With more than 3.5 million visitors a year, this view of Yosemite Valley from the Tunnel Overlook must have been photographed countless times. Yosemite Valley is an area of outstanding natural beauty in the western Sierra Nevada mountains of northern California. We spent just a couple of nights in the area on our trip to California last year, so really had only a small taste of it. Yosemite National Park is certainly somewhere I’d like to return to though.
The Tunnel View Overlook, at the western entrance to Yosemite Valley, was opened in 1933 and provides a stunning first view to visitors entering via Wawona Tunnel. A few of Yosemite National Parks most famous landmarks are visible from here, including El Capitan, Half Dome, Glacier Point and Bridal Veil Falls. Unfortunately for us, the falls had dried up when we visited in late summer. Spring is the best time for the waterfalls which are fed by melting snow.
The clouds were perfect for long exposure photography on the day we visited Yosemite Valley, so I decided to use the 16 stop Formatt Hitech Firecrest ND filter which gave me a four minute exposure time. Having admired so many black and white images of Yosemite by the master landscape photographer Ansel Adams, my first choice for processing was always going to be monochrome. I do have a number of software tools for black and white processing and often try an image out in a few of them to see if I get an effect that I like. In this case, I found that the Ansel in the Valley filter in ON1 Effects 10 really suited this image. With a name like that, I guess it had to! After making a few adjustments to the ON1 preset to match my taste, I did some dodging and burning in Photoshop and this is the result.