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Photographing Yosemite: Digital Field Guide by Lewis Kemper

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3.3. How Can I Get the Best Shot?

By taking a short walk out into Tuolumne Meadows along the river you can — with the proper gear — get a great shot.

3.3.1. Equipment

One or two lenses and filters are all you need to get a good picture of Cathedral Peak.

3.3.1.1. Lenses

From anywhere in Tuolumne Meadows, lenses in the range from 28-400mm enable you to photograph the mountain and give you several perspectives. With the wider lenses from 28-50mm, you can frame the mountain and include the river in the foreground. With lenses in the 85-105mm range, you can frame the mountain and the meadows. With lenses from 150-400mm, you can fill your viewfinder with the peak.

3.3.1.2. Filters

The most useful filters you can use when photographing Cathedral Peak are a polarizing filter and a graduated neutral density filter.

  • Polarizing filter. This filter can be used to separate the rock formation from the sky, to reduce glare and reflections off the surface of the water and rocks, and to darken the sky and enhance any clouds you may happen to have in the scene.

  • Graduated neutral density filter. The graduated neutral density filter is useful to even out the exposure between the peak and the trees in the foreground. It is useful for balancing your lighting ratios, especially when photographing with a foreground and background that vary greatly in brightness. A graduated neutral density filter has a gradient of density that reduces light at one end of the filter and tapers to clear at the other ...

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