LF 3500 x 3700 west face El Capitan

...mouse click to hugely enlarge...

This is a 4x5 Provia 100F transparencies exposed in December of 2004 with my 150mm Nikkor lens from the South Loop Road Bridalveil area. I had wanted to capture afternoon light on a clear day on the west face of El Capitan in order to maximize the detail of the cliff face. December is a good choice because the sun is west-southwest and winter skies tend to be quite clear after storms pass and usher in cold dry air. I wanted to shoot when the afternoon light had begun to turn a yellow but not too warm as it quickly begins to loose luminance and too much yellow or red light reduces detail. Though a large image, this is is just a crude flatbed scan at only 1200 ppi so the actual transparency shows more detail only a drum scan would provide. The full image size is 3500 by 3700 pixels and has been saved as a compressed sRGB file of a bit less than 3 megabytes. (To view the larger image, select the Orig size option above and beware depending on one's web connection may take awhile to load.)

At the top cliff rim of El Capitan the elevation is about 7,000 feet and at the base below the Nose at right where shadows begin it is about 4,200 feet or at cliff vertical of 2,800 feet. At top one can see a bit of white snow and some taller wind shaped jeffrey pines that might have a height of about 35 feet as is typical. On the image those trees measure 37 pixels high while the cliff face measures about 3000 pixels, or a ratio of about 1:80. Thus 35 times 80 = 2800 feet indeed approximating the actual cliff height. Note there were no climbers on the wall on this day that is often the case mid winter.

I have posted this large informational image on summitpost.com because I noticed despite 262 images posted on Bob's famous El Cap page there were none showing fine detail of this awesome cliff wall. So El Capitan climbers may find it useful.

David Senesac


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