This post is for everyone who woke up this morning thinking, “Gee, I sure wish there were more pictures from Tunnel View in Yosemite.” Well, you’ve come to the right place.
Okay, seriously, the world really doesn’t need any more Tunnel View pictures, but sometimes I just can’t help myself. Call me biased, but I’ll put this view up against any in the world. I’ve been here hundreds (thousands?) of times, but still try to make it my first stop every time I enter Yosemite Valley (even though it’s a slight detour from my standard route into the park). And Tunnel View’s position overlooking the west end of the valley makes it the first place to clear after a storm, so it’s usually where I wait out any weather.
Since most of my workshops usually include a few people who have never experienced Yosemite, I get vicarious thrills by making Tunnel View my first workshop stop. Of course we usually return as I have many favorite times to share this view: any clearing storm, a crescent moon rising in the predawn twilight, a fiery sunset, Bridalveil Fall’s colorful ascending prism each spring afternoon, Half Dome and El Capitan against a post-sunset pink and blue pastel sky, a rainbow arcing across Yosemite Valley, and a full moon rising above Half Dome at sunset. Nevertheless, with a vast portfolio of all these magic moments, I rarely photograph here anymore.
So what possessed me to take out my camera on the first sunset of last week’s Yosemite workshop? I’m guess still a hopeless sucker for a clearing storm, but the tipping point for me that evening came when I moon popped out, a rare opportunity to photograph something a little different from anything else I have. Including the moon in my frame required going a little wider than I normally do here, about 30mm in this case, which reduced the moon to a small accent punctuating the scene. If you read my post on visual balance, you understand why I like a small moon that’s not necessarily the focal point the frame.
But enough about me. As much as I enjoyed photographing this, it was more fun watching everyone else watch the sunset unfold. The swirling clouds went from gray, to white, and then pink, before finally parting to reveal blue sky and the moon suspended above Leaning Tower. Between clicks I heard giggles of excitement and even a few audible gasps. Pretty cool.