Ansel Adams said famously, “A good photograph is knowing where to stand.” Few spots I’ve visited make this as plain and as simple at the equally famous Tunnel View that looks over Yosemite Valley. As a fellow photographer said yesterday morning, “This shot has everything.”
The line of photographers was at one point 17 across (not counting the tourists with as many or more point and shoots), with gear in use ranging from consumer DSLRs to pro models to 4×5 film cameras to digital medium format to an 8×10 view camera. The night before the valley had received nearly a foot of snow and for hours we waited for the thick fog to open up and show us the view. Finally it did, but not before the warming air had melted much of the snow that had blanketed the tree tops at sunrise. Still, it was quite a breathtaking view, standing there elbow to elbow with other photographers.
It was my pleasure to meet and chat for a while with the owner of the 8×10 viewcamera, Michael Fatali. A friendly, approachable fellow, he takes some fantastic photographs and admitted to having a 10×24 view camera. Sadly, he’d not brought it with him from Utah on this trip. I’d love to have seen that monster in person.
I also enjoyed speaking with several of the other photographers I met that morning. They say photography is basically a solitary endeavor, but on a snowy morning at Tunnel View, there is plenty of company to keep.