Exploring our nations national parks is one of my favorite things to do. Each park has a bit of its own personality that thrusts upon you the moment you enter the park limits. Yosemite is no different. For my first visit, I was especially lucky to enter the park under the darkness of night while the sun was rising. While not initially planned my flight was delayed and decided to drive all night to get to the park as the sun was coming up. The solo trip brought many adventures I probably wouldn't of done otherwise. Including a night hike to a 1200 foot cliff that has a blind entrance with a tunnel with no light. Perfect for star photos! Thanks Mike Klinski for letting me know about this hidden gem of a location in Yosemite! Read on to find out where
To me going to a place like this on your own is a totally different experience than if you are their with even one other. I usually meet more people, your time is your own and for photo purposes you can spend as much time shooting one thing as you like. This really gets to point of exploring your shot, exposure and point of view. Without this alone time, things go by the wayside because someone else has part of your attention. I'd love to go back and share this place with others but when I want to shoot photos, I prefer to be alone.
If you have a trip planned to Yosemite, if I go back I'd do one main thing differently. The park is quite large and the roads are extremely slow due to the elevation change within the park. To save on travel times I would stay as central as possible in the park, giving better access to morning and late night hikes. Depending on the time you go, the 1st come 1st serve sites definitely fill up fast, but if you are there early in the week and get into the park early you will most likely get at site.
If you are looking for a unique point of view of the canyon, the first tunnel you come upon has a parking lot to the right. Park there and walk down the tunnel, about half way down, there is a 2nd tunnel that runs perpendicular to the road, which is about 40 yards long and lead you down to a ledge with a gate (you can go under) to a 6 foot long ledge that is about 3 feet wide and about 1200 feet down. See picture during the day and at night!
Getting up Yosemite Falls was one of those trips I will never forget. It's quite the trek up and in 100 degrees heat definitely pushed me physically. Taking the time to carry a pack with my MII and my Hasselblad with a tripod added to the weight of the trip. Part of why I love shooting with the Hasselblad is sharing the experience of looking through the camera. It slows you down in an amazing way to shoot film. You look so much deeper in everything you see when shooting film. The experience from beginning to end is so much more intriguing.
If you'd like to hear what the waterfall sounded like take a look at this short video I made by the falls.