Yosemite National Park and Tunnel View almost go hand in hand! It’s one of the easiest viewpoints to get to and shoot. You don’t have to hike, and you can easily sit and wait for the light to change and there’s loads of room for everybody up there. The shot from Tunnel View is fabulous, but when you know you only have two days with clouds in the valley, and want to make the most of some better spots for sunset, I chose to only shoot from this spot in the afternoon of one of the days. Yosemite is such a big park that you can’t rush from spot to spot to get two sunset shots…you really have to choose & sacrifice certain areas. For sunset on the two cloudy days, I chose Glacier Point & Cooks Meadow to shoot from, and neither disappointed.
When you have clouds over the valley as we had for two days running, Tunnel View really is amazing, and you can just sit & watch the light & shadows moving over the granite cliffs right in front of you…every second it changes. The one thing missing from these shots is of course Bridalveil Fall, which is there but was extremely low flowing & wispy so much so that it didn’t come out in pictures!
To the images…all three of these images were of course taken on the Xpan2 camera, on Fuji Velvia film. No grad filters were used in the process of taking them. The light & clouds were so good, that the filter was unnecessary. But as you can see the images go from extremely wide to much tighter in the frame. The Xpan has three lenses, and these three shots demonstrate the difference in the focal lengths.
The first image was taken with the 30mm lens. This is the best lens for the Xpan, and it’s also the most expensive. And for 90% of the pictures I take, I use this lens. On some scenes it can be too wide of course, but that’s when the other lenses come into their own & get used.
This next image was shot with the standard, 45mm lens. The lens that comes with the camera. Useful for most situations. I find I can shoot with this lens almost anytime I’m shooting with the 30mm lens.
Finally this image was shot with the 90mm lens. Probably my least used lens, although it’s in my bag because when it’s required it’s superb. And I used it a lot during the road trip. It’s super sharp (like all Xpan lenses) and doesn’t need a centre grad filter to even out the edges so when taking a meter reading it’s super straight forward. I like this image also…yes it’s tight, but tunnel view works wide & tight in my opinion, and when you’ve already got wide shots from here, why not try something different and focus more on the cliffs and depth down into the valley towards Half Dome.