Photographing Yosemite

Author Archive

Yosemite Early Summer Waterfall Workshop June 20 – 24, 2011

Wow, what a workshop!  5 folks from all across America witnessed the spring runoff at full blast!  And what a great group it was!  Enthusiasm like I’ve never seen!  They ran me ragged!  We shot moving water in infinite variations, streams, waterfalls; large and small, sunsets, alpenglow…

Yosemite Landscape Photo Workshops

From left, Will Meyer, Todd Hricko, Jennifer Carlson and Lori Ransbottom.

Yosemite Landscape Photograhy Workshops

Workshop student Will from Sentinel Dome

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Lori scouting the top of Sentinel Dome

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Jennifer is literally moved to tears over the view from Glacier Point.

Yosemite Landscape Photograhy Workshops

Todd shooting from Glacier Point, which had just opened for the season on this day.

Yosemite Landscape Photograhy Workshops

Foolish girl displaying her poor judgment. This is how people are killed in YNP.

Yosemite Landscape Photograhy Workshops

Time-lapse with light-painted tree in the foreground. By workshop student Jennifer Carlson

 

Yosemite Landscape Photo Workshops

Another group shot with (from left) Will, Todd, Lori and Jennifer

 

Yosemite Landscape Photo Workshops

A timed exposure looking west down Yosemite Valley at dusk.

 

Yosemite Landscape Photo Workshops

Tioga Road had only been open for a few days when we went to Tioga Lake for some spring break-up shots. Jennifer Carlson can be seen in the lower right.

 

Yosemite Landscape Photograhy Workshops

Incredible shot from Jennifer Carlson. GREAT silhouette.

Jennifer Carlson sent me a boatload of tremendous shots.  So far I’m still waiting from shots from the others!!  So, the remaining shots will be from her contribution.

Yosemite Landscape Photograhy Workshops

A great shot of the tunnel.

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Lower and "middle" Yosemite Falls by workshop student Jennifer Carlson

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Great B&W treatment of this spring runoff waterfall by Jennifer Carlson

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From Tioga Road near White Wolf; sunset above a spring runoff waterfall. By Jennifer Carlson


Yosemite Spring Weekend; May 27 – 29, 2011

Memorial Day Weekend; a full house of some of the most INCREDIBLE photographers I’ve ever had.  And, as you will see, one student insisted on using an iPhone and showing some of us with full-sized DSLR how it’s done!

We had screwy weather, huge crowds and a lot of changing weather.  If you can imagine, we had snow on the highways requiring chains, they closed Glacier Point Road due to snow…  It was crazy!  But we got good shots and turned a lemon into lemonade with 7 solid hours of dramatic shooting conditions at Tunnel View.

This going to be a long post, especially for a 3 day workshop.   I have 40-some-odd shots to post, all worthy of anyone’s wall.

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Workshop student Jeff Perkins shot this tremendous image of a rainbow over Yosemite Valley.

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Workshop student Jaime caught Greg Bull shooting his dad Philip at Washburn Point...

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...and the result a fine shot with perfect fill-flash.

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This is as close as we got to a group shot; if you have any experience herding cats, you know how hard it was to get everyone in the same spot for long enough to do it. Here, Brian, Randy, Jeff and Jaime stand still long enough to capture.

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Greg Bull (blue shirt) shoots at Glacier Point

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Roberta (driving) with Jaime (back seat) off to the next shooting location

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Workshop student Jaime got this shot of the crowd at Washburn Point. This was the first day of Glacier Point Road opening for the season and there was a rush of people.

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Workshop student Jeff Altman got this great reflection shot of Upper Yosemite Fall in Cook's Meadow.

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Workshop student Greg Bull shoots Upper Yosemite Fall.

Workshop student Joel Hershman followed my advice and went wandering for different shots and came up with reflections in a standing pool of water in Cook's Meadow. We all went over to copy what he had done...

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Workshop student Roberta got this reflection of Upper Yosemite Fall.

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Phil Bull shoots Cascade Fall from under the bridge.

Workshop student Joel Hershman shot this pano from Cook's Meadow.

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Workshop student Phil Bull saw this unique shot along the Merced River.

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I absolutely love this shot. It captures the essence of the lure of shooting Tunnel View, probably one of the most photographed vistas in the world. Photo by workshop student Phil Bull

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Another great shot from workshop student Phil Bull along the banks of the Merced River.

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Workshop student Phil Bull shot this unique view of tree stumps at the Mariposa Grove of big trees.

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One more from workshop student Phil Bull from Glacier Point

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Workshop student Phil Bull with this nice shot of the night stars circling the North Star.

As promised, workshop student Jeff Perkins was a major show-off with his iPhone getting some truly unbelievable results.

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These were done with an iPhone app called "True HDR"; can you believe it?? Magnificent!

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Another iPhone shot from Jeff taken from Glacier Point

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more from the iPhone as we shot the sunset and dusk on the Merced River.

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More from Jeff's iPhone

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who woulda thunk it? From an iPhone!!

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Workshop student Jeff Altman went crazy with his B&W post procedures in this wild shot of he foothills of the Sierra National Forest looking west from Wawona Road.

More photos are coming from Roberta, and others.  Will upload them when they come in.

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Mary from Chicago got this nice shot of the Sequoias in the Mariposa Grove.

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Workshop student Mary from Chicago caught this image of Half Dome in the clouds from Glacier Point

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Workshop student Mary from Chicago got this great shot of El Capitan in the mist from Tunnel View.

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Workshop student Jason got this shot of a thunderstorm building over Yosemite Falls.

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Arwinder considering his next shot in Cook's Meadow.

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Workshop student Jason got this most excellent shot of a coyote.


Spring Week Long; May 16 – 20, 2011

What can you say about 13 excellent students, prodigies really, and a variety of weather we could not have ordered out of a Sears catalog!  And for the second year in a row, the May workshop was greeted by wintery weather, rain, clouds, cold and yes, snow!!  All perfect for shooting and learning new techniques.

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The "Partial" group shot; some students opted not to do this hike, and Kevin, the ex-marine went all the way to the top with only a knife clenched in his teeth... (not really, but almost)

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Dick composes his image.

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Laurie enjoying the day in Cook's Meadow shooting panoramas.

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Rudy and Laurie from Columbia Point on the Yosemite Falls Trail.

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Marty and Shirley also from the Columbia Point Trail

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Hal and Dave, brothers, from Columbia Point

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From Cook's Meadow, capturing panos

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Steve Bonswor captured this pano from Cook's Meadows.

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Taking in the view from Columbia Point

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Shooting Vernal Fall from the flat rock.

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Kevin (red cap) prepares to shoot Vernal Fall

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Kevin Black took this great shot of the Upper Yosemite Fall

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We did night shooting from Tunnel View.

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Interesting post procedures on this unique shot of grass in the Merced River by workshop student Steve Bonswor. Excellent example of when it's right to break all the rules.

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Kevin Black shot this tremendous image of a Yosemite Black Bear. This is a rare untagged bear in Yosemite Valley in the vicinity of Bridalveil Fall.

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Several students stayed after the workshop to shoot the "moonbow" at Yosemite Falls. They stayed until 2am! Steve Bonswor got this great one!

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Workshop student Kevin Black got this neat shot from Tunnel View. Great black and white conversion!

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Nice shot of Yosemite Creek below Lower Yosemite Fall by workshop student Shirley.


Yosemite Early Spring 4/8 – 4/9/2011

The March workshop was canceled due to the park being closed, so we had a  make-up workshop with Ashim and Chet, students originally scheduled for that class.

We had perfect shooting conditions for the weekend!  Lot’s of clouds, flowing water, etc.  It was GREAT!!

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Chet took this early morning shot

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Ashim (left) and Chet shooting test shots at Valley View

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The view from Tunnel View was outstanding!

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Another great shot from Chet of Upper Yosemite Fall in the background and the Merced River in the foreground.

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Ashim took this great shot from Tunnel View

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Ashimm took this moving water of the creek below Lower Yosemite Fall.

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Chet took this dramatic shot of Bridalveil Fall

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The light was very dramatic on this day...


Mid Winter week long; Jan 31 – Feb. 4, 2011

I had the pleasure of showing Dennis from Dallas, Texas, the wonders of Yosemite.  He’s got a natural eye and we spent a week shooting all over.  All of the shots are his, except where noted.  I dare say I could not do any better…  He’s a tremendous talent!

The HDR processing you see was done with the new Nik HDR Efex Pro software.

 

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Of course, I took this shot of Dennis at Columbia Rock on the Yosemite Falls Trail.

 

 

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El Capitan with Horsetail Fall; it was too early for Horsetail, as the sun set before it hit the fall.

 

 

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A close up of what could have been.

 

 

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Another view of El Capitan from along the Merced River.

 

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One of my favorites of Half Dome along the banks of the Merced River.

 

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This was shot just as the last twinkle of light faded on Sunday evening. Upper Yosemite Fall.

 

 

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Half Dome at dusk. GREAT light!

 

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A great shot of Yosemite Fall from the Swinging Bridge.

 

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Yosemite Valley from Tunnel View

 

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Looking west along highway 41 south of the valley.

 

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Cascade Falls

 

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Motion blur shot of Bridalveil Fall


Winter Weekend Workshop February 11 – 13, 2011

8 folks convened on Yosemite Valley to capture Horsetail Fall, and even though there was very little waterflow from the fall, a great job was done by all to capture what there was to shoot.  What a great bunch of people!  from Tennessee, Ukraine (by way of Vegas), and California.

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This was as good as it got for Horsetail. Shot by workshop student Tatyana.

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The Group along the banks of the Merced River to shoot Horsetail Fall.

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Mike (L) and Keith get set for Horsetail Fall on the bank of the Merced River

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Tatyana from Ukraine getting set for Horsetail Fall.

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Glenn and Carin from Tennessee

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Mike scopes out his shot of Bridalveil Fall

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Joel, from Alaska, standing in the freezing water of the Merced River scoping out a shot... What dedication!

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Carin sets up for a shot of Half Dome from Columbia Rock on the Yosemite Falls Trail.

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Tatyana hams it up at Columbia Rock

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Keith along the bank of the Merced River assessing his photo opportunities.

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Joel tries some macro shooting

 

 

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We did some night shooting with a quarter moon out; it was perfect!

 

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Tatyana got this shot of Bridalveil Fall at night on a timed exposure.

 

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Mike setting up for motion blur shots of Bridalveil Fall.

 

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Glenn also setting up for Bridalveil Fall.

 

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Carin had her own perch for shots of Horsetail...

 

 


February 18-20, 2011; Horsetail Fall

Horsetail Fall did not cooperate with us this year, but we were more than compensated by a world-class blizzard that dumped 3 feet of new snow on the valley floor resulting in absurdly stupendous scenery to shoot.  15 folks from all over the country convened and got shots they will be hard-pressed to ever repeat.

The workshop was dealt some difficulties due to the snow, digging out the cars, waiting for NPS to open the roads, and having to put on mandatory chains…  causing some delay in getting out to the shooting locations when we wanted.  But everyone exhibited patience in dealing with the unexpected, and GREAT shots resulted, especially at night.

So far I have shots from only one student, Clair, but it’s early yet, and as soon as folks have a chance to process their huge inventory of shots I’ll be getting more to add to this post.

Yosemite Photography Workshops

15 GREAT folks battled the elements to get a shot of Horsetail... but, alas, it was not to be. Conditions did not smile on us.

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Night shot of Yosemite Valley

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Clair got this tremendous shot of a coyote.

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Keith Kountz, from Fresno, assisted in making sure everyone had their questions answered.

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John Hampton from Sacramento always had a smile on his face.

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Absolutely stunning vistas of snow-carpeted Yosemite Valley.

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Another take on the scene.

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Pam from San Bernadino came with a brand new Nikon, and learned to use it this weekend.

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Clair got this great wide shot of Yosemite Valley.

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The view of upper Yosemite Fall from the valley floor. INCREDIBLE!

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Workshop student Lynn composes her shot from Cook Meadow

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Night shot of Yosemite Valley as cars moved through the mist on the valley floor.

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Tram provides the refreshments while waiting in vain for Horsetail Fall to light up.

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Karen gets her shot in Cook's Meadow

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Workshop student Clair got this shot of Upper Yosemite Fall

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Bridalveil Fall appears as a ghostly outline in this shot from Valley View vista.

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Lower Yosemite Fall during the blizzard.

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A great night shot of Yosemite Valley from workshop student Jenny.

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Workshop student Lynn composed this unique shot of El Capitan from Tunnel View

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workshop student Jenny got this shot of the Merced River with Bridalveil Fall in the background.

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Workshop student Jenny with a unique composition of Bridalveil Fall.

 

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Nice shot of a deer that wandered into Cook's meadow, captured by Lynn

 

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GREAT shot of Yosemite Valley from the Wawona road from workshop student Lynn


Winter weekend January 14 – 16, 2011

I never cease to be amazed at how such a diverse group of people can come together for a weekend of shared enthusiasm and become friends in such a short time.  8 folks from across the country, 2 from China, 1 from Delaware, Indianapolis and the rest from California.  We had a GREAT time!!  And for the first time children in our group, 3 great kids, and what a family we were!

Sometimes I wonder who is the teacher in this enterprise.  The work the students produced on this workshop is nothing short of stunning.  See below.

The Group!

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Lining up for shots along the banks of the Merced River

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Jim's wife Patty prepares for a shot

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Jim Hammond, Patty's husband, also prepares for a shot

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Kris from Santa Cruz

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Paul, from China, now living in Canada, intent on his shot.

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Shashank from Delaware

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Francis, Paul's friend from Canada

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Stephanie from So. Cal.

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Shashank and no, it's not a backdrop.

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Patty and Jim Hammond from the Sacramento, CA area

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Night shot of Yosemite Falls. We did a lot of night shooting

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Jim Hammond

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Patty Hammond in shooting war!

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Kris Hill

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Patty, Your's Truly and Kris

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Child prodigy photographer Ava von-Meeteren, a mere 6 years old blew us away with her talent.

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Shot by 6-year old Ava von-Meeteren! Notice the composition! Not bad for a 6-year old!

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Can your 6-year old shoot like this?

and now for the work of the students:

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Shashank shot this of the moon rising over Half Dome along the banks of the Merced River. What a shot!

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The moon rises over Yosemite Valley, captured by Patty.

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It's amazing how the simplest of objects can be turned works of art. It's all in the eye of the...photographer!

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Unbelieveable! What a tremendous shot! One of the best I've seen of this vista! Shot my workshop student Jim Hammond

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A dead tree at night in the moonlight in Cook Meadow. Shot by workshop student Shashank

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Half Dome over the Merced River! Great job on the HDR by Patty Hammond!

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Workshop student Kris Hill took this shot of Half Dome and El Capitan bathed in alpen glow!

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The remnants of the forest fire of 1991 against a great sunset shot by Jim Hammond. GREAT color!

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Workshop student Patty shot this great image of lower Yosemite Fall.

So, what do you do when a 6-year old girl wants to do light painting?  You do light painting!

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Our little angel!

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Baby bear!

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Papa bear and baby bear!


Yosemite Fall Colors Weekend 11/12 – 11/13, 2010

Wow!  7 folks from all over California attended the two day workshop and the fall colors were exceptional!  Great sunny weather really brought out the colors on both river reflections and the leaves on the trees.

And for the first time ever, all but one student, who hailed from Phoenix, came from California; virtual locals.

OH YEAH!  I almost forgot!  Another workshop first.  Nick and Ann got engaged on Sunday morning.  Nick dragged Ann out of bed to go shoot the sunrise, and while standing at the wall at Tunnel View, popped the question!  She said “Yes!”

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Ann said YES! to Nick's proposal! A workshop first! Congratulations Nick and Ann.

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The group portrait; (l to r) Ann, Nick, Tom, Linda, Chris and Kelvin. Keith, from the SF Bay area, left early due to illness.

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Linda clasping a hand warmer on the Mist Trail.

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The first day shooting Upper and Lower Yosemite Falls.

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Ann chimping on the Mist Trail.

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Nick also chimping on the Mist Trail.

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Tom setting his camera.

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Kelvin making his way along the river rocks.

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Tom shot this image of Lower Yosemite Fall.

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Kelvin shot this great image of flowing water with tremendous color erflection along the Merced River.

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A great shot from Tom along the Merced River

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The moon was up, the sun was setting and magnificent colors were captured by the clouds. Kelvin got this one.

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What a great view of the setting sun on Half Dome by Tom

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The same shot above rendered in black and white.

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It wass inevitible; Kelvin and Chris shooting Upper Yosemite Fall from the Mist Trail with.....iPhones... !!!

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Great color reflections along the Merced River

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Tom got a great shot of Half Dome in the fading sun along with the reflection on the Merced.

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Tom got in tight on Half Dome in twilight. GREAT color!

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Tom got some great shots along the mist trail of the river and leaves on the riverbank.

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Another shot from Tom of colors along the Merced River.

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Wow, what tremendous colors reflections on the river captured by Kelvin

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It just never stops with color on the river.

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Night shooting in El Cap meadow; captured by Kelvin.

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Black and white conversion of a timed exposure at Tunnel View. Kelvon got this one.

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Chris makes his way on to a rock for the angle on the water along the Mist Trail. We all trained out cameras on him to document falling in the water. Bets were laid down.

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Chris took this great reflection shot.

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Chris also took this great shot along the Merced River

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The colors were really tremendous at sunset. Chris took this shot of the moon through the clouds.

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There was a thin layer of clouds that just captured the glow of the fading sun. This shot was taken at dusk by Ann.

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Motion blur shot of the Merced River by Ann


Yosemite Fall Weekend Workshop Oct. 15 – 16 2010

I had two great students this weekend.  One had never been to Yosemite.  I love showing people Yosemite for the first time!  Keith, from the Bay Area of California had visited Yosemite many times but wanted to learn a bit more about how to improve his skills shooting landscapes, and Ashly, all the way from New York had never been to Yosemite and also wanted to improve her skills.  We got lucky and had a good variety of weather, all roads were open and it wasn’t too cold.   We went to Sentinel Dome, and other places along Glacier Point Road.  We also hiked up to Vernal Fall and got great shots.  We shot at night and got some TREMENDOUS night photos.

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Ashly from New York on the left, obviously, and Keith from the bay area at Vernal Fall

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Ashly hamming it up on the ledge overlooking Vernal Fall

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Keith setting up his shot at Vernal Fall.

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Keith got this great motion blur shot of Vernal Fall; f/22 at 100ISO at 3 seconds using stacked neutral density filters.

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Tremendous motion blur shot of Vernal Fall by Ashly.

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Keith got this great shot of the stars above El Capitan at night with light from a 1/2 moon.

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Ashly also got a great shot of El Cap and the stars though a little tighter on the composition.

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We did a lot of night shooting, and Keith got this shot from Half Dome on the last night.

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Before the sun set, the colors were great! Ashly got this great capture of the fading sun on the clouds.

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Before the last tidbit of light slid away, Keith got this 10mm shot of the clouds over Yosemite Valley from Tunnel View.

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We shot along the Merced River and this reflection shot by Ashly was the result of the Photoshop lesson on Sunday.

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Ashly fooling around on Sentinel Dome, and yes, it was that cold!

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Keith's crown jewel shot of the entire weekend; a timed exposure of Yosemite Valley looking east from Sentinel Dome. White balance was set on "shade" for the warm lighting effect.

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Ashly's favorite shot of the weekend from Sentinel Dome.

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Just as the sun was setting Ashly got this shot with a 400mm f/5.6. Tremendous color and composition!

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Yet another way to shoot Half Dome from an area along Glacier Point Road by Ashly.

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This grouse showed no fear of Ashly's camera on Glacier Point Road.

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Ashly and Keith on Sentinel Dome at dusk.


The High Sierra Wilderness Workshop Aug. 7-15

There just aren’t words in the English language to describe the experience of spending 5 days at 9,000 to 10,500 feet in the Sierra Nevada.   Deep in the south end of Kings Canyon National Park in a place called Deadman Canyon, we camped completely removed from cell phones and the internet. We had a cook, wrangler for the horses, showers, a generator for recharging batteries, and lots of solitude.

Deadman Canyon is like going to another planet.  We photographed, hiked, fished and got rained on briefly.  Mosquitoes were virtually non existent.  Weather was sunny but we did have clouds on Tuesday.

What follows is an extraordinarily long post with photos that will be added in the days that follow as shots start coming in from students.

High Sierra Wilderness Photo Workshop

Workshop student Bill Hallier of Fresno took this shot of a butterfly at the 10,000 foot elevation of Deadman Canyon.

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There was smoke from a forest fire that obscured some of the meteor shower but Bill Hallier managed to get this shot of one.

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The south end of Deadman Canyon

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John Heaton of Chicago contemplates the scenery.

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As we moved down the canyon and up toward Elizabeth Pass, we were only a speck on the image. Photo by Bill Hallier

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Zack, the wrangler and guide, makes his way through the thick brush in Deadman Canyon.

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Your's truly shooting a pano.

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Wrangler and guide Brady Giles tries his luck fishing at Big Bird Lake at the 10,200 foot elevation.

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Workshop student Bill Hallier extracts a hook out of the trout caught at Big Bird Lake.

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Awesome Ranger Meadow in Kings Canyon National Park.

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Kristy and Brady at Big Bird Lake.

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Wrangler Dan takes in the scenery at the south end of Deadman Canyon.

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Sue and John Heaton from Chicago pose for a picture near the campsite.

Day One

Saturday

We arrived at the Horse Corral Pack Station, operated by Charley and Judy Mills, at about 6pm on Saturday, the day before heading out.  Refreshments were waiting, the wine was uncorked and the fun began! They had a spectacular dinner that night with ribs, pepper sausage, tri-tip and chicken!  Plus, all the trimmings of potato salad, macaroni salad, green salad, vegetables, bread and then…awesome peach cobbler.

High Sierra Wilderness Photo Workshop

Charley Mills, owner of the Horse Corral Pack Station mans the grill.

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Workshop student Gus enjoys his first glass of wine.

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The wine station

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Judy Mills, Charley's wife sees to details of the Hor 'dourves tray.

 Hor 'dourves

Goodies to nibble on!

The High Sierra Wilderness Photography Workshop

The ribs are sliced... dinner is ready.

The High Sierra Wilderness Photography Workshop

Come and get it!

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The campfire is ready...

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The kitchen is a marvel of efficiency and cleanliness. Terry is working on dinner.

The High Sierra Wilderness Photography Workshop

Every spice you could possibly need

Day Two

Up at 6am, grab breakfast (eggs, bacon, sausage, fruit and much much more!) and assemble the loads.  Watching the packers assemble the equipment and personal items and then pack the mules was an exercise in efficiency.

The High Sierra Wilderness Photography Workshop

Cody the wrangler looks over the stuff we're taking...

The High Sierra Wilderness Photography Workshop

Dan the wrangler, (left) and Charley decide what goes where. The panniers are filled.

The High Sierra Wilderness Photography Workshop

Loads are arranged on the mules

The High Sierra Wilderness Photography Workshop

Charley (left) and Cody check the cinches to make sure they're secure and tight.

The High Sierra Wilderness Photography Workshop

Ready to roll! John and Sue Heaton from Chicago ready to move out.

The High Sierra Wilderness Photography Workshop

Making our way down the trail; 21 miles to go to the base camp.

The High Sierra Wilderness Photography Workshop

Taking a break from the saddle... SORELY needed! (pun intended).

The High Sierra Wilderness Photography Workshop

Finally, after 9 hours on the trail, the tired and sore group arrive to the established camp waiting with food and drink.

It rained briefly on the way in, but wasn’t terribly disruptive.  In fact, it kept the dust down.

The Cast of Characters

The High Sierra Wilderness Photography Workshop

Although she didn't stay with us at camp, we have to say "Thank You" to Sarah who went in the day before with the camp staff to haul everything in and set up camp. She came back out again and was off to Wyoming for more adventure.

The High Sierra Wilderness Photography Workshop

Zack, a mere 23 years old but already a 10 year veteran of packing with mules. He led the way in with the stock.

The High Sierra Wilderness Photography Workshop

Cody, in his first year with the Horse Corral Pack Station nevertheless has won prizes in Bishop, CA (Mule Days) for his packing skills.

The High Sierra Wilderness Photography Workshop

Austin, a long time cowboy, also in his first year with the Horse Corral Pack Station, helped with the trip.

The High Sierra Wilderness Photography Workshop

And last but certainly not least, Dan, (right) resident comedian asked that I remember which one is the mule. He stayed with us all week and had us in stitches. He should be in LA doing standup comedy.

The High Sierra Wilderness Photography Workshop

Brady and Kristy

I can’t say enough good about Brady and his fiance’ Kristy; Brady was our chief wrangler, taking care of the camp and stock, and Kristy who cooked every meal to perfection.  They could not have been more attentive, friendly, efficient and fun!  THANK YOU Brady and Kristy!  We will be asking for you guys next year.

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Two showers

The High Sierra Wilderness Photography Workshop

The camp kitchen; although it looks small, it was efficient. The food was marvelous!! Kristy is a magician here.

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Another view of the kitchen with our master chef.

Day Three

Monday

Monday, no one wanted to get back in the saddle.  We all slept about 9 hours Sunday night from the trip in.  The bedrolls provided by the packers were incredibly comfortable.  We all slept very well all week.  The morning was spent seeing to the final details of setting up camp, and checking photography equipment.  In the afternoon we took a little hike up the Deadman Canyon Trail.

The High Sierra Wilderness Photography Workshop

While hiking, I shot this portrait of John and Sue Heaton against the massive canyon walls.

little hike up the Deadman Canyon Trail.

Figuring out how to cross the creek.

High Sierra Wilderness Photography Workshop

Bill Hallier devours his dinner of roast talapia, steamed asparagus, rolls and salad.

High Sierra Wilderness Photography Workshop

And for desert, fresh Dutch-oven cherry cobbler!!

Day Four

Tuesday

We headed out to Deadman Canyon and Big Bird Lake on horseback.  The hike up to Big Bird Lake was more arduous than any of us would have liked, but we made it and caught fish and had a great time!

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John Heaton ties his raincoat to the back of his horse for the trip

High Sierra Wilderness Photography Workshop

Rounding the corner on the trail this vista of Ranger Meadow came into view. Tremendous!

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Brady and Kristy came with us to handle the horses and mules.

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Brady Giles

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Off we go to Big Bird Lake.

High Sierra Wilderness Photography Workshop

Bill Hallier caught some fish.

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Brady also tried his luck

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Trout for dinner!

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And on our way back we caught this dramatic view of Upper Deadman Canyon.

Day Five

Wednesday

Today we headed down to Cloud Canyon, and realizing the trip would be prohibitively long, we stopped at the ranger station and took adantage of the creek for a lesson in motion blur.  This was going to be a long day as the Perseid Meteor Shower was peaking tonight and plans were to photograph them until late.

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John Heaton gets his shot

High Sierra Wilderness Photography Workshop

Bill Hallier found a spot on a rock in the middle of the creek for some dramatic motion blur shots...

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...like this

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Stock wrangler Dan reads his book waiting for us to finish our shooting.

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Back at camp, some unidentified person steals a nap. Photo by Bill Hallier

That night, even though a distant forest fire spilled smoke into Deadman Canyon in afternoon and evening partially obscuring the night sky, we still went out for the meteor shower and got some shots.  Sue and Kristy laid on a blanket and laughed the whole time.  Never did find out what was so funny.  You had to be there, I suppose.

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Bill's best shot was this one of a rather large meteor.

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This was all I got that night; a tiny meteor seen here only after reviewing shots on the computer.

Day Six

Thursday

After some discussion with the packers as to the wisdom of going to Elizabeth Pass due to the snow that was still on top, we decided to head that direction and see where it took us.  So, we packed up, Zack and Dan were our guides and off we went.  The goal was to shoot the lower end of Deadman Canyon and see if we could get to the pass.  However, the horses and mules were recalcitrant due to the poor trail condition and sheer terrain.  So, given you can only force your stock to do so much, we turned around well short of the pass. (Dinner at the pass was canceled due to snow still on the trail and over the pass.)

The High Sierra Wilderness Photography Workshop

With 25 years experience packing mules in the central Sierra Nevada, Dan watches the pack train carefully for anything out of the ordinary.

High Sierra Wilderness Photography Workshop

This is a 5-panel panoramic shot of Dan taking in the scenery. Entering the lower end of Deadman Canyon was like going to a different planet.

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John Heaton poses for his picture.

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Zack leads the way

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Yours truly shooting the canyon

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John, Zack and I decided to see how far up the trail we could go; Gus and Bill stayed behind to shoot various setups, and caught this shot of us moving down the trail.

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Photo by Bill Hallier of the creek.

The High Sierra Wilderness Photography Workshop

GREAT shot of trail guide Zack by Bill Hallier

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We stopped for a break on the way back and Zack steals a catnap.

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Definitely not the sweeping panorama shot one would expect to see, but a dramatic shot nonetheless captured by Bill Hallier.

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From left to right; Gus, Bill, John and myself. Photo by Zack

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Dan (l) and Zack goofing around for the camera.

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Making our way down the canyon back to camp; the wildflowers were incredible.

The High Sierra Wilderness Photography Workshop

Back at camp, Brady gave us a demonstration of his bullwhip skills. He makes bullwhips by hand.

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The crack of the whip reverberated through the forest.

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Kristy serves up seconds of the peach cobbler.

The High Sierra Wilderness Photography Workshop

Took some cowboy shots. Brady fixing a bridle.

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One more dealing with the bridle.

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A cowboy's prayer

Day Seven

Friday

Today was a Photoshop day.  Knowing we were facing 22 miles on horseback for the return trip, we opted not to go out on horses.  Instead, we did Photoshop instruction, also Lightroom, Capture One, portfolio critique, and rest.

The High Sierra Wilderness Photography Workshop

Going over Photoshop Elements 8 with Sue.

The High Sierra Wilderness Photography Workshop

Grabbed this shot of the horses grazing by the stream.

Day Eight

Saturday

Pack it up and move on out.  Up early to organize everything for the return trip.

The High Sierra Wilderness Photography Workshop

Leaving camp at 9am.

The High Sierra Wilderness Photography Workshop

By 5pm we were still 3 miles away from the Horse Corral Pack Station.

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Sue and John Heaton posing beside Sue's trusty mount, Candy. Mules were smoother and more sure-footed on the trail as it turned out.

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Gus Feissel of Northern California

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Bill Hallier of Fresno

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The gracious and lovely Kristy, our Master Chef of Camp "work-magic-with-what-I-got" Cookery.

The High Sierra Wilderness Photography Workshop

Brady Giles, who, in the off-season, is a licensed hunting guide in 3 states, could not have been more accommodating and patient. See crosscountryoutfittersllc.com for more information if you like hunting.

See you next year!!  Sign up for next summer’s trip at http://yosemitephotoworkshops.com/sierra_photo_workshops.htm


Mid Summer Workshop July 5 – 10, 2010

Sometimes it’s very nice to instruct a very small group, and this was the case July 5-10.  Steve and Dianne from Southern California, came up for a week of shooting and instruction.  We had a great time!  It was one of the most intense learning environments I think we’ve ever had.  We went to myriad locations around Yosemite National Park, including Saddlebag Lake on opening day, Saturday the 10th.  Plus, we had two Photoshop sessions, going over panorama stitching, in-depth layers instruction, and color correction.  Plus, on Thursday, we had a complete portrait session on Glacier Point Road with remote studio lighting.  We recruited a family from Tallahassee, Florida to sit for us, which they did enthusiastically.  All in all it was a tremendous week…  and new friends made!

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Steve shoots the sunset on Sentinel Dome

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...and his wife Dianne also shoots the sunset on Sentinel Dome.

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Dianne shot this terrific image of a buck grazing in the meadow near Curry Village.

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Dianne also shot this image of a bear scratching his face at Crane Flat.

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Steve and Dianne make their way down Sentinel Dome after an evening of shooting.

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Dianne shot this stitched panorama of Yosemite Falls from Cook's Meadow.

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Steve shooting the landscape at Tioga Pass

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The clouds produced interesting sky patterns at Tioga Pass. Great shots!

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From Tioga Pass

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Sean, a student from a previous workshop joined us on Saturday for a trip to Saddlebag Lake.

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Mt. Conness and North Peak loom in the background over Greenstone Lake.

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A six-image panorama shot of Greenstone Lake with North Peak on the right.

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Shot from Tuolumne Meadow, the clouds were dramatic!

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An 8-image panoramic shot of Half Dome from Glaicer Point Road as thunderstorm clouds were building.

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A 4 image pano of Half Dome from Sentinel Dome

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How it's done

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What it looks like... Gina, Mathew, Allison and Larry

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The kids try to make mom and dad laugh...

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...and it works!


Early Summer Week Long June 10 – 15, 2010

A week in Yosemite with sunshine, blue skies, temperatures in the mid 70’s.  Most people would be ecstatic, but we made do.  Very bland photo conditions made us push creativity. 5 guys, shooting all over Yosemite; Glacier Point and along the road, Sentinel Dome, Tuolumne Meadows, Bridalveil Fall, Vernal Fall…  you name it we shot it.   Lot’s of fun, laughs, stories, adventures and learning.

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Arthur, Sean, Stephen, Jim and Earl on Sentinel Dome at dusk. We had very strong alpine glow that day.

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Arthur from Bermuda taken at a spot off Glacier Point Road.

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Sean from Maryland

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Stephen from Colorado Springs

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Jim from Albuquerque

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Earl from Southern California

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On the way back from Tuolumne Meadows we noticed a great sunset, so we pulled off and Arthur got this great shot.

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On Tioga Road we shot this unnamed runoff waterfall. Jim was looking at the tree and moved just before the shutter closed creating this ghost-like effect.

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Workshop student Arthur got this great shot of Nevada Fall from Washburn Point; notice the rainbow in the mist visible from that great distance

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Tioga Lake, at 10,000 feet, just outside the park near Tioga Pass, was still largely frozen over.

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Sean got this great shot from Sentinel Dome of the stars in the moonlight; the Milky Way is visible, something we could not see with the naked eye.

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Workshop student Jim shot Bidalveil Fall.

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Workshop student Jim shooting over the tourists at Glacier Point

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Workshop student Earl getting very creative with the carcass of the famous 500 year old Jeffrey Pine, which died in 1977 and fell over in 2003.

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Workshop student Jim got this wide shot of the unnamed runoff waterfall along Tioga Road.

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Workshop student Stephen got this great shot of a 3,000 year old Bristlecone Pine Tree along the Tioga Road at Olmstead Point.

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Workshop student Sean got this seldom-seen view of Half Dome from the Snow Creek Trail.

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Workshop student Sean during a shoot of Tenaya Lake from Tioga Road.

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Workshop student Earl with Tenaya Lake in the background along Tioga Road.

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Workshops students (from left) Earl, Jim and Stehpen just off the Glacier Point Road.

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Workshop student Stephen and his wife Pat on Sentinel Dome

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Workshop student Arthur checking out a shot with his Hoodman LCD viewer near Vernal Fall.

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This is a stitched panorama shot of Tioga Lake.

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Workshop student Sean scoping out a shot of Vernal Fall

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Workshop student Sean got this great shot of Half Dome and Clouds Rest from a vantage point along Glacier Point Road.

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Your's truly and your host Phil, capturing a 360 degree panorama series for a QTVR panorama shot.

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Workshop student Stephen was fascinated by the fact that the trees could grow right out of the solid granite.

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Shooting a small creek at Tuolumne Meadows

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Workshop student Sean captured this small pine tree at a spot along Glacier Point Road just as the light was about to move out.


May Spring Weekend 5/28 – 5/30/10

Memorial Day Weekend with 8 students, two of which were returning from a workshop in February, Brent and his wife Luisa and Mike and his wife Cheryl.  This time, most were from California, with one from Indianapolis.  And as with the week long in May, it started out windy cold and wet.  We got 5 inches of snow Thursday night at the 6,500 feet elevation, where most students were staying.  We all woke up to a January scene; snow everywhere.  Then, Friday it cleared up and by Saturday it was clear and warm.  We had it all!

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Workshop student Tim from Indianapolis shot this simple 3-panel pano with his new 5D MKII

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Workshop student Rony captured this great shot of Half Dome.

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Workshop student Tim composes his shot of Lower Yosemite Fall from the bridge.

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Workshop student Rony adjusts her camera on the Lower Yosemite Fall bridge.

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Workshop student Beth captured Half Dome during sunset light.

I shot portraits of most everybody except Mike who was off shooting another area of the park.  From a location off Glacier Point Road:

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Rony

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Rony and her husband Rich

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Tim

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Rene', an old hand in Yosemite; she's backpacked all over the park.

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Beth, on her first visit not only to Yosemite but being west of the Appalachain Mountains.

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Jim and his wife of 32 years, Judy-Lynn.

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Returning students Brent and Luisa

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Rony and Rich goofing off.

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Resting on the Mist Trail to Vernal Fall.

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All these people were waiting for the bus at Happy Isle. We decided to walk back to the Curry Village parking lot.

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Rony took this shot of Half Dome at sunset.

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Jim and Judy-Lynn marveling at the scenery along Glacier Point Road.

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Workshop student Rene from the Yosemite Fall bridge

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Beth from the Yosemite Falls trail with Upper Yosemite Fall in the background. I put a Canon 580 EX flash unit in the tree at Beth's suggestion, and fired it with the infrared master unit.

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Beth is awestruck at the view from a spot along the Yosemite Falls Trail.

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Rich captures a few winks as Mike and Rony discuss shots in the background.

Rene captured this great shot of Vernal Fall

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Rich and Rony fooling around; again.


Yosemite Spring Week Long, May 10-14, 2010

Waterfalls, snow, sunshine, wind, clouds, bears, you-name-it and we-had-it.  The May Spring Week-Long photography workshop was possibly the best yet.  We certainly had the best variety of shooting conditions (weather), better than if I ordered it out of a Speigel catalog.  Plus, 5 folks who could not have been more fun-loving and enthusiastic.  Ken and Sharon, from Georgia, Cristine and her sister Carolyn (also known as Abbot and Costello) from Southern California, and Ron from Taos NM.

The first night, Sunday, Cristine and I went to Tunnel View to shoot the sunset and were treated to a gorgeous view of the valley.  She shot this view of Yosemite Valley.

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A 4-minute exposure at 400ISO from Christine's 1D MKIV.

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Ron waits for the right shot as Carolyn holds the umbrella.

The first day was wet cold and windy.  It was total January weather conditions.

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Sharon attempts to keep warm in the wind-driven rain storm.

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Christina also shot this from the Crane Flat road on Monday.

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Ron captured a woodpecker as it built it's home.

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Ron adjusts his settings on the Mirror Lake Trail

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Christine sizes up her shot on the Mirror Lake trail.

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Ron from Taos, NM.

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Ken and Sharon from Georgia.

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Bridalveil Fall captured by Christine

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Christine composes her shot along the Merced River.

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Bears were everywhere

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We went "bear hunting" on Friday evening, and captured these two males in the meadow near Swinging Bridge.

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Ken captured some great light on Half Dome.

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Ron and I stopped by El Capitan to shoot the climbers and as I was exposing my shot, the space shuttle streaked across the sky...

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...and I moved my camera and captured this shot of the space shuttle moving left-to-right across the sky and in to the earth's shadow

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Ron captured this 13 panel pano of Yosemite Falls.

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Ken's shot of Bridalveil from the Merced River. Clouds were really helping produce some great light for dramatic results.


Winter Week Long 2/22 – 2/26, 2010

If I had ordered the weather out of a Spiegel catalog it could not have been better.  The week held a little of everything for photography, bright sunshine, rain, snow, overcast, you name it!  And only one person signed up for the festivities.  But Raphael and I knocked it out this past week and got a slew of tremendous photographs.

Raphael

Raphael, not one to enjoy his picture being taken, waits at the wall at Tunnel View for The Shot.

view from Tunnel View

One of the night shots taken from Tunnel View (Photo by workshop student Raphael)

Bridalviel Fall (behind the trees) from Valley View

Much of the weather this week was overcast, rain or snow.  I decided to convert much of what we shot into black and white.  I covered these conversion methods in Photoshop with Raphael.

Yosemite Falls from Cook's Meadow

Half Dome and reflection from the banks of the Merced River

Half Dome from Cook's Meadow in the morning after a fresh snowfall. (Photo by workshop student Raphael)

Raphael shooting the runoff fall

Raphael examining the moss on the granite for a macro shot.

Half Dome from Mirror Lake using a fish-eye lens; 10mm and a Canon 5D MKII (Photo by workshop student Rahpael)

Just a simple shot of Half Dome on a clear sunny day converted to B&W.

Wide shot of Half Dome again from the banks of the Merced River.

Cloud's Rest from the Mirror Lake trail. We used polarizing filters which had the effect of diluting the moon in the sky. (Photo by workshop student Raphael)

Great shot of Horsetail Fall from the banks of the Merced River (Photo by workshop student Raphael)

Cascade Fall rainbow

Rare shot of Yosemite Falls and Half Dome in the same image taken from the Merced River with the 10mm lens. (Photo by workshop student Raphael)

You can do very unusual things with a super-wide lens. The 10mm captured both El Capitan and the Three Brothers from the Merced River (Photo by workshop student Raphael)


Feb. 12-15, Winter Workshop

We had a wonderful President’s Weekend workshop with 8 participants and 4 wives!  Way too much laughing and fun.  And only one person got lost and we made him buy the group rib-eyes at the Ahwahnee.  (Just kidding).

Folks mainly from California on this workshop and one from Indianapolis.  We shot waterfalls, different views of Half Dome, El Capitan, etc.  Emphasis on this trip was capturing Horsetail Fall at sunset.  (see below)

 

Horsetail Fall at sunset

 

Half Dome at dusk

 

 

Brent shooting Half Dome and Stoneman Bridge from the middle of the Merced River (Photo by workshop participant Mike Spivac)

 

Folks came in at various times over the weekend, which made it impossible to get a shot of all participants at one time.

 

Howard and his wife Christine, Tony, Brenda and her husband Hans

 

Cloud's Rest from the Mirror Lake trail

 

 

Brent focuses his camera on Half Dome

 

 

Another great shot of Brent

 

 

Hans setting up his gear for a shot of Yosemite Falls from Cook's Meadow.

Another shot of Horsetail Fall as the sun begins to fade.

 

 

Howard contemplates his composition options of Half Dome at dusk along the Merced River.

 

Mike and Brent shoot Half Dome from the bank of the Merced River

 

Tony and Mike compare Nikon settings preparing to shoot Horsetail Fall.

 

 

Brents' wife Luisa observing the obsessive behavior of the throngs shooting Horsetail Fall

 

At one point we counted 32 tripods capturing Horsetail Fall

Progression of the light across El Capitan until it lands in perfect alignment with the fall. (Photo by Hans)

Shot of North Dome from the Mirror Lake trail.

 

 

Hans and Howard prepare for shooting Half Dome from the banks of the Merced River.

 

 

Bart, another late arrival, shooting Cascade Creek

Bart braves the swift current of Cascade Creek to get a good angle.

 

 

Bart is in just the right position for that perfect shot

 


Yosemite Winter Weekend Workshop Jan 14 – 17

Yosemite Photo Workshops Winter Weekend

Half Dome at sunset. We had been in position for about an hour and this shaft of light broker though for only about 2 minutes. Workshop participant Valerie Strait captured this shot.

We had a small group of three that got the workshop of a lifetime!  Shooting during a cold wet storm, full sunshine of a rare winter waterfall, river reflections, and stitched panoramas!  All that in  three days!

Valerie Strait from New York (l), and Ian and Karen Traise from Australia

Cascade Fall on a sunny day. Photo by workshop participant Karen Traise

Karen and Ian Traise

Stitched panorama from Cook's Meadow by Valarie Strait


Yosemite Fall Colors Weekend Nov. 13-14

6 people from all over the US came to Yosemite, most for the first time to photograph and learn.  This has to be the most incredible group I’ve had so far; they were the least experienced in photography, yet ALL OF THEM had ridiculous “eyes”, seeing new perspectives of vistas and views I’ve seen a thousand times.  They absorbed theory, technical details and compositional advice about their cameras and photography and simply could not get enough.  Hiking, standing in the cold shooting at night, slogging through underbrush, nothing could or would stop them.  It was humbling.

DISCLAIMER: WordPress has a way of degrading images when posted on their blog.  These images are far superior to what you are seeing here, but hopefully you will get the idea.

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Yosemite Valley from Tunnel View (photo by workshop participant Joanne Shearsmith)

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Yosemite Valley at dusk from Tunnel View (photo by workshop participant Allen Kogan)

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Group shot from the Mist Trail of everyone except Sunkara who had a fear of heights and did not make it to the top.

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Sunkara along the Mist Trail. He has an incredible eye for composition.

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Workshop participant Joanne Shearsmith, a native Brit, along the Merced River.

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Workshop participant Ron Hough at Vernal Fall

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Allen and Tatiana work on shots at Cook's Meadow

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Keith Kountz, from Fresno, shooting Vernal Fall

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Workshop participant Keith Kountz shot this with his Canon 5D over 3 minutes. Included is the Milky Way, the North Star, rock wall at Tunnel View and light on the trees from auto headlights, all in the same shot. Fun with fish-eye lenses and full-frame DSLRs!

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Keith Kountz also shot this of the waning golden light from the Valley View vista

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Allen and Tatiana work on the shot of Vernal Fall

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Swirling leaves in the current. Sunkara shot this with a 4 second exposure. The round vignette is a result of stacking ND filters with a polarizer, and shooting with an 18mm focal length.

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Coyote having a drink (photo by Sunkara)

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Sunset from the Sierra foothills (photo by Joanne Shearsmith)

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A Blue Jay waited for sandwich scraps as we ate our lunch at the top of Vernal Fall.


Yosemite Fall Colors Week Long Nov. 2-6

Over the past two weeks, on both the week long and weekend workshops I have been dazzled by the incredible variety in interpretation of iconic Yosemite scenery by people who are seeing it for the first time.  Just goes to show you that although a vista may have been photographed a gazillion times by a gazillion photographers, there is always a new perspective to consider.

We had four people in from all over.

First, let me say that WordPress does something to images that degrades the sharpness and color that was there when the shot was uploaded, so my apologies from the start…

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Moon rise from Sentinel Dome (photo by workshop participant Derek Manson)

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The Milky Way from Glacier Point (photo by workshop participant Scott Jenkins)

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Workshop participant Derek Manson shot this sunset with his 5D MKII

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Dereck, John, Scott and Scott

We were cursed with weather that was, in any other context, perfect. For photography you want clouds, interesting light, mist, fog, etc. and it was 75 degrees with clear skies; I mean, not a cloud in the sky for 5 solid days!! Still, they persevered and got some incredible shots anyway.

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The Yosemite Chapel.

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The Oak trees in the valley produced a glorious canopy of color

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The group from South Africa on Sentinel Dome

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The group from South Africa

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Instructing how to get the most out of a point-and-shoot camera

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Moonrise over Sentinel Dome

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Yosemite Valley from the Valley View vista

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Half Dome over the Merced River

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Sunset over the west end of Yosemite Valley

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Time for a nap in El Cap Meadow

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Yosemite Valley at night from Glacier Point (photo by workshop participant Scott Jenkins)


July 6 – 10 The High Country

The week long workshop in Yosemite focused on the high country of Yosemite; those areas around Glacier Point Road; Taft Point, Glacier Point, Sentinel Dome, and then Tuolumne Meadows, Saddlebag Lake, Tioga Pass, etc.  And, for this workshop we had one participant, but what a participant he was; flew in all the way from Japan especially for this workshop.  Shiro Tenaka spent a week traveling with me all around.  Weather was perfect, in fact too much so, because there were no clouds or changes in the weather to make things interesting, so we did the best we could with blue skies and constant sunshine.

Shiro is one of the few remaining film photographers, shooting medium format with Fuji Velvia transparency film, so his photos will not be available for posting for a while yet.

Shiro Tenaka from Japan was the lone participant who received private instruction on shooting in Yosemite!

Shiro Tenaka from Japan was the lone participant who received private instruction on shooting in Yosemite!

Greenstone Lake in the Hoover Wilderness at the 10,500 ft elevation just outside the east boundary of Yosemite National Park

Greenstone Lake in the Hoover Wilderness at the 10,500 ft elevation just outside the east boundary of Yosemite National Park

We shot in the area around Saddlebag Lake in the Hoover Wilderness on the first day.  Beautiful area!

Steelhead Lake in the Hoover Wilderness with Mt. Conness in the background.

Steelhead Lake in the Hoover Wilderness with Mt. Conness in the background.

I was shooting with the new Nodal Ninja pano head for shots all over Yosemite.

Wide angle of Greenstone Lake

Wide angle of Greenstone Lake

A very wide pano of Tioga Lake consisting of 9 stitched images

A very wide pano of Tioga Lake consisting of 9 stitched images

Tuolumne Meadow from Pothole Dome

Tuolumne Meadow from Pothole Dome

We also spent time at Taft Point for a sobering view of the valley.

Taft Point off Glacier Point Road

Taft Point off Glacier Point Road

The Taft Point overlook.

The Taft Point overlook.

And, of course, Glacier Point

Half Dome from Glacier Point Road

Half Dome from Glacier Point Road

Then, in the Glacier Point parking lot, we saw the results of not heeding the food storage warnings.  A bear tore open the roof of a car belonging to newlyweds, which was full of food from the grocery store.

A bear ripped open the convertible roof of this car to get to the back seat full of food...

A bear ripped open the convertible roof of this car to get to the back seat full of food...

A ranger cleaned up the mess and is waiting for the return of the owners of the car.  A subtantial fine was levied against the for failing to store food properly.

A ranger cleaned up the mess and is waiting for the return of the owners of the car. A substantial fine was levied against them for failing to store food properly.

...and not only will they tear open the car, they will urinate inside the car and defecate on it as well, to "mark" it as their source of food.

...and not only will the bears tear open the car, they will urinate inside the car and defecate on it as well, to "mark" it as their source of food.

We shot at Valley View

We shot at Valley View

Bridalveil Fall

Bridalveil Fall

The shot of Upper Yosemite Fall and the Merced River full of rafters from Swinging Bridge

The shot of Upper Yosemite Fall and the Merced River full of rafters from Swinging Bridge

Then, finally on the last day, clouds rolled in and we headed up to Glacier Point for some spectacular shots.

Half Dome at sunset from Glacier Point

Half Dome at sunset from Glacier Point

Half Dome at sunset

Half Dome at sunset

The clouds were beautiful

The clouds were beautiful

Clouds were magnificent.

Clouds were magnificent.

Incredible

Incredible

The colors evolved

The colors evolved

Some fool went out on the ledge, and as long as he was already there, I took this shot of him against the sunset.

Some fool went out on the ledge, and as long as he was already there, I took this shot of him against the sunset.

As the lgiht faded, a fitting end to the weeklong Yosemite Photography Workshop.

As the light faded, a fitting end to the weeklong Yosemite Photography Workshop.


Yosemite Weekend Workshop June 12 – 13.

Had a great workshop with 3 participants all from the Seattle area.

Thom and Steve Collins, father and son, from Seattle, and Mike Alberts also from the Seattle area for their first-ever visit to Yosemite!  What  a blast!  Did night shooting, hiked to Vernal Fall, went up to the high country, Tioga Pass and over to Mono Lake.

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(l to r) Mike Alberts, Steve Collins, Thom Collins, and myself near Mono Lake

Vernal Fall shot from the flat rock w/ an 18mm lens

Vernal Fall shot from the flat rock w/ an 18mm lens

Bears were everywhere...

Bears were everywhere...

Mike Alberts shooting Vernal Fall from the flat rock

Mike Alberts shooting Vernal Fall from the flat rock

Vernal Fall and people on the Mist Trail getting wet

Vernal Fall and people on the Mist Trail getting wet

Trudging up the incredibly challenging Lower Yosemite Fall trail.  (Shot my Steve Collins)

Trudging up the incredibly challenging Lower Yosemite Fall trail. (Shot my Steve Collins)

On Saturday we went to Tuolumne Meadows, Tioga Pass and Mono Lake

Old pine tree at Olmstead Point

Old pine tree at Olmstead Point

Clouds over Tuolumne Meadows

Clouds over Tuolumne Meadows

The clouds were incredible over Mono Lake

The clouds were incredible over Mono Lake

Clouds ove the White Mountains

Clouds ove the White Mountains

Steve Collins loses himself to the scene near Mono Lake

Steve Collins loses himself to the scene near Mono Lake

We had dinner at the Mobil Station in Lee Vining

We had dinner at the Mobil Station in Lee Vining

Half Dome with it's head in the clouds (Photo by Mike Alberts)

Half Dome with it's head in the clouds (Photo by Mike Alberts)

Upper Yosemite Fall (photo by Mike Alberts)

Upper Yosemite Fall (photo by Mike Alberts)

Rock face at 10,000 feet (photo by Mike Alberts)

Rock face at 10,000 feet (photo by Mike Alberts)

Some of the many cloud formations from Mono Lake (photo by Mike Alberts)

Some of the many cloud formations from Mono Lake (photo by Mike Alberts)

Sunset from Glacier Point with Yosemite Falls in the foreground (photo by Steve Collins)

Sunset from Glacier Point with Yosemite Falls in the foreground (photo by Steve Collins)

Busy shooting Vernal Fall from the big flat rock.  The wind coming off the waterfall was cold and relentless...

Busy shooting Vernal Fall from the big flat rock. The wind coming off the waterfall was cold and relentless... (photo by Tom Collins)

Nice shot of flowing water in the Merced River coming off Vernal Fall.  (photo by Tom Collins)

Nice shot of flowing water in the Merced River coming off Vernal Fall. (photo by Tom Collins)

Spectacular shot of water spraying off rocks from Vernal Fall (photo by Tom Collins)

Spectacular shot of water spraying off rocks from Vernal Fall (photo by Tom Collins)

Rainbow near Mono Lake. Tom Collins was the only one who got this good a shot of the few moments the rainbow appeared. (photo by Tom Collins)

Rainbow near Mono Lake. Tom Collins was the only one who got this good a shot of the few moments the rainbow appeared. (photo by Tom Collins)

Night shot of El Capitan with star tracks.  the light dot on El Cap is the bivy lights from a climber. (photo by Tom Collins)

Night shot of El Capitan with star tracks. the light dot on El Cap is the bivy lights from a climber. (photo by Tom Collins)


Yosemite Waterfalls June 1 – 5, 2009

An incredible week shooting all the waterfalls (and then some) in the valley. Although we concentrated on waterfalls, we also did night shooting, sunset shooting and twice went to Glacier Point. The weather was very unsettled which made for great photo opportunities.

The crowning excursion had to be the hike up the Yosemite Falls trail to get the moonbow from a vantage point few have ever photographed.

Upper Yosemite Fall

Upper Yosemite Fall

It was a hard hike up that trail with full packs of photo gear, food and water. Thank goodness there was a creek that enabled us to fill our containers.

Falling water from Upper Yosemite Fall.

Falling water from Upper Yosemite Fall.

Monday, June 1

We started on June 1 shooting Lower Yosemite Fall from the trail. The waterfall spray and crowds were too oppressive to shoot from the landing.

Timed exposure of Lower Yosemite Fall

Timed exposure of Lower Yosemite Fall

Then, it was on to lunch. Afterward we noticed the clouds were looking pretty good, so we headed up to Tunnel View to shoot clouds. (more…)


March 9 – 13, 2009

OH wow, what a week! 5 solid days of shooting Yosemite National Park. A group of 2 participants allowed us to do what we wanted on a moments notice. And what a week it was!

Leana D. from the east coast, and Lem L., also from the east coast, arrived on Sunday afternoon, and no sooner did they set down their bags and we were out shooting! Neither Leana nor Lem had been to Yosemite and there were huge smiles on their faces. There were clouds drifting by, so Leana and I drove from the Yosemite Lodge to Tunnel View to meet Lem and on the way stopped at Valley View and shot these images.

Playing in the snow

Playing in the snow

Playing in the snow

Playing in the snow

Then, up to Tunnel View to meet Lem and wait for the sunset.  Finally, the light became right:

Sunset over Yosemite Valley

Sunset over Yosemite Valley

Moon over Bridalveil Fall

Moon over Bridalveil Fall

Sunset over Yosemite Valley

Sunset over Yosemite Valley

It was time to eat, so we went to the Yosemite Lodge Food Court and had dinner, then out for night shooting at Lower Yosemite Fall, which was right across from the Lodge. And all this before the workshop actually began!

Then, it was out to Cook’s Meadow, across from Yosemite Falls for night shots of the falls.

Upper and Lower Yosemite Falls

Upper and Lower Yosemite Falls

Upper and Lower Yosemite Falls from Cook's Meadow

Upper and Lower Yosemite Falls from Cook's Meadow

Monday, March 9

Since we were out until almost midnight the night before, we slept in a bit and got started about 9:30am, and went back to Lower Yosemite Fall to shoot the rainbow. We discussed the use of polarizer filters to enhance colors in rainbows and to reduce glare thereby enhancing the detail in clouds and waterfalls. We used neutral density filters in combination with polarizers and small apertures to shoot timed exposures to produce the “cotton candy” effect on flowing water.

Rainbow on Lower Yosemite Fall

Rainbow on Lower Yosemite Fall

Lower Yosemite Fall

Lower Yosemite Fall

Lem L. (l) and Leana D. (r) shooting from the Lower Yosemite Fall bridge

Lem L. (l) and Leana D. (r) shooting from the Lower Yosemite Fall bridge

Then, after lunch we headed out to Cook’s Meadow for a few shots and over to the Merced River to shoot Stoneman Bridge and Half Dome.

One small happy group!  Me, Lem L and Leana

One small happy group! Me, Lem L and Leana

Half Dome over Stoneman Bridge and The Merced River

Half Dome over Stoneman Bridge and The Merced River

Then, back to Cook’s Meadow, the chapel, and on to Swinging Bridge where Lem shot this great image of Upper Yosemite Fall.

Upper Yosemite Fall from Swinging Bridge

Upper Yosemite Fall from Swinging Bridge

Finally, we walked around behind the Yosemite Lodge on the bank of the Merced River to shoot these images in late afternoon sun. We discussed the use of split-density filters, bracketing exposures, and use of the histogram to gauge correct exposure.

Half Dome over the banks of the Merced River

Half Dome over the banks of the Merced River

Same image in black and white

Same image as above in black and white

Same image as above in black and white

We shot Half Dome and also a small grove of trees that framed nicely against the dark mountain.

Grove of trees on the bank of the Merced River

Grove of trees on the bank of the Merced River

We had originally scheduled Wednesday night as Photoshop night, but decided since we had such a volume of images this early, we would do it on Monday night. So, after dinner we set up the computers and spent about 3 hours on Photoshop instruction, including basic theory on layers, masking, and color correction, among other subjects.

Tuesday, March 6

Next day; Columbia Point. Seems the full moon was rising at 7pm, so we packed a few sandwiches and hiked the 1 mile trail (straight up) to Columbia Point and shot the sunset and moonrise. In the process I shot portraits:

Leana from the Yosemite Falls Trail as the moon prepared to peek from behind Half Dome

Leana from the Yosemite Falls Trail as the moon prepared to peek from behind Half Dome

Lem L.

Lem L.

Looking across Yosemite Valley from the Yosemite Falls Trail

Looking across Yosemite Valley from the Yosemite Falls Trail

Color image of the above shot

Color image of the above shot

Moonrise over Half Dome

Moonrise over Half Dome

Playing around with timed exposures of the traffic on Suothside Drive in Yosemite Valley.

Playing around with timed exposures of the traffic on Southside Drive in Yosemite Valley.

Wednesday March 11

Off to Mirror Lake; Although Mirror Lake is no longer a lake it is a beautiful area to shoot; unusual angles on Half Dome, lots of flowing water to shoot, nice hike.

Water cascades down Tenaya Creek at the junction between Upper and Lower Mirror Lakes.

Water cascades down Tenaya Creek at the junction between Upper and Lower Mirror Lakes.

Leana D. shooting the flowing water on Tenaya Creek.

Leana D. shooting the flowing water on Tenaya Creek.

The view of Half Dome from Mirror Lake

The view of Half Dome from Mirror Lake

Black and white version of the above shot.

Black and white version of the above shot.

After dinner at the Ahwahnee, we went to El Cap Meadow and shot the moonrise on El Cap.

Moonlight makes it's way down the face of El Capitan

Moonlight makes it's way down the face of El Capitan

Thursday, March 12

Hike to Vernal Fall. The trail was closed beyond the JMT junction, so we could not get close, which limited the ability to shoot the fall, so we shot the Merced River instead and I shot some portraits of Leana at the bridge.

“The Rules” say that strong direct sunlight is not the best lighting for portraits; it creates too many high contrast shadows on the face, it makes the eyes squint, which in turn takes the best out of a person’s appearance. But in this case I felt there was a good setup; very dark background, and I felt I could mitigate the effects of strong shadows in Photoshop. Plus, Leana has a beautiful face, she smiles really well under any circumstance, so I captured some images to see what I could get. This was the best of the bunch, and I think it’s great.

Leana

Leana

After Vernal Fall, we ate dinner at the Yosemite Mountain Room and then headed out to Tunnel View to shoot stars. What fun! We had a blast standing in the cold doing timed exposures…

Yosemite Vally at night; star trails and jet trails.

Yosemite Vally at night; star trails and jet trails.

Star trails over Yosemite

Star trails over Yosemite

Friday, March 13

Today, Lem decided he wanted to hike the entire Yosemite Falls trail, all the way to the top, despite my admonition that it was not a good idea. He decided to go anyway, and Leana and I passed. So, we went to shoot Cascade Falls on Highway 120, then to the Yosemite Lodge Food Court for more Photoshop instruction.

Cascade Falls

Cascade Falls

We shot Bridalveil Fall as a freeze-frame and timed exposure. The timed exposures were done in bright sunlight, obviously, which necessitated stacking a 4-stop and 8-stop neutral density filters, and a polarizing filter and setting an aperture of 22 in order to be able to do the timed exposure of 5 seconds.

Freeze-frame of Bridalveil Fall

Freeze-frame of Bridalveil Fall

Timed exposure of Bridalveil Fall

Timed exposure of Bridalveil Fall

We shot the Ahwahnee Hotel, exteriors and interiors

The Ahwahnee Hotel

The Ahwahnee Hotel

The Ahwahnee Hotel exterior

The Ahwahnee Hotel exterior

Dining Room

Dining Room


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