I’ll skip the Ansel Adams quote for this post, as this is basically a paraphrase of one of his most famous images. There was no clearing winter storm this June afternoon when Scott, John, Tyler and I elbowed with the crowd at the most popular vista in Yosemite National Park, the “tunnel view”, so called because this is quite literally the view once you come out of the Wawona Tunnel from the south.

Tunnel View, Yosemite Valley

There is no secret for getting a good shot at the tunnel view – just press the shutter. Getting a great shot is a little tougher, especially one that comes close to Ansel’s magic. I had three cameras with me, and although the digital color shots are nice, it’s the black-and-white film shots that caught my eye. There was a great one on Ilford FP4 film in 35mm size, but I wanted to check out the medium format shot.

I had lost track of which film I used that day, and it turned out it wasn’t my favorite Velvia in my Mamiya 1000S, but Ilford Pan F instead. It’s the first time I used this film, and I heard rumors about its sharpness, but I quickly became a believer when I saw the scan. It almost didn’t need extra sharpening (which emphasized the superfine, almost non-existent grain), and the image just popped.

El Capitan from Tunnel View

The western face of El Capitan is there in all its glory, except for a tiny overexposed bit at the base. In fact, this was gonna be an El Cap portrait, and I’m also including a closeup of this great rock, also taken from tunnel view. I love this shot just as much, especially since it was taken with my 85mm lens, but I have a different pairing of those two elements prepared for the next post.

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