Helpful Posts Helpful Posts:  0
Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: first photography trip to Yosemite

  1. #1
    bfkimball's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    San Jose, CA
    Posts
    25
    Real Name
    Brian Kimball

    first photography trip to Yosemite

    Last Saturday I did a "quick" day trip to check out Michael Frye's reception at the Ansel Adams Gallery in Yosemite Valley (quick = 4 hour drive each way). His work was gorgeous. This was the first time I had seen professionally printed digital landscape photographs. They were absolutely stunning!

    After the reception I shot Yosemite Falls:
    first photography trip to Yosemite
    (click for larger image)

    On the drive to Tunnel View I couldn't resist this interesting juxtaposition of trees:
    first photography trip to Yosemite
    (click for larger image)

    Finally I arrived at Tunnel View. After two hours of dull light we got 60 seconds of sun on Bridalveil Falls:
    first photography trip to Yosemite
    (click for larger image)


    I would love to hear your C&C. I will be returning in two weeks for a proper 4 day visit so I will have ample opportunity to fix any glaring mistakes I may have made with these. Thanks!
    Last edited by bfkimball; 13th May 2011 at 06:21 AM.

  2. #2
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Glenfarg, Scotland
    Posts
    19,646
    Real Name
    Just add 'MacKenzie'

    Re: first photography trip to Yosemite

    I'm really starting to get an itch to try and get there. The one thing I wonder, Brian, is how easy is it to actually get to these shots and not have hundreds of other people crawling all over the place? I have this impression that you can't really see the park for the fact that there are so many people and vehicles in the way. Maybe that's pure myth on my part.

    I see that you did #1 and #3 with the 24-70. Do you think that something of that focal range could be the 'primary weapon of choice' for a trip to Yosemite?

    Quote Originally Posted by bfkimball View Post
    first photography trip to Yosemite
    You've captured lovely light and tone on the rock face. I wonder if the leaves on the top of the tree are just a bit too bright and if darkening them up just a little bit would contribute to a more balanced image?

    first photography trip to Yosemite
    I see what you mean. But it's not going to last the course as a major image.

    first photography trip to Yosemite
    Aahh! Majestic. It's particularly fascinating for me to see and realise that you can still get to that same location as 'He' got to and where he captured 'Clearing Winter Storm'
    Last edited by Donald; 13th May 2011 at 08:05 AM.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Panama City, FL
    Posts
    3,542
    Real Name
    Chris

    Re: first photography trip to Yosemite

    The last time I was there and got decent shots was in the dead of winter...don't even go there in the summertime unless you want to sit for hours and hours in your car getting great glimpses of the car in front of you, and the backs of heads of the thousands of tourists lining the road with their instamatic cameras trying vainly to capture the scenes above. Gone are the days when one could shoot freely without obstuction....well, that was my experience last summer. I hung a u-turn and left right after coming out of the tunnel.

  4. #4
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Glenfarg, Scotland
    Posts
    19,646
    Real Name
    Just add 'MacKenzie'

    Re: first photography trip to Yosemite

    Chris

    I've been studying the National Park Service (nps) website for the park and there's a lot written about how so many of the areas of the park are inaccessible during the November to May period because of snow. Do you (or anyone else) know - can you still get around enough of it to get the real sense and feel for it?

  5. #5

    Re: first photography trip to Yosemite

    It's particularly fascinating for me to see and realise that you can still get to that same location as 'He' got to and where he captured 'Clearing Winter Storm'
    Yep its a bloody big ca rpark and viewing point. Full of massive luxury coaches and Japanese tourists when we went.

    Do you (or anyone else) know - can you still get around enough of it to get the real sense and feel for it?
    You would have to be checking on local conditions all the time. So not really practical for a trip from UK. Also you would have to be really careful about abuse to a hire vehicle...and yes they do check under the vehicle for what they term off road damage. They simply charge your credit card for damage after you have left the country Even if the valley were OK it may prove difficult to get onto the tops and that is the best bit in my opinion. Not sure if Tioga pass is open in those months either. Do not do mid summer as we did , Chris as stated some good reasons above but also the show piece waterfalls are but a trickle. In terms of weather and UK comparisons its worth remembering that the valley floor is at 3000-4000ft. On the tops you can be above 10,000ft

    Hetch Hetchy is reputedly evenr more stunning but they filled it with water to supply electricity to Arnie's house

  6. #6
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Glenfarg, Scotland
    Posts
    19,646
    Real Name
    Just add 'MacKenzie'

    Re: first photography trip to Yosemite

    Quote Originally Posted by Wirefox View Post
    Yep its a bloody big carpark and viewing point. Full of massive luxury coaches and Japanese tourists when we went.
    Good grief. And to read Adams' description of the location in 'Examples' : "At this location one cannot move more than a hundred feet or so to the left without reaching the edge of of the almost perpendicular cliffs above the Merced River. Moving the same distance to the right would interpose a screen of trees or require an impractical position on the road." (p103/104)
    Last edited by Donald; 13th May 2011 at 09:03 PM.

  7. #7
    Administrator
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    California, USA
    Posts
    1,473
    Real Name
    Sean

    Re: first photography trip to Yosemite

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    I've been studying the National Park Service (nps) website for the park and there's a lot written about how so many of the areas of the park are inaccessible during the November to May period because of snow. Do you (or anyone else) know - can you still get around enough of it to get the real sense and feel for it?
    Yes, things are a little less accessible (the east entrance is closed, you cannot drive to panorama point, and some of the rim hikes become too treacherous) -- but there are surprisingly few people. As others have pointed out, summer time can become a zoo, so just avoid this and you should be OK. My favorite time though is late fall; the pictures come out great, there's far fewer people, and everything is still accessible. In addition to the fall colors, if you're lucky you might even see some low-laying fog in the mornings -- great for photography. The only drawback is that the waterfalls will have died down quite substantially by that point (peak waterfall flow is usually around May).

    The big area that you won't be able to access in the winter (except via cross-country treks) is the Tuolumne meadows area in the northern portion of the park. This is also nice, but I suspect 95% of the scenery you've viewed in photos is from Yosemite Valley (in the southern part). With the exception of right around a major storm, you can drive into the valley year round.

  8. #8
    apollo3333's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Slingerlands, NY
    Posts
    46
    Real Name
    John

    Yosemite in mid March

    first photography trip to Yosemite


    first photography trip to Yosemite

    I recommend visiting in March. The village is open, and there were only a few visitors. The waterfalls were flowing, and there was enough snow for a nice accent to the colors. Of course conditions vary from year to year. There is snow on the ground now. Check out these webcams. http://www.nps.gov/yose/photosmultimedia/webcams.htm
    Last edited by apollo3333; 24th May 2011 at 10:50 PM.

  9. #9
    rpcrowe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Southern California, USA
    Posts
    12,178
    Real Name
    Richard

    Re: Yosemite in mid March

    Brian...

    Lovely images of a beautiful area.

    Regarding the best time of the year to visit: avoid the summer at all costs. You will be immersed in crowds which will totally hamper your ability to get the shots you want. For an idea of the crowds, the National Park Service doesn't allow private vehicles through the park during the summer vacation season. You must park your vehicle and compete with hoards of other tourists for the bus service between points of interest. This also means that you are pretty well restricted to where the bus drops you off unless you desire to take a long walk with your load of gear...

    I consider the spring to be the ultimate time to visit. Depending on the weather conditions at any given year, April through the first part of June can be great. You don't have the summer crowds to contend with and you can drive your car around the valley. Another great bonus is that the numerous waterfalls are flowing the fullest due to snow melt off. There may be some snow lingering and often the Tioga Pass Entrance doesn't open until later in the year.

    The Tuolumne meadows area in the northern portion of the park is very beautiful but, I would not make access to that area as a criteria for selecting the time of the yer to visit the Park.

    BTW: If possible (reservations are sometimes hard to get and are quite expensive) I would stay in the Inn in the Park. The nearest town is about twenty miles from the front gate of the park and the Valley (where many of the awesome sights are located) is about anther twenty miles from the front gate. They often are working on the roads within the Park during the spring and traffic delays due to the road work can subtract valuable time from your visit. One day it took me two hours from the front gate to the Valley because the roads were ripped

    I carried a 30D and a 40D along with an old D60 (not the new 60D) which I have converted to a full time infra red camera. I shot with a 24-70L and a 70-200mm f/4L IS and also used my 12-24mm Tokina. I had the entire focal range from 12-200mm covered with those three lenses although I primarily used the 24-70L and the 70-200mm f/4L. I am not a great fan of UWA lenses for landscape use but, the Yosemite Valley itself (where most of the standard sights are) is relatively small (for Western U.S.A. standards). However most of the time the 24-70L did quite well. There were numerous times that I used my 70-200mm lens to isolate portions of the park like in this shot of Bridal Veil Falls. After seeing my image, I realized why they call it "Bridal Veil" because the flowing water does kind of look like a bridal veil.

    first photography trip to Yosemite

    I would definitely take a tripod and use it for most, if not all of my shots. The nice thing about driving your personal vehicle is that you don't have to lug a selection of lenses, cameras and other equipment as well as a jacket and some drinking water from place to place.

    I was shooting this meadow lake with a wide lens and all of a sudden I saw a black bear sow and her two cubs on the other side of the lake walking in the distance. I ran back to my car, slapped on my telephoto lens and realized that the sow and her cubs were too far off in the distance so I drove along the loop road to the other side of the lake.

    first photography trip to Yosemite

    Did I say, you are not bothered with crowds of people in the spring? Well not always. There were twenty or thirty people pursuing the bear and her cubs to get a picture with their P&S cameras. This is both illegal (no messing with the wildlife) and pretty dumb. Even though black bears are not as dangerous as the bigger grizzly bears, a sow can get pretty mean if she thinks that her cubs are in danger. Anyway, I left the area without a shot of the bear. IMO, no image is worth disturbing the wildlife to attain.

    The best guide books for shooting Yosemite are:

    PhotoSecrets Yosemite [Paperback] by Andrew Hudson http://www.amazon.com/PhotoSecrets-Y...3&sr=1-3-spell

    and

    The Photographer's Guide to Yosemite [Paperback] by Michael Frye http://www.amazon.com/Photographers-...3&sr=1-1-spell

    These books can really make your trip successful because they can recommend the best times of the day to shoot in the various areas. You can plan your trip around the park by following the sun...

    BTW: Weather can be pretty chancy in the Park. Try to plan a couple of days there so you won't be blown out by a nasty day...

    I am planning to return to Yosemite this Winter and will keep an eye on the weather when I do.

    Here are my Yosemite images: http://rpcrowe.smugmug.com/Other/Yos...76105480_znpKf

    Yosemite is one of the absolute most picturesque locations I have ever visited, There is an awesome site around every bend and looking out your rear view mirror, you will see some more awesome sights. It should be on every photographer's "Bucket List".
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 25th May 2011 at 12:18 PM.

  10. #10
    apollo3333's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Slingerlands, NY
    Posts
    46
    Real Name
    John

    Yosemite accommodations

    Regarding accommodations, there are cabins near the village which are comfortable enough. There are only 2 electrical outlets, bring a power strip so you can recharge everything!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •