Saturday, July 11, 2015

Yosemite National Park In May - Part 6: Valley View And The Drive Out

The Ahwahnee - Yosemite National Park, California

We wanted to check out the Ahwahnee Hotel. This is the place to stay in Yosemite if you can afford it and if you can find an open room. The architecture is beautiful and the surroundings are (no surprise) amazing. Since we were nearby we decided to have a quick look around and explore the grounds a little.

There was one final stop planned in Yosemite Valley before departing: Valley View. This was a favorite photography location of Ansel Adams. People flock to this small stop and it can become quite crowded, especially in the evening as sunset nears. Thankfully it wasn't too busy on this day.

What you find at Valley View are great sights of iconic granite rocks and Bridalveil Falls with the Merced River flowing in the foreground. It's no surprise that so many photograph this location. But that means it can be difficult to capture any kind of unique images because, whatever you frame, thousands of others have composed something nearly identical.
The Valley View - Yosemite National Park, California
In order to create something unique you have to think of the scene differently than others have. So when I saw a lady painting the view, I knew that this was my opportunity. I asked her for permission, and then I exposed a couple of frames of her putting some paint on the canvas. It may not be the greatest photograph ever captured at Valley View, but at least it doesn't look just like everyone else's.

I captured several images of El Capitan, Cathedral Spires and the waterfall. It's just such a beautiful location! It was good to stop here before leaving, and was a good way to cap off our visit to the valley.

We left on Wawona Road. Just past the tunnel I noticed that the you could see Yosemite Valley behind us in the mirror. There was an area to pull over and park, so I did. The view was majestic! I made an exposure of Half Dome and then we continued on.
Valley View Painter - Yosemite National Park, California
The final stop in Yosemite National Park was the Pioneer Village next to the Wawona Hotel. This spot is set up like an "old west" settlement, with horses and people dressed in 1800's attire. It's like stepping back in time. We didn't stay very long, however, since we needed to get on the road towards home.

We left the park just before sundown. An impromptu stop near Fish Camp (which is just outside of Yosemite where this journey began) was the last opportunity to photograph. We arrived home late. It was a whirlwind weekend adventure, but it also felt quite satisfying. It seemed much longer than just two days.

I used a Nikon D3300 DSLR and a Nokia Lumia 1020 to capture these images. I attached to the front of the Nikon a Nikkor 40mm AF-S DX f/2.8G Micro lens and a Nikkor 55-200mm AF-S DX f/4-5.6G ED lens for these images, with the 40mm lens getting the bulk of the load. All of the photographs were post-processed using Alien Skin Exposure 7 software.

Notes & Conclusions
El Capitan & Merced River At Valley View - Yosemite National Park, California
Cathedral Rocks & Bridalveil Falls - Yosemite National Park, California
Cathedral Rocks From Valley View - Yosemite National Park, California
Half Dome From Wawona Road - Yosemite National Park, California
Pioneer Cabin - Yosemite National Park, California
The Closed Road - Fish Camp, California

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