San Diego and Yosemite – Finally I have a few images from the yosemite field trip to show. It has been really hard to find time between prepping for finals and trying to figure out what workshops and seminars i might do over the summer to make up for the loss of all classes to work on these. There are more shots to work on but I figured it was time to at least get a few shots up to show lest anyone forget that despite the posts that seem to draw the most hits, I really am primarily about being a photographer. I was tempted to even throw in some shots from previous trips to flesh out this sample but decided that was cheating. All of these shots were taken between April 28 and May 1, 2011. And, for the techies among you, all of them were taken with a Canon 1Ds MkII.
So with that out of the way, let’s get started…
This is the iconic first view when entering the valley from the south. It is called “Tunnel View” because it is taken from an overlook at the exit/entrance to a tunnel. What always amazes me is that looking into the valley it looks like a pristine wilderness and there is no indication that hidden in the trees is a paved road that circles the valley along with camps, lodges, and a good sized village. As you drive down into the valley the first major area is Bridal Veil Falls. You can see it a little to the right of center in the shot above. Millions of visitors each year take the little trail to its base where they can get absolutely drenched in the mist coming off of the water. I’ve done that before and decided I did not need to get soaked again for the shot so did it from the valley. As you continue to drive through the valley there are waterfalls all over the place. Here is an afternoon shot in black and white of the upper Yosemite Falls.
All of the shots above were taken in the afternoon, but mornings are also good, especially just after dawn. So here are a few at dawn or close to it. The first is of “Ribbon Falls” near El Capitan. In this shot the sun was just starting to trace the rock faces.
I know it looks a little off kilter but look at the falls. The trees are on a slight mound. Moving the camera only a few steps from where the shot above was taken and with a slight turn to the right is “El Capitan” itself starting to glow through the trees in the dawn light. There were climbers on it but of course you can’t see them from this distance. it is about a three day climb so at night you can see the lights from their flashlights as they sleep, roped in to the lines.
There were a gazillion people clamoring for this shot earlier but the light on the rocks was not, in my not-so-humble opinion, as good so I went and had breakfast and then came back when they were gone. This is also a large mosaic created from 45 frames. The native size of this file is over 1.6 gigabytes and will make a print about 10 ft wide. The lens used was a Zeiss-Hasselblad 150mm lens adopted for the Canon mount and then using a spherical panoramic head to take all of the frames. I’ve taken similar shots from here before but never any that would print so large.
And of course no collection, no matter how small is complete without a shot of the famous Halfdome. So here is one taken standing ankle deep in a mud bog caused, again, by runoff water.
OK, so if those shots were taken in the mornings and afternoons, what does one shoot during the day. some photographers hole up and wait for the so-called “golden hours” but I think shots can be found in all light so here is an example of a mid-day shot.
It is all about the angles of the light so if the light source does not cooperate (and you cannot influence the position of the sun — and if you can I want you to come along on my next trek) then you have to adjust yourself accordingly. So this makes a good time for those detail shots like the Dogwood blossoms above.
Obviously there was water aplenty. The falls were running heavy, the Merced River was running strong and Iwould be surprised if when the full runoff hit there was not some flooding this year.
The trip was, as usual, a great one. I have many more images from the trip I’ve not had time to address (and which are calling me to work on them) and I even got some writing done, so it was extremely productive for me. Yosemite is a truly magical place, filled with enormous energy and stunning beauty. I never tire of going there although I’ve not yet made it in winter. I’m slowly putting together a photo book on it, but feel it is incomplete without some winter shots so perhaps this next year I can get them and finish that project!