Back to Mono and then to Yosemite

Ansel's Valley - A view of Yosemite Valley from Glacier Point in the style of (and inspired by) Ansel Adams - Copyright 2015 Martyn Phillips, M4Photo

Ansel’s Valley – A view of Yosemite Valley from Glacier Point in the style of (and inspired by) Ansel Adams – Copyright 2015 Martyn Phillips, M4Photo

DAY 6 – Monday 18th – Today began with another visit to what is becoming my favourite lake in North America. Today I would be shooting with the Phase One and the aim of the day was to experiment in obtaining a more abstract photograph. The Phase One lenses that we have are all prime lenses and this means choosing the correct lens for the job and then moving around to get the composition that is desired.

I do not have access to the files from the shoot at the time of writing, nor the Capture One software that is required to process the Phase One’s images. However, I hope to have that capability on my return home and I’ll drop an example into the blog here, or link to the Road Trip’s gallery on my Flicker page.

Back on the road, we’d then head over to Yosemite but we’d hit a little bit of a problem. Paul and ‘The Vig’ had planned to take Highway 120 across to Yosemite National Park. This involved crossing Tioga Pass but this was closed owing to bad weather. The day before we had found a nice place to eat and we headed back there as it was then on our 250+ mile detour. Fortunately, Mark was watching the weather and road closures on his phone and towards the end of lunch he announced that the pass was open and we quickly backtracked to take advantage of the shorter route and the chance to capture another sunset in the park

The drive over the pass was pretty uneventful, save for a 20 minute wait at some road works. It seemed that we were waiting for the workmen to complete a section, but in truth the road became single file for some distance. So we decided to explore ‘The Vigs’ iPod and a broad range of music from current pop to Heavy Metal. I worry about the poor guy who was standing in front of the car with the stop sign .

Following a bag drop we headed into the National Park and Glacier Point. The toilets in the park were gross and the altitude provided for some interesting entertainment. Shooting from the point was interesting for someone who does not like heights, although I am getting better. Whilst perfectly safe and well back from the edge, I set up my tripod in an outcrop of rock that slopped towards the edge – well it looked that way as I could not see the drop into the valley below.

The aim was to capture the valley as the sun dropped and lit the scene from behind. I opted for a graduated filter just to take the sky down a little and a lower F-Stop to keep the lens at its best range. Star bursts were not on the cards but I did try a couple of shots with doubled up filters and a longer exposure.

The clouds were not favourable and my final preferred image was a little flat. Whilst in the valley, Paul had taken us to see some of Ansel Adams’ work with some eye watering prices for the prints and original prints. Feeding on this inspiration I chose to process the image as colour and also as black and white in the style of Ansel Adams. The black and white image is by far my favourite, but it will need some additional work when I get home and have more time.


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