O'Reilly logo

Photographing Yosemite: Digital Field Guide by Lewis Kemper

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

1.1. Why It's Worth a Photograph

Since its opening in 1927, the Ahwahnee Hotel has marveled visitors including several presidents, actors, and international dignitaries. With its unique architecture and Native American motif, the hotel offers a glimpse of the past mixed with the modern. The Ahwahnee Hotel was originally designed to bring tourists to Yosemite Valley and is now a National Historic Landmark.

Built from stone, wood, and concrete, the hotel took almost two years to build and used 5,000 tons of stone, 1,000 tons of steel, and 30,000 feet of timber. The "wood" you see on the exterior is actually poured concrete textured and stained to look like redwood! All the material had to come from outside the park because the park's resources are protected.

The hotel features the Great Lounge with its elaborate stained-glass windows and fireplaces so big you could walk inside them! The fireplaces are made from cut sandstone. The whole building is decorated with Native American art, most of which is of Miwok origin, in keeping with the original inhabitants of Yosemite Valley. As you wander through the hotel, you see themed rooms such as the Winter Club room that houses historical photos on winter sports in Yosemite, the California Room, the Writing Room, and the solarium with views of Glacier Point.

The Ahwahnee Hotel is a luxury hotel and may be beyond the means of most park visitors, but it is open to the public. Anyone is welcome to visit and they even offer tours of the hotel. ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required