Iconic - jimdenhamphoto

Sony A7II | Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 | f/11 | ISO 200 | 1/40 second | 46mm

Had I made too much of it? Was it really as iconic and beautiful as I had made it out to be based on everything I had seen in video and stills? Truth - no, I did not make too much of it, and yes, it was every bit as iconic and beautiful as I had expected.

As we approached the Tunnel View, all I could think of was that the view would be underwhelming compared to what I had made it out to be. It was my number one bucket list location and I was about to see it for the first time. Unfortunately, it was terribly cloudy and raining, so there was a good chance the view would be limited - I had my excuse ready if it was a bit underwhelming - it was Ma Nature's fault. I did not need that excuse.

The first view was amazing, even though the light was terrible and the clouds diluted most of the view, but it was still awesome. The biggest surprise to me was the size and how close we were to the valley itself - I thought it would be a bit distant, but I should really stop thinking. Bridalveil Falls was incredibly obvious and flowing strong and El Capitan was ominous, even more so than I had expected. That first view was everything! My wife was rendered speechless and my son, who we had had to talk into coming, got out in shorts and t-shirt just to take it in.

For photography, however, the first view was not very good. Very little detail could be pulled out due to the heavy cloud play in the valley. But, on the way out of the park, the clouds had lifted and the light was much, much better, so we stopped again and I grabbed a few more shots, including this one.

I'm terribly grateful to have had the chance to see this icon and a good bit of the valley itself. I'll never forget it!