This will sound self-serving.  Maybe it is.  I was looking at some books of Ansel Adams’ pictures at a local bookstore, and came across several photos taken at Yosemite National Park from Tunnel View (plus a lot of other pictures of the Park).  I have seen more on the Internet: Here and here.  Without a doubt Adams’ pictures are unbelievably fabulous, but there are many other great pictures out there as well.  In particular I would draw your attention to Michael Frye, whose series of Yosemite images are consistently stunning. 

So I was in Yosemite twice in the past four months, and lucked into two unanticipated unstable weather conditions that brought autumn snow to the valley on one occasion, and a mild rain/snow dusting on the other that resulted in the coveted “clearing storm” opportunity.  On each occasion I photographed the valley from Tunnel View with very nice results.

Are they better pictures of Yosemite than those of Ansel and Michael?  That is definitely not the point (A: No).  Because Ansel did not create a picture of Yosemite, but a “feeling” of Yosemite.  It is a picture with much more – “something else”.  In my opinion it doesn’t even matter that his pictures were take in Yosemite (although this probably is a stretch because there is no getting around the fact that Yosemite is glorious).   The place is not the point.  The goal – my goal – is not to have a better picture “of,” but to add my own experience, the “mystery” in the shadows, the “fantasy” in the colors (or shades of B&W), the “unsettledness” of the spirit, the “trepidation” of walking down the valley and disappearing into the distance.  I was there – I felt.  I hope you enjoy my interpretation of Yosemite Valley from Tunnel View.


Richard Gaston Photography