Terra Galleria Photography

QT Luong photo on NPS home page for a year and half

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I am honored to report that my Yosemite Winter Sunset photo has been displayed continuously on the home page of the National Park Service for a year and half. The first screen shot is from June 2009, the second screen shot from Oct 2010. You may be able to date them using the headlines.

Ansel Adams photographed many times from this viewpoint, as can be seen for example in his book “American Wilderness” and the centennial retrospective “Ansel Adams at 100”. No matter how hard I looked around for a less photographed view, I could not find a viewpoint that captured the “essence” of the Valley better. I felt that Ansel Adams “owned” the view so much that I consider my images made there an homage. However, even when using one of his most often repeated compositions, I still sought a distinctive photograph. An obvious way to differentiate my photographs from his would be to fully use color. That means not merely making a color version of a black and white photograph, but designing the photograph around color, making one that would not work in black and white. I thought about ways to maximize the color contrast. Since the Yosemite granite walls are gray, the most color contrast would be found at sunset between the yellow/orange illuminated cliff tops and the valley bottom, which would turn blue because of the open shade conditions. Blue and orange are opposite colors. Most evenings, the valley bottom would be too dark, but I pre-visualized that fog in the bottom would lighten the valley bottom and enhance the blue tint. One evening, as I was in the Valley, I noticed the fog forming and a hole in the clouds on the western horizon. I rushed to Tunnel View, and here was the image, almost a decade and a hundred visits after I first set foot in Yosemite.

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