Tunnel View in Yosemite

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There are so many iconic photos of Yosemite, and it’s such a rewarding location for photographers, but one of my personal favourites is the view from the appropriately-named Tunnel View viewpoint.

After travelling for almost a mile in near-darkness along the Wawona Tunnel, the distant tunnel end slowly gets brighter and brighter until you burst out into the daylight and are confronted with this stunning view across the valley, with breathtaking views of El Capitan, Half Dome and Bridalveil Falls.

On this cold winter day, there were some beautiful, wispy high clouds, as well as some mist hanging to the sides of El Capitan, which made for some fantastic photography conditions, with the dappled sunlight coming through the clouds and falling on the snow-covered trees on the valley floor.

These conditions, with light and shade, lots of trees, and interesting cloud structures, were an excellent subject for infra-red photography, a technique where visible light is blocked from the camera, and only light in the infra-red spectrum is captured. By using an infra-red filter and a long exposure, I was able to capture this dramatic view that quite literally couldn’t be seen with the human eye.

In this photo, the colour information in the infra-red photo has been processed to cover the visible spectrum, giving the foliage a pink tint and the sky a blue tint.

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