Night in Yosemite

This is a view from the meadow outside Curry Village in Yosemite. It is looking up at Glacier Point.

It’s a longer exposure than Yosemite Falls at Dusk: Five Minutes (300 seconds) with the lens wide open. Long enough to see the motion of the stars.

I had helped Julian and Nicky brush their teeth, and read them Harry Potter. With a certain amount of nervousness, I had left the kids asleep in our tent at Curry, strapped on my camera pack, tripod, and headlamp, and headed out into the dark.

Each exposure seemed to take forever, particularly since the processing of these long exposure, high noise images took a long time, even after the shutter had closed.

I was torn between wanting to get “just another exposure” to increase the odds of even one exposure coming out, and worry that the kids might not be OK.

In this capture, the light is peculiar, and there are a couple of strange artifacts. The line of lights on the left in the sky was a slow-moving airplane. Glacier Point itself was lit from a number of low-light sources: star light, and once someone’s flashlight.

Then again, there was a good bit of ambient light pollution: bright Yosemite Valley shuttle buses, headlights from passing cars, a fellow night stroller out with a bright lantern, and light from the Curry buildings. Each time a car passed away to the right I did my best to shield the exposing camera from stray light. At the same time, these light sources lit Glacier Point itself with weird colors piercing through the trees.

Packing up, I returned to our tent. Nicky opened his eyes briefly. “Daddy,” he said, “You’re not a bear.” Then I heard his steady breathing.

This entry was posted in Digital Night, Landscape, Photography, Yosemite.

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  1. […] igital Photographs and Techniques from Harold Davis

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  4. […] wide open taken from the road near Curry Village. It was part of the same series of exposures as Night in Yosemite, but instead of facing Glacier Point the photo shows the view past Mirror Lake and up Tenaya […]

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