnel if you're coming up Highway 41 out of Fresno.

From the parking lots you get an outstanding view looking east into Yosemite Valley. In fact, this is one of the most popular photo spots in the entire park. A wide angle will get you the entire scene. In addition, you can zoom in on such sights as El Capitan, Half Dome (at the far east end of the Valley, 8 miles/13 km away, Bridalveil Fall, etc. I have even set up my 5" and 8" telescopes here and photographed things like the top 50 feet/30 m of Bridalveil Fall, which is 1.6 miles/2.6 km away, as well as letting people look through the scopes. Even when Tunnel View is crowded, you owe it to yourself to stop there and take some photos.
If you drop these coordinates into Google Earth, you can see Tunnel View and from there figure out the view: 37°42'56.00"N, 119°40'37.00"W.

In addition, here is a link to downloadable official National Park Service maps of the park:

I shot the last 1/3 of this time lapse from Tunnel View, although it doesn't show the entire view. However, you can get that from some the Panoramio photos in Google Earth.

There are several photography guides for the park, including a Kodak book, an iPhone/iPad ap, etc..  Do a search for "Yosemite photo guide" to see if you like any of them.


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