Yosemite is full of unmistakable grandeur. From the initial views of El Capitan to the iconic Half Dome, as soon as you enter the valley, one cannot help but look up in awe. Photographers love drama, too, and that often is accompanied by storms. Unfortunately, a storm blew through before our 2015 Fall Yosemite workshop which closed the high country passes, and left us with nothing but clear skies. Of course, another storm passed through the day after we left. But so it goes! But we made the most of the crisp, clear air and skies as we visited both the iconic locations as well as some more intimate scenes. Because Yosemite is more than just the iconic views, and one must look down and around to fully experience the myriad of photographic opportunities that surround.
Climbers near the top!
Our workshop started Thursday evening at Artist’s Point above the classic Tunnel View parking area and overlook for a pleasant sunset. Our first full day, we got up early and up to higher elevation to look for any clouds (spoiler, there weren’t any) at a spot further up the road from Tunnel View giving a compressed view of El Capitan and Half Dome. Afterwards, we took a stroll along the Merced River near the El Capitan bridge for reflections and frosty forest forays. After lunch, we photographed the newly invigorated cascades of the Merced River. The recent storm brought enough rain to bring the normally quiet (at this time of year) river back to life. Sunset found our group along a gentle bend of the Merced with reflected view of Half Dome near Curry Village. After dinner, we battled buses and cars…well, their head and taillights at least, as we tried some night photography over Half Dome near Curry Meadow. Saturday, we headed out to Cook Meadow for first light on Upper Yosemite Falls and the sun rising behind Half Dome. The sun bursting through was quite dramatic, but the icy ferns were a favorite of mine. After sunrise, it was back to the lodge for breakfast since our afternoon was action packed with
Low angle of Ken is nice, too
a trip to the seasonal changing colors in a dogwood grove near Crane Flat. Sunset followed at iconic Valley View and we headed out once more for night photos in El Capitan Meadow. Sunday, we saw our fun come to a close with sunrise at Lower Yosemite Falls with some surprise rainbow action on the falls. There was a brief window of golden light and rainbow that was simply magical! Afterwards, we headed back to the glassy reflections of the Merced near Cathedral beach with stunning views in almost every direction.
Thank you so much to Janice, Lori, Melissa, Cynthia, Michael, Ken, Don, and Gus! You folks were a pleasure to be with and made for a wonderful workshop for both Josh and me. Hope to see you all again soon!