Yosemite and Big Sur Photos

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autzig
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Yosemite and Big Sur Photos

Postby autzig » Tue May 15, 2012 4:54 pm

For any one interested, Ive posted the photos from my trip to Yosemite and Big Sur on my website. Here's the link:

http://goldimagesphoto.com/new/index.html

I would be happy to entertain any questions about them.

Al


deaner1971
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Re: Yosemite and Big Sur Photos

Postby deaner1971 » Wed May 16, 2012 7:57 am

That night shot of Yosemite Valley is absolutely great! All of the photos were wonderful but that one was especially striking.

Well done!

Andy
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Re: Yosemite and Big Sur Photos

Postby Andy » Wed May 16, 2012 5:34 pm

Dean: I knew you were going to like the night "tunnel view" shot. I immediately thought of you and the photograph we spent some time "critiquing" here recently and was struck by how similar the scene was. There is no question, it is my second favorite of Al's impressive Yosemite images. Can you guess which one was my favorite? Al - you can't comment, since you already know. I'll bet Carol picks it right away.

My daughter moved to SF a year ago. Both Yosemite and Big Sur are in easy striking distance and I have them both on my "bucket list." Al has only inspired me more!
Andy

If it sounds too good to be true, its probably . . . .

deaner1971
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Re: Yosemite and Big Sur Photos

Postby deaner1971 » Fri May 18, 2012 7:35 am

I love SF! I am eternally jealous of the photographic opportunities that abound both within and wothout the SF area. I cannot wait to get back to Yosemite with the improvements in technique (that you all for your help there) and equipment I have had over the intervening years. But, SF itself offers so many opportunities of which I have yet to avail myself.

If you can get an extended period of sun (much to ask, I know) the city is among the most photographic I have ever seen. And as a former resident of SoCal, I can tell you that there is no comparison as to which one is the better muse. My wife and I have even discussed relocating to San Francisco in the near future.

deaner1971
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Re: Yosemite and Big Sur Photos

Postby deaner1971 » Fri May 18, 2012 7:42 am

Oh, and to your favorite, Andy...

I am not sure if I know your preferences well enough to hazard a guess so I'll just take a shot in the dark and go with Julia Burns Pfeifer State Park. More because that is an iconic shot than any other reason.

Al, would you mind sharing with me how one gets to Glacier Point? I love that image of Half Dome as most images of Half Dome are from the valley floor and I had assumed all shots from above were airborne. I plan to climb Half Dome on my next trip, assuming I am completely comfortable that my knees are up to it (someone grafted 80 year-old knees onto my 40 year-old frame when I was sleeping one night) but I might pass on that and do the Glacier Point shot if I have to choose one or the other due to time.

deaner1971
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Re: Yosemite and Big Sur Photos

Postby deaner1971 » Fri May 18, 2012 7:55 am

Al,

Another question: did the night photography at Yosemite require any special permits?

Were there crowds where you shot the tunnel (I am assuming you used the location with the parking lot but correct me if I am wrong)?

Did you stay in or near the park that night? I am hoping to take a party of 6 to SF next year and they want to see Yosemite. I would like to bring them up early, hit all of the usual suspects, do a night tour, stay at either the Ahwahnee or the Tenaya Lodge, hit some less well known spots and/or hike and then return to SF for the remainder of the trip.

The Ahwahnee is my preference due to its proximity, unique design and its history (I have a bucket list of staying in all of the truly iconic resorts within the National Parks) but it is the definition of "book early" so I might need a plan B.

Thanks again for sharing those shots and your insights.

Dean

autzig
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Re: Yosemite and Big Sur Photos

Postby autzig » Fri May 18, 2012 8:29 am

Dean, there are a number of ways to get to Glacier Point. For the adventurous type as you seem to be, you can hike the four mile trail from the Valley. The trail is actually closer to 5 miles and the elevation gain is 3,000 feet. But if you are like me, drive there. From the tunnel, head toward Wowona. At Chinquipin turn onto the Glacier Point Road. It is 16 mile drive to the parking lot and a grueling 100 yard walk over level surfaces to Glacier Point. Along Glacier Point Road, there are overlooks at Washburn and Taft Points.

We rented a place in West Yosemite through Vacation Rentals by Owner (VRBO.com) so we were really close to Glacier Point Road and really not that far from the valley. The guy we rented from is a climber and hiker and would be a great source of information for you if you are interested in climbing. He has a Ph.D in 16th Century European history and his wife has hers in molecular biology. They live for Yosemite and work in the park. Their place is really nice. It's a one bedroom apartment, super clean, reasonably priced and most importantly close to the park. For a group of 6, you could rent a house in the same area. We have rented places to VRBO.com several times and have always been very pleased. I met a couple from Chicago who complained that the Tenaya Lodge where they were staying advertised that it was only 2 miles from the Yosemite gate, which was true, except the gate is 26 miles from the valley.

The Glacier Point road doesn't normally open until June but it was a dry winter in Yosemite and the road opened on April 20.

The night photography didn't require any permits. I photographed from the tunnel parking lot. I made the shot I posted on my site after shooting the moonbow at Lower Yosemite Falls, so it was about midnight. I tried to photograph it again the next night from the same place around 10:00 but that didn't work. First, there was just too much traffic on the road. You can't see the road in the photo but when cars have their lights on, it seems that those lights show up everywhere. There were also a lot of cars coming into the parking lot. Their headlights and brake lights ruined attempt after attempt. I finally gave up. One thing that was interesting though, there were a lot of hikers or climbers out that night. I could see lots of dots of lights on my photos. They must have had flashlights or lanterns or something.

The only time the tunnel parking lot was really busy was when there were tourist buses there. I would encourage you to go there in May before the summer tourist season. It really wasn't all that busy there except in the Village but I understand that traffic can be terrible during the summer.

We went to the Mariposa Grove and arrived early, probably 8:30 am. By the time we left, the place was crawling with people, so get there early.

If you can afford $400 per night, the Ahwahnee is a great place to stay. I'd rather pay less and get a house or apartment in West Yosemite for half the price of the Ahwahnee.




Al

deaner1971
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Re: Yosemite and Big Sur Photos

Postby deaner1971 » Mon May 21, 2012 9:44 am

Al,

Thanks for all of the insights.

While I tend to be a bit more adventurous, if I can eliminate hiking to Glacier Point, I can keep the trek up Half Dome tentatively in my plans so very, very much appreciated. Also, eliminating the grueling portion of the hike (although your 100 yards of even terrain does sound tough... :D ) will allow me to bring the whole group along. It is an angle that people really need to see so thank you so very much. Also, I can drive to that point for shots that I would not be happy hiking to (hiking in darkness either before a morning shot or after a sunset shot is something I try to avoid, at least when I don't know the route and it has the dangers that Yosemite does offer to the overconfident, ill-prepared or just darn unlucky).

I used VRBO to rent a place in Jamaica, VT that worked our great so I share your view. I am uncertain if we are looking at one night or two so it may or may not work (many do a two night minimum) but I will definitely look into it.

Thank you so much for the advice on Tenaya Lodge. That is insider knowledge that really helps.

I will probably shoot for June. It seems the earliest I can really bank on all roads being open but still hope for good flows. All things being equal, full moon or new moon? Will have to look at my maps and see how the moon rise/set will work in the valley but I am thinking a starscape on full show without a moon could be the safer bet.

I know that the Ahwahnee is expensive but the people with whom I am traveling are in their late 30s/early 40s and have never made it out. In case this is their one trip, I want to give them the full experience. After I present it, they may decide that they can live without the unique but expensive experience, especially as we are looking to stay in SF for a while and that is never cheap.

Thank you again for the shots and for all of the helpful insights.

Dean

Andy
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Re: Yosemite and Big Sur Photos

Postby Andy » Fri May 25, 2012 6:36 am

Good guess, Dean, but no. I do seem to gravitate toward the iconic shots (what does that say about my creativity, LOL)?

but my own leaning, and in most cases most successful images tend toward the more "intimate" views, and so my favorite was the close shot of the waterfall.

You are so right about the SF Bay area! I never had a day while we were there that I couldn't find something great to shoot. We went in October, and I have heard that the Fall abd Winter months TEND to be less foggy. We had mostly clear weather and I was almost disappointed that we didn't get some of that really heavy fog when I was shooting the GG from the Marin Headlands.
Andy

If it sounds too good to be true, its probably . . . .

deaner1971
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Re: Yosemite and Big Sur Photos

Postby deaner1971 » Fri May 25, 2012 8:14 am

The waterfall was my second guess, just because it was so different from the rest of the collection (at least the landscape portion) in that it was, as you say, intimate.

I was last in SF in November and there was very little fog. A couple of days of rain but a very nice period of weather in all other ways. Far warmer than I had expected and much less humidity.

I too had hoped for a few of the moody evenings of city lights subdued to dull and cold light by a fog in which Jack the Ripper would have taken murderous comfort. But alas, I got the kind of week that reminds you that SF is very much a California city.

Actually, it was too clear on the non rainy days and my city shots have backgrounds of that same bright but souless blue hues so often seen in the vacant eyes of the newest Hollywood "it" girl.

Did I mention that something about San Francisco just makes me want to be a novelist or at least write like one? :D



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