Tunnel, Sodium Lights

Wawona Tunnel, Yosemite, CA

One advantage of shooting at 2:46am is the fact that there is no one around.  I tried shooting the Wawona Tunnel a couple of months before after sunset and it was a lesson in patience.  There were the comings and goings of other tourists and photographers, or more specifically their vehicles, from the Tunnel View vista point.  Though it was rather entertaining to have 5 or 6 photographers with their cameras and tripods at the ready all pointed in the same direction.  At 4,233 feet, which is over 4/5 of a mile, it is difficult to shoot an empty tunnel unless it’s in the middle of the night.

The orange light is from the sodium vapor lamps overhead.  Though well lit, the photograph still required me to expose for 20 second at ISO 400!

EXIF data: Nikon D50, patterned metering mode, 150mm, ISO 400, 20 sec, f/14

Tunnel, Sodium Lights.  Yosemite Valley, California. April 18, 2011. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.


5 thoughts on “Tunnel, Sodium Lights

    1. Speaking of which, earlier in the evening (1:00am) I was the only remaining person on the short trail to/from Yosemite Falls. I was already a little on edge since I had thoughts in my head of running into random wild animals or people up to no good. None of that occurred. But while I was happily snapping away, I suddenly noticed someone walking right behind me. I jumped. It was another photog. I’m sure I entertained him with my surprised reaction.

      20 sec @ 400. You’d think that a seemingly well lit tunnel wouldn’t be that dark, but I guess it was!


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