Yosemite

My dad had wanted to go shoot Yosemite for a while now, and my sister-in-law’s wedding reception was the perfect twobirdsonestone.com reason for coming to California. I was excited to go back to Yosemite, as I hadn’t been in the valley since 1999. Life Blasters was born last year in Yosemite, but that was up on Highway 120, not in the valley where all the famous stuff is. Yosemite Valley is probably one of the most photographed places on earth, so I wasn’t super excited to get the same photos millions of other people have gotten. To help limit the amount of photos I even considered shooting, I went with this philosophy: If it’s not worth investing the time to paint a picture of, it’s not worth taking a photo of it either.

yosemite travel california national park photography canon nikon tilt shift awesome amazing cool photo blog bohanWe had a few days to kill before heading up the mountain, so I took my dad around to some cool spots so he could practice with his new 5D Mark II. He was specifically interested in shooting moving water, so we hit up a few spots along Highway 1 so I could show him the magic of ND filters. Thirty seconds makes the waves look like fog. He was convinced.
 
yosemite travel california national park photography canon nikon tilt shift awesome amazing cool photo blog bohaI also decided that a tilt shift lens would be essential for shooting such huge rock formations, so my dad and I went to Keeble & Shuchat so he could get some ND filters and then Borrowlenses to rent a 24mm tilt shift. We went up to Cal State East Bay to practice shooting with the tilt shift.
 
yosemite travel california national park photography canon nikon tilt shift awesome amazing cool photo blog bohaOf course no tilt shift experience is complete without making stuff look like toys. Haha.
 
The next day we headed out and I got to have all kinds of fun with the tilt shift.
 
yosemite travel california national park photography canon nikon tilt shift awesome amazing cool photo blog bohaPulling off the road at Cathedral Beach to find a restroom, I stumbled across this view of El Capitan and the Merced River. How awesome! And I definitely needed the tilt shift to keep it straight. That night I realized Ansel Adams had a similar photo shot from the same location. He used large and medium format field cameras that had shift movements built in, and by looking at his photos it’s obvious he was taking advantage of that.
 
yosemite travel california national park photography canon nikon tilt shift awesome amazing cool photo blog bohaIt was actually kind of difficult to keep other visitors out of the shots. They like to walk into your shots and stay there even as you obviously stop shooting and just stare at them.
 
yosemite travel california national park photography canon nikon tilt shift awesome amazing cool photo blog bohaOn the way out of the park, we stopped at Tunnel View for some sunset shots. I’m sad there weren’t any clouds. Clouds would have made it so much more interesting.
 
yosemite travel california national park photography canon nikon tilt shift awesome amazing cool photo blog bohaThe next morning we stopped at El Capitan Bridge for another view of El Cap. There was a climber there with a couple spotting scopes and a map. He was telling visitors all about rock climbing. Those climbers in the photo were on day five out of an eight day climb. That’s right, it takes eight days to climb that route, and they sleep in hanging cots. I don’t know about you, but I’m not sleeping in a cot hanging off the side of a cliff.
 
yosemite travel california national park photography canon nikon tilt shift awesome amazing cool photo blog bohaBridges turn out to be good places to shoot from, as the river creates a gap in the trees. Small aperture and (relatively) long exposure was the name of the game. Two seconds was enough to blur the water nicely.
 
yosemite travel california national park photography canon nikon tilt shift awesome amazing cool photo blog bohaWe made the mile hike to Mirror Lake but I wasn’t sure where the mirror was, as the water level seemed low and it was kind of ripply and there was a bunch of debris in it too. But lo and behold, six seconds made all the ripples disappear and there was a mirror.
 
yosemite travel california national park photography canon nikon tilt shift awesome amazing cool photo blog bohaOn the hike back down from Mirror Lake, I finally found a spot for turning falling water into fog. Twenty seconds at Tenaya Creek did the trick.
 
yosemite travel california national park photography canon nikon tilt shift awesome amazing cool photo blog bohaThe sun was setting as we made our way out of the park that evening, and the light on Sentinel Rock was amazing. A day and a half in Yosemite is not nearly enough, especially when there are so few clouds. I feel like I want to spend a month in the park when there’s snow on the ground or something, so I can be there when the conditions are right to capture something incredible.
 
 
 
.:Bohan
 
 
 

11 thoughts on “Yosemite

  1. Jesus, dude did you go back in time and steal Ansel Adam’s talent? This is seriously the best work ive ever seen you do!

  2. Yosemite ftw! that cover shot is taken from one of the most popular photo spots in the park. i will climb cathedral and half dome in my life.

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